Welcome to my blog! I thought I should post some things I come upon in my journey through dance.
If you have seen my About page, you know I’ve been dancing for 10 years, and learning for over 15 years.
I love Raqs Sharqi, or better known as Belly Dance. Everyone has had some encounter with this dance, whether it was through movies, a trip to the origin countries, or at a restaurant or festival.
There’s a prevailing idea that this dance is similar to a strip tease, a “hoochie-coochie” dance, or something “exotic”. I’m here to say that all those are wrong!
Yes, belly dance is sensual, sexual at times, graceful, playful, flirty, and just downright fun. At its heart, it is a social dance. This dance is done in a social environment, which is at all types of celebratory functions. It is a part of the life of the people in the MENATH (Middle East North Africa Turkey Hellenistic).
Everyone knows how to do these movements. Men and women dance at parties, although not together. Children learn from their family, and pass down the tradition of dance.
What we see on the stage is exactly that. It is a stage adaption of what the people dance. All Egyptians hired learned women entertainers, those educated in singing, music, poetry, and dance, for parities; the upper class had Awalim and the lower class had Ghawazi. The stage presentation began back to the early 19th century, and gains notoriety with icons like Samia Gamal and Tahia Carioka (among many others). Western dance elements were then slowly integrated in the dance at this time.
The dance today is fun, playful, and a great low-impact activity for just about anyone. Dance itself is a not only great for the physical body, but for the spirit and mind as well. I teach a low-impact Egyptian Belly Dance class through Parks and Recreation in Moses Lake. It’s like any other dance class. You use specific music, learn the movements, and gain a new skill.
No, it’s not dirty. No, it’s not overly sexualized. Yes, you will have fun. See my CLASSES page for more information!