Why "Belly Raqs®"?Naming the dance is fraught. Why don't I use "Belly Dance" or even "Bellydance"? Not it is not because the name was coined initially to titillate, nor is it because we do not dance with our bellies. Rather, the term "Belly Dance" is just too undefined.
"Belly Dance" means different things to different people. Here are some ideas about "Belly Dance" - most of which I reject.
- Belly Dance is any dance from North Africa or the Middle East.
- Belly Dance is any dance from the Middle East.
- Belly Dance is any solo, torso intensive, improvised dance from North Africa or the Middle East.
- Belly Dance is any solo, torso intensive, improvised dance from the Levant.
- Belly Dance is any torso intensive dance.
- Belly Dance is only the western adaptation of a dance from the Middle East (leaving the source dances as "Raqs Sharqi" or "Oryantal Dansi").
- Belly Dance is any dance that includes shimmies and/or undulations.
- Belly Dance is anything danced in a bra and belt.
- Belly Dance is a dance for women, by women (using any technique).
- Belly Dance is a sacred rite to the Mother Goddess.
- Belly Dance is a secret ritual for birthing mothers.
- Belly Dance was created to arouse impotent, fat sultans.
- Belly Dance is a way of learning to love your body and/or express your femininity.
- Belly Dance comes from India.
- Belly Dance was invented by "Gypsies".
- Belly Dance is traced back to the Pharaohs (or the Celts).
In my classes, you will learn the underlying technique used in the solo, torso intensive, improvised dance from the Levant - also called Raqs Sharqi, Oriental Dance, Oryantal Dansi, and occasionally Belly Dance.
As a student, if you dance in public, it will initially be in a group with a choreography. However, improvisation will be included from time to time in class in (what I hope is) a non-threatening way.
Western innovations such as veil, floor patterns and weight changes will be included. If the class are interested "belly work" will be included. Moves acquired from India - such as head slides and snake arms may be flirted with.
In addition, classes in a range of folkloric styles will be offered to extend movement vocabulary and knowledge.
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