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What makes belly dancing such a unique art form?

by Staff writer
18 Oct 2021 at 19:18hrs | Views
There are very few forms of dance that are as captivating and intriguing as belly dancing. Have you ever attended a cultural event and seen those beautiful women wearing extravagantly made costumes, rhythmically dancing in a most intoxicating way? If so, then you probably had some degree of curiosity about the dance style.

In this article, we'll share more on what makes belly dancing such a unique art form.

History of Belly Dancing

Belly dancing originated in ancient times, with some believing the dance form to be up to 6,000 years old. It is also called "oriental dance" and has origins in Egypt. For thousands of years, this dance form was performed throughout the Middle East as both a social dance and also a performance art.

Where is it Found?

Traditional belly dancing can be found throughout the Middle East, with some stylistic and cultural differences based on the people and influence of the region. For example, Egyptian style dancing is more artistic in nature and incorporates more controlled and precise movements. Turkish style, on the other hand, is more lively and playful. Turkish dancers are known for their highly energetic and athletic performance.

Outside of the Middle East, belly dancing can be found in North America, Spain, Australia, and even the United Kingdom. You can find professional belly dancers for hire for traditional events, family gatherings, cultural events, and even corporate functions.

Clothing and Accessories

While clothing can vary in different areas, typically the costume of choice is the "bedlah" style, which includes a fitted top, fitted belt, and a full-length skirt (called harem pants). Usually the top and belt are ornately decorated with beads, sequins, fringes, and highly detailed patterns of embroidery.

Some areas, such as Egypt, have laws in place pertaining to the costume and what can and can't be worn. For example, in Egypt dancers must have their breasts, stomach, and lower bodies covered. Most dancers will simply wear a skin-colored or mesh fabric to abide by the law. However, no such rules occur in Lebanon or many other countries around the world so dancers are free to reveal a bare abdomen.


Though belly dancing started in the Middle East thousands of years ago, it has since made its way around the world many times over and influenced various areas of popular culture. The dance form has been featured in popular movies and TV shows, music videos, and even major sporting events. Today, you can find dance schools and studios that teach belly dancing in many major cities around the globe.

Health Benefits

This popular dance has many health benefits and, due to its low-impact nature, can be a great activity for women of all ages and fitness levels. The wide range of movements can improve flexibility of the torso and strengthen the spine and abdominal muscles. Incorporating the use of accessories such as veils and finger symbols can improve coordination and build strength in other areas of the body as well.

Source - Byo24News
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