Belly Dancing has been a popular dance style since prehistoric times. It is considered as one of the oldest dances throughout history. Belly Dancing initially surfaced in North American, Asian and Middle Eastern countries. This sensual style of dancing is both an appealing form of dance and a wonderful way to keep fit. Through Belly Dancing, dancers express their creativity to the rhythm of music, by mostly using their abdomen. Typical Belly Dancing movements include the circular, rolling and vibrating movement of the abdomen.
History of Belly Dancing
Many arguments and contradictions surround the origin of Belly Dancing. Many theories exist as how this special and unique dance style evolved over the years. As all things, Belly Dancing has adopted a diversity of styles over the progression of the years which have evolved from a range of cultures. Belly Dancing has gained popularity for a variety of reasons, such as entertainment, exercise, cultural rituals and tradition. Overall, Belly Dancing seems to be a fusion of a variety of dance styles, thus it is argued the dance form originates from different cultures, like ethnic folk dancing.
Belly Dancing Styles
In modern times Belly Dancing has evolved and dancers enjoy a diversified kind of Belly Dancing. Generally, the two basic styles of Belly Dancing are referred to as Raqs Baladi and Raqs Sharqi. The Raqs Baladi form is typically performed by both men and women at events and celebrations, like weddings, birthday parties and so on. The latter, Raqs Sharqi is also performed by both male and female dancers, and involves a more theatrical style of Belly Dancing. Raqs Sharqi is gaining much popularity in the USA as we speak.
Belly Dancing Movements
The majority tend to believe that Belly Dancing solely involves the movement of the abdomen. This is a misconception as dancers use a variety of other body parts when dancing. The dancer must remain focused and basically needs to isolate main muscle groups while dancing. That is, the dancer either moves a group of muscles at a time or in contrast to the remainder of the body. Belly Dancing dancers do not move on the entire dance floor, they tend to cover a small part of the floor. Further, belly dancers usually perform on their own or alternatively, in groups, where they are called to dance a choreographed routine together.
Music and Belly Dancing
It is a fact that almost any kind of music can be used when Belly Dancing. Music is chosen according to the type of Belly Dance routine a dancer performs. In general, music tends to be powerful, rhythmic and has oriental features.
Belly Dancing Dancewear
Commonly, Belly Dancewear involves long skirts or harem-like pants. The dancewear is usually elaborately coloured and decorated with gems. In contrast, other belly dancers prefer wearing simplistic costumes like leotards. Overall, no matter the kind of costume a dancer opts for, their belly-part is typically exposed so as to define the movement of the abdomen.
Normally, belly dancers dance barefoot. However, on occasions when they are asked to perform outside, they need to wear shoes. Most opt for any type of shoes that are flexible, such as ballet slippers.
Elena Papanikolaou Couture Dancewear is a Dancewear company that specialises in making handmade dancewear costumes for all types of dance styles. Elena Papanikolaou prides herself in creating unique dancewear costumes according to the dancer’s dance routine, style and character so as to project and accentuate the dancer’s performance on stage.