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History of the dance

Oriental dance or bellydance is one of the oldest dance forms of the world and it originates from the cultures of India, Africa and the Middle East.  history bellydance

There's a lot of mystery surrounding this ancient dance style, which makes it difficult to determine it's origine.
We do know for sure it's a misunderstanding that this is an erotic dance, meant to please men.

The tales about the harem girls, dancing for the pleasure of the sultan, are merely a fantasy braught to us by the movie industry.

Several sources claim that bellydancing was originally a fertility dance. This ritual dance was performed by women as a celebration of mother nature and of all women as creators of life. The dance was passed on from mother to daughter and wasn't even meant for men's eyes to see!

It was only in the 19th and 20th century that the dance entered the western culture.

People from the west, who first encountered this dance, were mesmerised by the movements of the "belly". Thus, they started calling it "bellydance".
A name that is far too narrow, as bellydancing is so much more than that!

Today, bellydancing is still growing in popularity. The dance is influenced by other dance styles, creating "fusion" styles such as tribal fusion, bellywood, bellybreak, spanish-arabic, ...

What is bellydance?

The essence of bellydancing is the isolation of movements.

You move different parts of your body seperately from each other, such as for example: only your hips, only your head, only the shoulders, etc ...

Sharp hip movements are combined with fluid arm movements.

Bellydance also has some positive side effects: stronger back muscles, more flexible joints, improved balance and a nice body posture!

But above all that: it's FUN!

Did you know that...

  • Women have been bellydancing for about 5000 years?
  • "bellydance" is the litteral translation of the arabic "Raqs Sharqi" and the turkish "Oryantal dansi"?
  • According to some sources this dance was executed as a preperation to labour in it's ancient days?
  • there are countless numbers of styles? In certain countries it can be different from region to region!
  • There are also male bellydancers?

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