The origin of belly dancing is uncertain. Belly dance is the product of a mixture of cultures, carried by a century-old knowledge developed in particular circumstances, which preserved its strength and influence through time (Fawzia Al-Rawi, 2003, p42).
Belly dance is also known as danse du ventre (French for belly dance), Oriental dance, Middle Eastern dance, raqs sharki (oriental dance in Arabic), raqs baladi (dance of the people in Arabic), to name the most popular ones.
Nowadays, belly dance is well spread around the world developing different styles, techniques and practices. The most popular styles are Egyptian belly dance, Turkish belly dance and Lebanese belly dance styles. Western dancers introduced new techniques such as American Tribal belly dance and dance floor work. Other styles practiced in Middle East and Western countries include folk dances from different Arabic countries. Belly dancers have also created fusions with other dances such as Flamenco, Gypsy and Hindi dance, and nowadays lots of fusion styles are practiced.
The use of props is common when belly dancing. Belly dancers use veils, zills, cane, Isis wings, sword and candles, among others when they perform. Costumes are an essential element for belly dancing creating the magic atmosphere through a variety of colours, fabrics, textures, sequins, sparkles and forms.
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