Belly dancer Shraddha defines belly dance not as specifically traditional belly dance like Egyptian belly dance or Turkish belly dance or Lebanese belly dance, but as the art of putting the music on your body—the art of dancing with moves that represent both the sounds and the emotion of the music in the belly dance aesthetic. The audience should be see the belly dancer’s authentic self in the dance.
Belly dance, also referred to as Arabic dance is an expressionist type of dance that originated in Egypt and that emphasizes complex movements of the torso. It has evolved to take many different forms depending on the country and region, both in costume and dance style; with Egyptian style and its famous traditional rhymes being the most common worldwide having many schools around the globe practicing it.
“Belly dance” is a translation of the French term danse du ventre, which was coined in 1864 as a snide nickname for the Orientalist painting The Dance of the Almeh by French artist Jean-Léon Gérôme. The dancer’s costume, with its small vest and gauzy blouse, seems to have been inspired by contemporary Awalem (Egyptian slang for Dancers) women’s clothing. Where the Awalem woman of the period would have worn an elbow-length blouse tucked in to her skirt at the waist