Belly Dancing

The history of belly dancing crosses many cultural boundaries, beginning in the Middle East and Africa, and continues to evolve in western cultures. Since the art of belly began, it is known as a form of cultural dance and entertainment. In the 21st century, it has gained popularity throughout the world.

The History of Belly Dancing

The term "belly dance" is a name that was westernised. The Word means, "Middle Eastern dancing". The first form of this dance was in Egypt, which was called the Ghawazi dance during the 19th century. Also known as the Raqs Sharqi which was used until the 20th century. Even though this dance's origin comes from Egypt / Africa, it has found it's way to countries such as France, united states, Russia and Turkey.

Origin of These Egyptian Dancers

The first belly dancers were a group of travellers known as the ghawazee. These women were gipsies and were banished from Cairo during the 1830s. After being exiled, they started to perform in Upper Egypt, the Middle East and Europe. Belly dancing was made famous by European authors and painters intrigued by the exotic nature of the art. They had called it "oriental" which name is still used today.

From the Raqs sharqi, the form of belly dancing began to develop thanks to the ghawazee. Due to the change and becoming a dance form which is more familiar to western dances such as folk dance styles, ballet, Latin dance, and even American marching bands.

Costuming and Props History

Belly dancing uses a wide variety of props that are used all over the world, and every country has its own style. Early belly dancing costumes consisted of a fitted bra top, a belt that droops the hips, and a long skirt or flowing pants. These are usually covered in thin coins, jewels, or sequins to make the dress more appealing.

American belly dancers often use these, as it increases the entertainment and value of their performances. Other pieces of equipment are used, such as fans, Turkish finger cymbals, tambourines, snakes, canes and veils or light scarves. These are all optional and left for the choreographer and dancer to choose.

Where You Can Find Belly Dancing Shows

ın Alanya, these shows were performed nearly in every restaurant and hotel. Over the years, their numbers have decreased, but their popularity remains intact. If you are looking for a belly dance show, they often come with fire shows and other small theatres. They can usually be found in all-inclusive hotels and parties.