Entertainer in Fort Lauderdale, FL
From the folkloric village style to the glitzy showgirl style, bellydance captures the imagination. In the West we're accustomed to the referral of bellydance, but the Arabs actually call it Oriental Dancing or Dance of the East - Raks al Sharki. One of the oldest forms of dance, it originated in pre-Biblical religious rites worshipping motherhood. From the fiery dances of the Roma from Turkey and Macedonia, to the complex hipwork of the Egyptian Ghawazi and the trance-oriented dances of Morocco, to the Sambra Mora of the Spanish Gitanos, the Arab influence is felt and links strong local traditions.