Middle Eastern DanceThe term Middle Eastern Dance is often associated with Oriental Dance, Tribal Fusion, Gypsy Dancing and Belly Dance. All of these dances have similarities both in movement and history, however some of the forms have been more modernized than others. Many people view Belly Dance as a Cabaret-style dance, where performers wear skimpy clothing. In reality Middle Eastern Dance has a rich and diverse history to draw from.
The Arabic dances that influence what we know as belly dance are:
1.Raks Sharqi, meaning Oriental Dance, most commonly danced by women.
2.Raks Baladi, meaning Dance of the Country, a social dance for fun and celebration, done by male and female of all ages.
The Turkish dance that influenced belly dance is called Oryantal Dansi, meaning Exotic Oriental Dance.
The Ghawazee were an Egyptian group of traveling dancers, male and female. They were a large influence on western belly dance, especially tribal forms.
The Gypsies were largely responsible for passing dance movements around to different tribes and regions. This is why our modern version of belly dance includes movements from many different countries throughout the Middle East, including Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, and others.