Most people have heard of belly dancing, but few really understand the history behind it. Where did belly dancing begin and why? Like many other things, there are many theories on the origins of belly dancing.
Some people believe that belly dancing, sometimes called Oriental dancing, originated in the Middle East or North Africa and is a culmination of different dancing styles.
Dancing out of worship for certain gods or goddesses is how others believe that this type of dancing started. One thing all of the theories have in common is that belly dancing is performed by one individual, usually a woman.
Belly Dance Past and Present
The reasons for belly dancing have changed over the years. At one time the dance may have been a dance to replicate Egyptian drawings. Another theory of how it began explains that entertainment was the sole reason women started to dance this dance.
Women today still use belly dancing for entertainment reasons as well as for abdominal exercise.
One reason there is so much debate on the origins of belly dancing is that many different countries claim this dance as their own.
Belly dancing exists in many different countries, but the way it is performed may vary from one region to the next. Among the countries that have specific forms are Egypt, Greece, India and Turkey.
Knowing the history of belly dancing may make learning the techniques more interesting. There are many benefits to belly dancing. You will not only learn a new skill but also this kind of dancing is sure to benefit your health.
Belly Dancing Clothing
Though you do not need to dress up to try belly dancing, you should at least try it once, just for fun. Depending on where you live there are different types of clothing or costumes that are traditionally worn for belly dancing. If you are dancing as part of a workout, there are recommended clothes that will help you get the most out of your exercise.
If you are just starting to explore belly dancing, ask your class instructor what they recommend you wear. Most will tell you to make sure you are wearing clothes that will move with you. Some ideas for clothes that will work for most people are a simple tank top along with yoga pants.
If you want to get a better feel for what belly dancers wear, try adding a scarf tied around your hips. For extra movement, try a scarf with fringe of some kind. Beads on the fringe would also be a great idea. Remember to wear something on your feet as bare feet may make the dancing more difficult.
There are many belly dancing costumes that women can be found wearing in different parts of the world. But the kind that most people are probably familiar with is the Hollywood version of a belly dancing outfit. This type of costume is a bedlah and consists of a fitted top, a hip belt and either a skirt or pants.
Learning the art of belly dancing may be hard work for some, but finding a great outfit to do it in can be much simpler.
No matter what you wear, make sure to have fun. But keep in mind, a great costume is the perfect way to showcase your new found talent.