This site is designed to be a celebration of belly dancing. Within these pages we have collected hundreds of belly dancer videos of artists from all over the world. Here you can enjoy comparing the many belly dance costumes and the cultures that have influenced each design.
From its origins in Egypt, belly dance or Arabic dance (literally ‘oriental dance’) has evolved as it has spread all over the world. During its journey around the globe it has developed into several styles under the influence of various regions and cultures.
The name ‘belly dance’ is a translation of a 19th Century French term for the Egyptian dances i.e. “danse du ventre“. The dance’s Arabic term is Raqs Sharqi (“Eastern Dance”). It is also know by its Egyptian Arabic name Raqs Baladi (“Folk Dance” or “Country Dance”).
The Belly Dance Around The World
From its origins in the Middle East the dance has spread to Europe, North and South America, and further into the East and South. It has become popular in Lebanon, Turkey, Spain, Great Britain, the USA, and Australia.
As the dance has taken root in each location it has often been transformed and adapted from its original form into a fusion, a blend that makes a new dance form that appeals to another generation of belly dancers in that particular region. Like all forms of artistic expression it is an evolutionary process.
The belly dance is primarily a dance that focuses on the torso. It includes movements that can be categorized as being either percussive (short, staccato movements), fluid, or shimmering. It is a dance form that is accessible to women of all ages and sizes, which may account for its growing popularity.
Belly Dance For Celebration & Performance Art
The Arabic dance is performed for a variety of reasons. It often forms part of a social event or family celebration. I can be performance art in which a solo dancer enthralls an audience, or it can simply be the used as a form of self-expression and exercise.
Like many forms of dance there are many health benefits for the belly dancer. Muscles are toned and strengthened by the hip movements. Flexibility is improved, and the undulations are of great benefit to the abdominal muscles and the spine.
Apart from the physical benefits there are also advantages to the mind and the spirit. It is a dance of joy, of empowerment, and of the celebration of life itself. For those interested in such things it is of immense benefit to the lower three chakras in the human energy field.
Learn to belly dance! Study at home or at a class with this easy to follow course