Belly dancing, as a name, originated from the French who called it "dance of the stomach" or "dance du ventre." Americans translated the French phrase into belly dancing. In the East, "belly dancing" goes by different names according to the region. The Greeks call the dance "cifte telli", the Turks know it as "rakkase," and the Egyptians refer to this form of dancing as "raks sharki". In general, this Mid Eastern dance form is called "oriental dance."
Bellydancing has flourished with traditional MiddleEastern music and rhythms. The heart pounding rhtyhyms stir the soul and urge the body to dance accented by exotic customes. Belly dance exercise videos provide instruction at home today.
Belly dancing is not the burlesque image popularized in films and cabarets. For generations, belly dancing has been performed by women, men and children throughout the East as it is still enjoyed today. LaMaze birthing instruction teaches moves found in belly dance as the form has been used for centuries to aid child birth.
Belly dancers may use swords, veils, lamps, and live snakes to enhance their performance. Perhaps it is their use of stunning bellydancing costumes though, that captivate and enchant the viewer.
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