Visual Encyclopedia

Belly dance

Belly dance, also referred to as Arabic dance (Arabic: رقص شرقي‎, translit. Raqs sharqi‎, literally: "oriental dancing"), is an Arab expressive dance which originated in Egypt and that emphasizes complex movements of the torso. It has evolved to take many different forms depending on the country and region, both in costume and dance style.

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Why is it everyone's misconception that a belly dancer must have a six pack or hip bones poking through? Yes some dancers, say Shakira for one, are very fit. The original belly dancers HAD FAT on their bellies, it was used to create more movement in the dance. People these days find that repugnant, but I feel that some of the original art-form was lost with the society we have today that women should have the beginning of a six pack to show her stomach.

Contributed by Hunter Haynes

Belly Dance is Beautiful

Fun way to work out and beautiful to perform!

Contributed by Shaby Habibi

Belly Dancing did not originate in the middle east. If you go to the middle east today, most of them claim to have no historical ties to belly dancing, and that it came from not Egypt, but most likely turkey and the Ottoman empire .

Contributed by Jallal Husein Abdelhadi

In many places in the United states and all around the Middle East and Europe belly dancer are in demand at Mediterranean or Arabic restaurants as well as different theme parks or entertainment for events at weddings. As a belly dancer in Florida I started dancing when I was 12 and this is truly one of my biggest passions aside from school. It is a beautiful art form and as a performer the benefits you get is being able to release any type of stress or other type of emotion as well as create a way to connect with people as you encounter different audiences every time you dance. Disney is a great example of how belly dancers are showcased in events and theme parks. Like most professional dancers the belly dancer is paired of with a live band of at least two members or more. Some dancers choreograph but working with a live band sometimes communication isn't there or other dancers prefer free styling the whole set. This is a video of a friend of mine she is a great performer and belly dancer at disney.

Contributed by Tabitha Castrillon

Bellydancing has become extremely popular as a fitness class like you said and now a well known art form. The art of the props are shown when incorporated into the dance and soloist or groups (troupes) both use them. Today there are many academy's around and many diffrent instructors with their own style and method of teaching. I have been dancing for eight years now about to be nine and I have had the pleasure to be taught by taught by this wonderful teacher, Ilham. Troupes perform at academy recitals as well as events all over there state or even internationally. Hope you enjoy this video

Contributed by Tabitha Castrillon

Learn how to use a veil!. It is a simple prop that is easy to use and works the audience the best. As my teacher once said, "You could walk in a circle onstage for a minute doing nothing but trailing a veil behind you, and the audience will love every second of it."

Contributed by Mary L. Hankins

A fun approach to belly dancing.

Contributed by Natalie De La Cruz

Oriental and baladi bellydance style by Jillina.

Contributed by Jeremy Guilloty

The Tale of The Eastern Dancer by Liester

Contributed by Alissa R. Smith

Here's a performance involving a prop known as a veil :)

Contributed by Alissa R. Smith

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