Belly Dance has many names such as Raqs Baladi. Middle Eastern Dance, Arabic or Egyptian Dance. It is this dance that is performed in Egypt and some other Middle Eastern countries at birthdays, weddings and other social occasions.
Dance historians believe that bellydance may have begun as a childbirth ritual in ancient times. Many bellydance movements are centered in the pelvic or abdominal area, so that this dance exercises the internal organs and tones the stomach muscles and waistline.
Some believe that these movements were set to music and ritualised as part of a women’s “goddess” religion that spread across the ancient Middle Eastern world.
Styles of Belly Dance
Belly dance comes in many styles such as Baladi, Saiidi, Oriental (Raqs Sharqi),
Khaleegi, Fellahi, many styles are specific to certain regions such as Persian, Andalucian, Moroccan and Algerian and may include the use of props such as veils, asaya, sagat, shamadan, melaya lef, swords, isis wings and fanveils to name just a few. These styles have themselves given rise to Western styles and fusions such as American Tribal Style (ATS), Tribal fusion, Bollywood fusion, Burlesque, Flamenco, the list is endless and as wide-ranging as the costuming and music.
As a result, bellydance can be sensual, mesmerising, theatrical, humorous, hypnotic, passionate, ….
Is Belly Dancing for you?
You won’t know until you try it!
Some women use belly dance as a form of exercise as it offers many health benefits. It has cardiovascular and muscular benefits, it’s low impact and can help tone your body. It is suitable for all body types and it relaxes the body and the mind.
Other women find that bellydance is a source of artistic creativity and individual expression. It emphasizes spontaneity and inspires women to celebrate their femininity. Others love the music, or the mystique of Middle Eastern culture.