I don't even notice, I'm too far "inside" the sub-culture. Besides, I'm "very" married to my wife of 39 years. I have to be very careful in class - esp. around beginners who are gawky and insecure to start with without a male being there. I keep my eyes on the instructor! With that said, I'm the #2 in the above class - I often will offer an alternate view or way of thinking about a particular move and the instructor often places me at the head of the class to demonstrate the move de jour
repeatedly while she walks the class assisting the students. "Follow the tramp stamp!"
From time-to-time, a new student will ask me "How long have you been dancing?" - wondering if I'm there to ogle the women. When I reply (currently "22 years"), their sometimes suspicious demeanor changes, and I make a point of mentioning my wife early and often. But there are certainly cases where male students behave inappropriately and/or come on to the teacher or other students. This type of thing PISSES ME OFF *ROYALLY*. They're ruining the class for everyone, ruining the prospects of legitimate male students in general, and word gets around in the community real quick. There are teachers who won't accept male students at all for this reason - although on the whole that's becoming rarer. A very well regarded teacher in California who was local to me was one such because she'd been harassed. I like to think that I had something to do with her eventual willingness to "try it again", and I actually took a class from her after a number of years - we talked about it at length over a period of several years. Damn good class too!
There's also the increasingly rare teacher who won't take a male student because they're into "woman power" or whatever - they think Belly Dance is exclusively feminine. These teachers are often Dianic Wiccans as well. I've only really been bitten by this one once. A certain teacher who wouldn't teach males retired. Another teacher took her class over, and I was in it for about a year - along with my wife. Eventually, the (new) teacher had to ask me to leave - the old time students just couldn't deal with me and she was losing them. She felt bad about it, but it was what it was. I felt bad too, but my wife was PISSED!
Hmmm - sorry for the tome, I think I'm going to copy and paste it into my website's FAQ...
I've had the occasional instructor actually apologize to me for their female-centric language, "Tits over toes" or "Ovaries to the wall" or somesuch. So I have a little speech I give to a new to me instructor - particularly in the workshop scenario. "For purposes of class, just consider me an honorary woman. I'm a male straight, and I identify as a male straight, but its just easier for everyone to forget that I'm male while I'm in class. So don't worry about female-centricism, I consider myself a guest in this world (Belly Dance), so its OK." The response is usually relief and gratitude. So if she slips up and says "ladies" and forgets "and gentleman", its OK. I've been the first male student for quite a few instructors - everyone knows about male dancers, and most have taken classes from male instructors, but they often don't know how to teach me or deal with me ("Same as any other student"). Its an interesting dynamic.