What is Bellydancing
Bellydancing is an ancient art-existing for thousands of years in the Middle East-yet relatively new in the west.
Bellydance (“Dance of the East” a.k.a. Oriental dance, Danse Oriental, Raks Sharqi, and many other terms) is one of the most ancient forms of dance known to man.
There are many theories about where, when and how the dance began, raging from goddess worship, to the use of undulation to ease the pain of childbirth, to gypsies travelling from India through Asia Minor and into Africa in the 10th Century.
Elements of the dance are still seen in folk dances throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. It is thought that the term “belly dance” was coined at this time as a mutation of the Arabic word for the dance “raks al beledi”, meaning “dance of the people”. Actually an enterprising huckster used the term to entice audiences, the Dans du Ventre ~ ‘dance of the stomach’ in French and the resembling word sounds are completely coincidental.
Today we know that bellydance is more that just an exotic dance. As a full-body workout, it has unlimited muscle-strengthening and aerobic benefits. Other reported benefits are relief from menstrual and labor pain, increased physical and mental dexterity amongst other things.