3 Types & Forms of Belly Dance

No form of dance quite captivates the sensual movements of the human body quite like belly dancing does. A belly dancer has to have incredible control over isolated areas of the body, and be able to keep the percussion rhythm with every step he or she takes. In the past, most belly dancers were female slaves or harem girls, which is why there is so much sexuality attached to this form of dance as well.

However, there are different types of belly dance too, and each one has its own origins in a different country and culture that directly influenced and influences how it is performed. Here is more about those types of belly dance.

Bare Belly Dance (Turkish, Grecian, African)

When you think of bare bellies and belly dancers, you are thinking about Turkish and African belly dancers. These dancers were often slaves kept for male entertainment and entertaining guests in palaces. The hip shimmy and the belly roll or belly wave come from these types of the dance and these countries. The idea was to enchant and entrance the guests with the ultra-sensual movements so that they would be willing to agree to anything or not notice the poison you slipped in their drinks. If you learn to dance belly dance this way, keep in mind that every movement is meant to be visually intoxicating, and that will help you perform it well.

Arab Belly Dance

Arabs are mostly Muslim. For them, modesty is a high priority, especially with female dancers. Therefore, belly dance developed in these countries in such a way that the heads of the women were always covered and no belly flesh was ever exposed. The women who learned to dance this way used other implements than just their bellies to visually hypnotize their audiences. Dances performed with scimitars balanced on their heads and dancing with scarves whirling about their bodies made up for the lack of flesh they were not allowed to show.

Egyptian Belly Dance

Egyptian belly dancers incorporated musical instruments into their dances. This is where the finger cymbals, coin skirts, arm and ankle bells and other tinkling or clanging items came from. As the Egyptian dancers created their own choreography and movements, their movements activated the instruments dangling from their bodies or clinking on their fingers. Occasionally, drummers would accompany the dancers once the dancers' movements established the musical rhythm. To be truly accomplished in this dance art, you need to learn all of the above. 

If you're looking for a new dance class, learn belly dancing through companies like Vanessa Bellydancer Miami.