Tuesday, 16 August 2011

What's in a Name?

A couple of years ago, I came to the point where I really wanted to find a name and some sort of logo for my belly dancing classes and performance for myself and the class troupe.  I had been trawling through names of goddesses, Celtic/Welsh and Arabic words or names and getting nowhere; they were either taken, or somehow not appropriate.

I toyed with using the local Celtic tribe’s name – Demetae Tribal sounded good.  Trouble was, every time I put it into Google, it assumed I had spelt it wrong and corrected it to Demented Tribal.  I shared this with a couple of belly dance friends and we had a merry few minutes playing with how fast we could whirl through Basic Egyptian with half and full turns in a mad sort of way, until we fell about laughing and agreed that Demented Tribal was probably right in some respects, but not ones I wanted to advertise!

I wanted something which reflected the way I thought about belly dance and its effects, and echoed my personality.  Something short and memorable, neutral enough to cover different dance styles, unique, or at least not widely used.  The logo, if not the name, should be something I could also use for my creative output as well.

I’ve identified with moths for a long time.  Mainly nocturnal, attracted to light and scent.  Most aren’t overtly beautiful like butterflies, but have a more complex and subtle appeal.  As I thought about moths, butterflies, dragon- and damselflies, they started to appear in my dreams.  I started to see images of butterflies and moon moths everywhere, in clusters and in unexpected places.  It was a sign.  My favourite moths are large and furry, with round tummies.  Hence the name Dancing Moth for this blog and my creative side.

These insects have been through a metamorphosis, becoming more beautiful with age and change.  I am convinced of the transformational power of dance movement in general and belly dance in particular.  Dancing regularly in a non-judgemental, supportive atmosphere can do great things for self-esteem.  At the point where you decide you can dance in front of others and even perform, you know you are well and truly out of the cocoon.  Lost in the moment and the music, it is as if belly dance releases an inner beauty and you glimpse the soul.  This is especially true for older women, who dance with a subtle elegance. 

In Greek mythology, the Psyche is the Goddess of the soul, and her symbol is the butterfly.

For me, the analogy was complete.  The winged, adult form of insects such as butterflies, moths and dragonflies is the imago.  The word stems from the Latin imago: image, with its root linked to words like imagine, imagination.

Here she is, emerging from her cocoon, spreading her wings and releasing the beauty within.


helen said...

Oh Mel, this is perfect. The logo is stunning (your design?). I love the subtle incorporation of the Celtic pattern, the partially eclipsed moons...re-emerging to dazzling brilliance, (I adore luna moths,and wish we had them here), the antennae hair (fantastic), and her expression...you have completely captured that 'lost in the moment' experience in her expression.
And then there's the name....isn't it wonderful when everything fits exactly right....FEELS exactly right.
I owe you an email....having trouble writing them at the moment! Who knows why. But I had to respond to the beauty here...a deep bow to you dear Mel. x x x

Dancing Moth said...

Ah, Helen, always so kind! Yes, I thought it was high time I did some artwork. It took me ages and a lot of drafts before I decided how she should look, but I am very pleased with her!
Looking forward to your email - it's nearly a year since I last saw you - it's incredible how fast time goes by!