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One reason for the name “Belly” Dance

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Why is this dance style called “Belly” Dance?


Generally speaking Western countries have always had a fetish for legs. This fact can be seen not only in fashion (think of the symbolisms of the high heels and of the mini skirts) but also in dance.


Dance in the West focuses strongly on the use of the legs.

Think of ballet with its jumps and splits.

Think of the famous Can Can with its provocative kicks.

Think of European Traditional dances that focus mainly on the “steps” of each dance. Think of Jazz Dance and its jazz walk.

The list goes on and on.


In these forms of dance the dancer controls (or better, stabilizes) the centre of the body in order to free the limbs.


So when western audiences first saw a foreign type of dance that focused on the movements of the hips and of the belly they were puzzled. In this dance they witnessed the opposite of what they had seen so far: the dancers stabilized their legs in order to move the core of the body. The torso, the hips and the belly were the protagonists of the dance.


They thought of an appropriate name for what they were seeing.


“Belly” Dance was what they could think of.






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