Maryem Bent Anis

Oriental dance


In this site I will refer to our discipline, alternating the two fundamental terms  "oriental dance", as is the right translation from Arabic (Raqs Sharqi  لرققيص الر81) eلشر81 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ "belly dance",   "belly dance", a term coined by the French during the Egyptian colonization in the second half of the 19th century.
The Europeans who came into contact with the local dancers were literally struck by the undulatory and sensual movements that were concentrated in the pelvis area and baptized the Egyptian dance as "danse du ventre".
For most of the world dancers (and also for myself) the term "belly dance" is extremely reductive for the discipline itself, because it focuses attention on a single body area, when in truth oriental dance is a total involvement of every part of the body.
The basic concept of oriental dance is the achievement of harmony between body and music, and inner well-being through it.
Returning to the terminology, nowadays the term "belly dance" is the most widespread, and which in the collective imagination is more easily connected to the understanding of the type of dance that one goes to meet. So for communication issues, we dancers have accepted the compromise of calling our discipline also "belly dance", but with the awareness of its greater breadth of meaning.

Oriental dance is a very ancient dance

which has Mesopotamian and Ancient Egyptian origins ...

Historical Notes. 


The oriental dance or belly dance is a very ancient dance dating back to the sacred dances of the Mesopotamian period, as an adoration of the goddess Ishtar, goddess of the Earth and fertility; includes influences from ancient Pharaonic Egypt and over time has established itself as a traditional Arab dance.

Oriental dance has its roots in the mists of time, has visited lands, cultures, civilizations, languages and religions and has accompanied the history of the Middle Eastern woman.

It is precisely through oriental dance that the woman has maintained a heritage of historical and cultural symbolism, a wealth of gestures, accompanied by original music and songs, which without it perhaps would have been lost over time.


Oriental dance was born, grew and evolved with the woman herself, although, depending on the country she crossed, we then took on different appearances, the means for its survival has always been the same, the execution of it in a female community context, in a group context, whose purpose is the energy exchange and maintenance of the community.


Oriental dance is handed down from mother to daughter, and even now Arab mothers push their daughters to learn to dance from older women, so that they become aware of their femininity and learn to take care of their beauty and be a woman.

Whether in a family or show environment, the Arab woman, in order to perform an oriental dance in harmony with her being, must have the right balance between mastery of movements, costume, make-up and a favorable environment. -136bad5cf58d_




The benefits of belly dance are many, it helps to keep fit, relieving joint pains in the back, loosening the muscles, improving posture and coordination of movements.

By increasing the perception of one's body, it also helps to feel more confident about ourselves and to acquire grace and expressive sweetness.