Belly dance in the terminology of Western countries is a dance technique that has become popular in the Middle East and Arabic countries. The Arabs gave it its own name – “Raks Sharki“. In Turkey, it is known as “Oriental Dance“. Oriental dances are unique due to their special movement techniques.
The video shows belly dancers.
Belly Dance. Origin.
Belly dance was created under the influence of Eastern legends and myths about Eastern passionate beauties (Bayadere, odalisques). It includes elements of the ancient Gypsy dance “gavazi” (which came to Egypt in the 10th century from India), dance basic elements of popular European cabaret techniques. All this was colored with authentic experience and dance traditions. The main evidence to explain the modern, recent origin of belly dancing is the argument that the ancient folk dances of the Arabs were collective. Strict Islamic customs are incompatible with costumes of belly dancers.
Variations of Belly Dance.
There are about 50 different styles of Oriental dance nowadays, all divided into main groups:
- Raqs el Sharki (Antre/Mejance, Tarab, Baladi)
- Tabla solo.
- Pop songs.
- Egyptian folk dances: Saidi, Fallahi, Nuba, Havasi, Chagall, Egyptian Baladi, Folk Shaabi, Simsimiyya, Alexandria, Melaya Leff dancing.
- Folklore (solo) – folk dances of the Persian Gulf countries (Khaliji, Iraqi, Chobi, Bandari), folk dances.
- The Silk Road countries (Dabke), folk dances of the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia), ritual and ceremonial dances (Siwa, Zar, Zaffa, Andalusia, Muvashahad).
Accessories and Attributes for Oriental Belly Dancing.
Various types of belly dancing can be performed using the following special accessories and decorating attributes: canes, fire, sabres, sagats, shawls of different sizes, wings, candelabra (candlesticks), small ethnic drums, melayas. An exotic variant of the belly dance includes performance with real snakes.
In some cases, light trousers can be used instead of skirts. Each costume is decorated with pearls, coins, beading threads and rhinestones. It also plays an important role: decorative elements are added to attract attention, give Belly Dance a special color of the East, fascinate and bewitch. Folk Arabic dance “Raks Sharki” is often performed with a shawl, and, moreover, barefoot.
Benefits of Belly Dancing
Many of the women go to gym, but do not get the desired result, and just continue to exercise, just to be fit.
Having learned belly dancing, you will combine benefits with pleasure, enjoy the process of dancing, and can replace standard fitness procedures with dancing. Dance movements influence muscles of all parts of the body. In addition, it is an excellent aerobic exercise, development of joint mobility, improvement of blood supply and prevention of osteochondrosis.
How It Works.
When you make belly dance movements, the articular-ligamentous and muscular apparatuses perform light repetitive movements. Muscle movements increase the tone of blood vessels. It allows you to consistently improve blood supply, burn calories, and keep your body in a great shape.
- Belly dance relieves symptomatic pain during pregnancy, trains muscles of a female body for a childbirth. In the labor process, it reduces pain and helps to strengthen muscle contraction. After giving a birth it accelerates muscles return to normal state. If a woman practices belly dancing constantly, before and after childbirth, her body will always be in good shape.
- Belly dancing is an excellent prevention of joint problems. It’s a kind of dance aerobics with different range of basic movements. For a person practicing oriental dances, there is no need to go to physiotherapy procedures and treat joints. He has no joint problems and arthritis.
- Belly Dance helps to cope with stress, removes the stress hormone from blood, and promotes a deep and healthy sleep.
- Women who practice Oriental dance look younger than their age. Belly dance is a pleasure that provides for improvisation: a beautiful dance allows you to gain high popularity at a party or in a club.
- Oriental dance is an excellent source of relaxation from life hustle.
- Belly dance is safe compared to other types of dances and is beneficial for women of all ages. Dancing practices of this kind heal the body and keep it in a good shape. The goal is not to be a high-class dancer, but just to improve your health. Even the basic version of belly dancing is an excellent aerobic exercise that can completely replace fitness classes.
- Belly dance is very useful as an element of dance movement therapy. It can help in understanding the actual psychology of dance from various positions: philosophical, perception dancing as an art and a source of internal energy, it helps every woman to reveal her natural personality.
Belly Dance in Ukraine, Russia and the CIS.
Until 2001, Arabic and Oriental dances were illegal, as a dance industry.
Only after 2001 belly dancing was officially added to the list of All Russian Dance Organization (ARDO). An individual Belly Dance Federation was founded, along with annual dance competitions. In 2005, as part of the Federation, the League of professionals was founded, and this dance movement was divided into professional dancers and just amateurs of Oriental dance.
Professional performers from Ukraine, Russia and the CIS countries are signing contracts to perform in Arabic and Eastern countries, as well as in Egypt, more and more often. One of the recognized leaders in this sphere is Alla Kushnir. She gained huge popularity, love and recognition among Egyptian fans of her talent.
Alla Kushnir, as well as many other leading Ukrainian and Russian belly dance performers, is sure that without practice in any Arabic country it is absolutely impossible to be able to perform correctly the original Arabic style and dance structure. To get into a special spirit and energy, you need to live in local cultural environment, communicate with residents, be interested in their history, learn customs, style and behavior, and basics of the language to feel meaning and content in Arabic songs.