Belly Dancing is the Answer…So, What’s the Question?

With so much uncertainty about when this pandemic will be over, it’s time for dancers and would-be dancers to get moving.  Consequently, we can no longer sit around waiting for permission to dance cheek-to-cheek. Therefore, the ancient art of belly dancing has been on my mind lately.  Since I don’t know much about it, I have some questions.

Are there different styles of belly dancing?

Originally known as Raqs Sharqi or Oriental dance, belly dancing was a social activity in areas of the Middle East. Anxious to express themselves, dancers added their own interpretations resulting in new styles. Here’s a list to help you become familiar with them.

  • Folkloric describes regional styles based on folk dances popular in different countries. In addition, as social dances, they commonly told stories related to their local history.
  • Next, we have American Tribal Style, sometimes known as ATS. A group performs together with a lead dancer calling the steps. In fact, this is quite similar to the Salsa Rueda.
  • Cabaret Style performances are usually seen in nightclubs, festivals, and cruise ships.
  • Tribal Fusion is the most recent form. It’s a no-holds-barred style that combines or fuses movements and elements from a variety of dances. For example, Popping, Hip Hop, and classical dance moves are frequently seen. For this reason, it allows for tremendous expression to any music and is the most modern style yet.
belly dancing american tribal style
American Tribal Style

Learning Belly Dancing

Can I find lessons online?

I’m so glad you asked. Yes, there are tons of classes online, both free and paid. As a matter of fact, here’s one that is designed for beginners and it’s free! How to Belly Dance at Home (Beginner Tutorial) is presented by I’m so impressed by her teaching skills and I know you will be, too. And so, I’m sure you’ll be up and dancing in no time. Give it a try.

belly dancing with online lessons

Do I need special shoes, clothes, music?

As a beginner, you’ll definitely want to dress for comfort. With this in mind, leggings and a stretch top work well for most people. As far as your footwear, you can dance barefoot, in socks, or in flat open-toe sandals. However, if you decide to wear sandals, make sure they are sturdy with a strap to secure them around the heel.

Also, if you’re ready to get into the spirit, it’s fun to tie a scarf around your hips. Speaking of hips, some of you may be interested in this Dance Safari post, “Free Online Bachata Course That’s Great for Beginners“.

The Belly Dancing Man

What comes to mind when you think about belly dancing?  Usually, you’ll imagine a gifted woman in a skimpy outfit with scarves and maybe finger cymbals.  She may be thick or thin, young or old, but one thing is for sure, she’s got the moves!  But, I’m curious about men.  Do they take up belly dancing, too?

You bet they do. For this reason – it’s blind to a dancer’s sex. Additionally, it’s cool to watch the male dancers make the moves masculine and forceful. Sexy, too.

Here’s one of my favorites.

Horus Mozarabe

Horus Mozarabe performs with some of his students. It won’t be hard for you to pick him out!
Watch as these two guys take their first belly dancing lesson.

Hopefully, you enjoyed this post and on your way to beginning a new adventure with belly dancing. Don’t forget to dance as if no one is watching.

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