The different Belly dance styles

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Discover the wealth and characteristics of the various styles of belly dance.

The Raqs Sharki

The Raqs Sharki is the most famous belly dance in the world. It was created in the cabarets of Cairo and became very popular in the 50s with the development of Egyptian cinema. The ballet steps particularly influence the Raqs Sharki.

Folk dances

Many versions of belly dance come from the folklore of Eastern countries:

- The Saïdi: It is a dance where the women imitate the men. To do this, they dance with a cane.
The Melaya is a very sensual dance that is danced with a specific cloak around the waist. The dancer simpers and plays a lot with the public. There are two styles, Alexandria and Cairo.
The Fellahi dance is a group dance that describes the daily lives of peasants.
The Gawazhe is a dance of gypsy origin that is based on fast and jerky movements of the hip.
The Hagallah is a Bedouin dance that is based on the variation of rhythms.
The Khaligee is a dance focused on movements of the legs and neck/hair.

Traditional dances

Some Egyptian dances are called "Traditional dances".

First, there is the Baladi (which means “my village"). This is a traditional dance that has been passed on within families. In this very feminine dance, the dancer improvises a lot and wears a specific dress for this dance.

Finally, the Shaabi means "my people". It is a form of Baladi except that the movements and rhythms are accentuated with the use of more modern music.

Modern styles

On top of the major types of belly dance, there are more modern styles. In this category, you can put the fusion style dances i.e. a "mix" of several dances, such as Bellywood, East Tango or tribal fusion.