Belly Dance Losing Status? We can not let it!

There is a great deal of probems in the belly dancing community, if your not American. I am from Egypt, there are many problems with Egyptian belly dancers, especially with Dina. Dina is Egypt’s pride and joy of belly dancing- she is a goddess in her own right. She is the most talented. However, recently, a tape was released, which compromised her honor and credability. This is simply horrible- she deserves as much privacy as I do in my own washroom. Family supports my belly dancing, however, in Egypt, the hunt for a job as a belly dancer is only fruitfull if you are inxperienced- or not as good and cheap! We refuse to support that kind of a system even in Egypt! I completely understand. Rather than simply understand, I know- I have been belly dancing for 10 whole years- and now that average pay has gone down with more years of experience- it becomes very difficult to uphold a job.  Although this fact remains unsolved, and Dina continues making a fool of herself from time to time on Cairo TV, and those of us in the belly dance community still try to maintain a very prestigious honor of being able to demonstrate this very unique and beautiful dance form. I found some prime examples of Belly dancers and costumes we should hold dear.


When people hear the words “belly dance,” they might picture a single dancer in an elaborate costume fringed with coins, bells, and jewels. Alternately, they might picture a group of dancers in layered costumes and elaborate make up. Currently in the United States there are many different styles of belly dance, offering opportunities to explore performance, personal expression, and cultural authenticity.

Many similarities of movement and music may be found across stylistic lines, while at the same time each style contains within it a diversity of expression. This makes any hard and fast distinctions difficult, and perhaps to some degree unnecessary. When looking for instruction, however, students are likely to run across references to some of the primary styles currently popular in the United States. In this article I’d like to present a very general overview of three of the most popular styles and their primary differences and similarities.

From American cabaret style comes perhaps the most familiar image of belly dancing. This is primarily a stage-oriented style with an emphasis on performing for an audience. Costuming is usually glittery and eye-catching, and the music can be drawn from a variety of sources both Middle Eastern and Western. This style combines movements from many different nationalities, including Western dance forms such as ballet and jazz. The dance can be done solo or in a troupe, and may be choreographed, improvised, or a mixture of both. Props are often used in this style, the better to catch and hold an audience’s attention. Many people prefer to call this style nightclub or restaurant style to distance it from the European idea of the cabaret as a sex club.



  1. Mr WordPress said,

    September 5, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Takako Troutman said,

    June 3, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    I’m taking a belly dance class for 10 months in Okinawa, Japan. Since my mother had a stroke in 2007, I was very depressed but my friend took me to the belly dance class and made my life completely diffrent. Belly dance has been very populer in Japan and hope I get to see aforementioned ladies.

  3. Elizabeth LaDouceur said,

    May 27, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    The belly dancing coming out of Egypt reflects this lament of yours. YOur government regulations and ridiculous social stigmas have so squashed the beautiful, spiritual, the sensuous aspects of what belly dance is all about that have been-yes been found in America. THose girls who religiously follow the examples of what comes from Egypt are missing the big picture. It kind of ruins it for belly dancing because people view the dance and go, “Oh that was interesting but I have seen enough and I would now like something else.” Belly dancing in its roots form is never boring but rather endlessly captivating. And indeed in its roots form a spiritual practice like yoga and Tai Chi. Even the name belly dancing was a misinterpretation. I fully share your lament.

  4. Tyler Boddy said,

    June 3, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    I used one the photos that I found on your blog for a personal art piece. I posted to my online portfolio here

    If this is your photograph, I hope you don’t mind. Please let me know if you would like me to post a link to your site or anything.

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