Belly dance is a solo dance form originated in Middle East performed mostly by a woman and involves lots of rolling or undulating movements of belly and rapid twist of hips. It is sometimes also called Middle Eastern dance or Arabic dance in the West.
basic & characteristic movements in the dance involves curving patterns, undulations,
lifts, locks, thrusts, and drops, and shaking or quaking body movements. The
focus of the dancer is on isolated movements of individual parts of the body
with little notice given to the footsteps. Arms and hands move fluidly, like
serpents or ribbons in the air. Unusual strength and control is required in the
There are two basic forms of belly dancing: "Raqs Baladi" and "Raqs Sharqi." Men or Women of all age group perform raqs baladi form of belly dance on traditional celebrations like weddings, social parties or gatherings. The second form of belly dancing is raqs sharqi which is a more theatrical version of dance form and is the most popular form of belly dancing performed in America today. It is also performed by both male and female dancers.
Costumes for Belly dancers typically consist of a bra and hip-belt set worn over a floor length skirt. The skirt may be circular or straight. A dancer may also wear a gown called a baladi dress topped with a hip-belt or a hip-scarf.
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