Talk:Belly dance

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The selection of photos on this page is not very good or representative, and most of the photos are of unknown dancers. The page would benefit from more pictures that actually illustrate the text by showing notable dancers of different styles and from different regions, and different costuming styles. Oddparticle (talk) 09:52, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

History and Origins section[edit]

I deleted this section and incorporated its last paragraph into the introduction. This section consisted of non-cited evidence and wild and erroneous speculation from the sections author. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:42, 3 March 2012 (UTC)

Costume section[edit]

add images of costumes BellyDances (talk) 11:10, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Deleted submissions?[edit]

I recently added some relevant information on this articles health section but it's been removed twice now. The first time I understand why as I included links to the website and I can see how you might think it was spamming, so I removed the link and just left the RELEVANT information but again it's been deleted and I checked why to find this reason:

"Please stop adding inappropriate external links to Wikipedia. It is considered spamming and Wikipedia is not a vehicle for advertising or promotion. Because Wikipedia uses nofollow tags, additions of links to Wikipedia will not alter search engine rankings. If you continue spamming, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia. OhNoitsJamie Talk 15:08, 20 June 2011 (UTC)"

Firstly, I'm not trying to spam the article or get extra hits to the website. The information I am adding is from a health and fitness professional who specialises in Belly Dance teaching. She has written a scientific paper on the health benefits of Belly dance in regards to motor skills in adults. This paper is in the process of being submitted to the appropriate organisations. Any information pointing back to the website is relevant as the belly dance instructor is the person involved. I do not understand why you keep removing it like it's some sort of disease or something, I thought the whole poit of Wikipedia is to inform people of the relevant information regarding articles and subjects, which is exactly why I added the information.

There are a lot of belly dancers out there teaching with no actual teacher training or health and fitness training and so this is why Lindsey Marie Silver chose to do the research, to inform and make it safe for anyone interested.

This is the text I included:

"Belly dancer, Lindsey Marie Silver, has looked to clarify some claims of the health given benefits of belly dance and published a scientific research paper titled, "Does Bellydance Improve Motor Skills In Adult Females"

I think it's important that this information is included to show that the research has been done instead of just empty claims all over the place that other dancers put on their websites, which as a result misinforms and could be dangerous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:41, 21 June 2011 (UTC)


Hi everyone! I see my edits of the article's introduction have been reverted, but I find the current intro is not clear, and quite repetitious, considering raqs sharqi and raqs baladi are much better explained in the body of the article, and in their own respective articles, which are not even linked to in the current lead. The explanations are not well connected to the rest of the lead anyway, they just seem dropped at the end of the lead without any perspective.

Besides, the distinction with the tsiftetelli is not clear. The Arabic and Turkish dances are of very different origins. Tsiftetelli is not a mere translation of "raqs sharqi" or "raqs baladi", it's a different dance, even though it looks the same for people in the Western world. It's like saying that "Gheimeh" is another word for "Irish stew"; it doesn't make sense. Therefore I think the lead should start right away with the explanation that "belly dance" is a 19th century expression, because as you can see, "belly dance" means nothing close to "raqs sharqi", and the first lines are rather destabilising concerning that point. And also repetitive, considering the first line says it's a "Western-coined word", and the second paragraph repeats that idea.

Also, the wide array of nicknames such as "Middle Eastern dance" or "Arabic dance", besides being very unprecise, and even erroneous when stating later on that "tsiftetelli" is a mere synonym, are not even real and distinctive names of these dances (anyone can call a dance from the Middle East a "Middle Eastern dance", so there is no need to say it comes from the Middle East AND that it is sometimes called "Middle Eastern dance"), and therefore should not appear in the intro, in my opinion. The goal of this article should be to teach the reader that the word "belly dance" is just a Western substitute and not the real name of these dances. If we encourage them to say "Middle Eastern dance" or "Arabic dance", which are very approximate names, then they wouldn't have learned anything, and this article would be pointless, since each dance already has (or should have) its own article. These expressions should be a matter of redirects and should not besmirch the lead.

Honestly, I think the current intro is something of a cockblock lol at least that's the impression I had when I read it for the first time. I'd like to hear your opinions. Bye! Bryan P. C. C. (talk) 21:06, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

Under the Costumes heading, a word has been edited out. Perhaps it's the word Egypt? UserHoople365 03:37, 22 October 2011 (UTC)

Inconsistent Capitalisation[edit]

I've noticed throughout the article 'raqs sharqi' and 'Raqs Sharqi' are both used (two and three time respectively). Is there a proper form for this word? Yurell (talk) 00:16, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

No mention of India?[edit]

You know before islam, this was a land of ancient Hindus and Aryans. And there are many people who will tell you that belly dancing originated from a form of ancient India. And here, there is no mention at all! Not even as a possiblity! Wow. Another example of how wikipedia is so fair! (talk) 22:01, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Find a reliable source for that and you can include it. OhNoitsJamie Talk 22:07, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

No belly dance did not originate from Ancient India. It's really a wonder how ever since belly dancing became more popular in the West, everyone wants to claim the origin. Before it became popular, we all knew it originated in the Arabic World. I suggest people stop trying to change history and diminish our culture. India has it's own dance just like every country, but the fact remains belly dancing was and always will be of Ancient Arabic origin. ProfessionalScholar (talk) 00:42, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Tsifteteli is not a belly dance[edit]

I'm sorry, this article originally included Greek tsifteteli (τσιφτετέλι) as a "belly dance". Yeah, no it's not. Tsifteteli is just a dance that anyone can dance, to certain Middle East-influenced music. It's not a formal belly dance by a woman in costume, and you don't even move your hips much. Yes, it was obviously influenced a bit by Arab belly dancing (and the word was quite obviously borrowed from the Tukish Çiftetelli), but it's not a belly all. I'm removing the reference to Greece/Cyprus and tsifteteli. Skyduster (talk) 07:09, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Exactly. They posted on here that belly dance originated in Greece. I removed it and someone just undid my edit, so I had to remove again. Why are people allowed to post false information on here? People are trying to diminish the Arabic culture but imposing Greek roots? Never was Greece a part of belly dancing, and certainly never had tombs with belly dance positions. The person linked a false source that did not even contain the information. Mesopotamia has always been known for the beginning of belly dancing, which IS of ARABIC origin. ProfessionalScholar (talk) 00:35, 31 July 2012 (UTC) ProfessionalScholar

History of UK Belly Dance[edit]

I added this section, which is more detailed because the previous post was a bit light on detail, inconsistent with facts and figures and ended with some form of publicity for a Belly Dance retail outlet in Leicester. I am a professional researcher in the field and my post represents snippets of some of my research, not the full body of my work. Reading through it, I might have to delete some of it because students regualarly source Wikipedia for essay and plagarism is very likely to occur.

I find it frustrating that you can add your research and thoughts on a subject here and not place yourself as a professional researcher in the resources for students to properly cite published and unpublished material. This is a weakness of the Wikipedia formula. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:27, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

I've added a few tags to guide where this part of the article could be made stronger. Could the author please expand on it? If you know of sources, please cite them. Maszanchi (talk) 14:40, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

I largely rewrote this section (with references where possible), as most of it had been removed. Oddparticle (talk) 10:28, 19 February 2013 (UTC)

Article needs a history section and more it's on current status in Middle East.[edit]

The article needs a history section on how belly dance came to be, if known. It also needs more info on the past and current status of belly dance in Islamic Middle Eastern countries outside of Egypt, Lebanon, and Turkey. Was it and is it still practiced anywhere else in the Middle East other then those countries? If so, I assume either there are either severe restrictions on how it's performed or it's done only in private in other more conservative Muslim countries, right? --Cab88 (talk) 11:16, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

Find a book that covers belly dance history, or several books. Keti Sharif's Bellydance: A Guide To Middle Eastern Dance, Its Music, Its Culture And Costume has a brief history section, going back to 5,000 years ago. Shawna Helland writes about belly dance history in a chapter called "The Belly Dance: Ancient Ritual to Cabaret Performance" in the larger book, Moving History/Dancing Cultures: A Dance History Reader. Binksternet (talk) 15:34, 9 November 2012 (UTC)

The article Raqs sharqi does talk about the dance's current status in the arabic world. Perhaps another argument for a merge? Maszanchi (talk) 23:30, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

I hve created a new top-level heading 'Belly dance in the Middle East' above the sections on Egypt and Turkey, and added a couple of new sections on the history and social context of bellydance in the Middle East to this. The history section is very brief at the moment. It's probably a bit Egypt-centric at the moment as that's what I know most about and what my sources mostly talk about (I don't have either of the books Binksternet mentioned, & am mostly referring to Karin van Nieuwkerk's 'A Trade Like Any Other', Morocco's book 'You Asked Aunt Rocky', Josephine Wise's 'JWAAD Book of Bellydance' and a couple of others). I also am not aware of bellydance as such being practised much in other regions of the Middle East outside of Egypt, the Levant and Turkey - other areas have their own distinct social dances which are probably outside the scope of this article, though could be referred to if pages exist for them. The book 'Grandmother's Secrets' does refer to belly dancing at women's social events in Baghdad, but Iraqi dance is usually quite different from bellydance so I'd rather leave it out for now Oddparticle (talk) 23:08, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose we merge this page with Raqs sharqi. Aren't the two things the same? Maszanchi (talk) 23:24, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

  • Merge. Same thing. Binksternet (talk) 19:57, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
  • Yes, different terms for the same thing. I believe that Oriental Dance should also redirect here. At present it redirects to the page on Middle Eastern dance, which doesn't currently contain very much information, but it's usually used as a synonym for Raqs Sharqi.Oddparticle (talk) 11:16, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

From discussions with the community there seems to be some disagreement on whether to merge or not. There are pages for American Tribal Style and Tsifteteli, so maybe there is a place for having Raqs sharqi too. There are pages distinguishing French from Russian Ballet, so there is precedent.Maszanchi (talk) 22:14, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Published sources[edit]

Recently I heard a complaint that "belly dance is not a collegiate study." Actually, the topic has been the focus of both popular and scholarly study. The person who chooses to rework this article will want to find a balance which is supported by the books and articles which have been written about the subject, including telling the reader about any contradictions that are found. Below is a list of some of the published works that can be used. Obviously there are more. Binksternet (talk) 03:10, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Belly dance in Spain section[edit]

Someone fix the section, it seems like it was written in the span of a minute and needs organization. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:304:44C9:1AD0:4D51:A3CE:B0E8:EC32 (talk) 21:47, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

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'Egyptian dance'[edit]

@Marina Towadros: A howcast youtube video and a dance class website are not reliable sources. Furthermore, the use of the terms Arabic dance and Egyptian dance has been explained by Sarah Canbel in Talk:Arab dance. Again, please refrain from disruptive editing and gain consensus for your changes. Regards -Swazzo (talk) 20:58, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

You removed a very reliable source as the Independent Article[1] that clearly calls it ancient Egyptian art and kindly please consider the discussion result and read the replies made by Wikipedia's Admin The Bushranger. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia where everything should be accurate, so kindly stop removing very reliable information accompanied with global sources. Thank You. Marina Towadros (talk) 22:10, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

Marina, your edit summery 'totally ignoring the discussion result and replies made by Wikipedia Admin The Bushranger' is quite ironic, since The Bushranger's reply in their talk page stated:

The thing to do in those cases, is to go to the talk page and lay out your concerns; the golden rule is, whenever possible in those cases, even though it's horrendously frustrating, to 'focus on content, not contributors'; lay out the edits you wish to make, with the sources that back them, and let a discussion take place to form consensus for their inclusion, based on the policies of neutrality, verifiability, balance, and not being considered a fringe view. Once this is done, if the proposed changes gain consensus, that's all good

instead you continued to revert on a matter on which consensus has been made, with the results not on your favor. Swazzo (talk) 23:22, 30 December 2017 (UTC)

It's totally the opposite, it's not me who kept deleting other editors' reliable sources and threatened them on their Talk Page to not edit. Again, Nothing in the Arab Dance Talk Page is against fixing data and putting reliable information. All i did is putting very accurate and well sourced information, and all what you did Sir is removing sources. First you reverted data and removed the sources without any explanation, then you kept reverting and said that the sources are not reliable, then when i added a global source you kept deleting reliable sources again and again. Marina Towadros (talk) 04:11, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

As The Bushranger said, sources are added based on several polices and when consensus is gained, again, consensus regarding the use of the terms has been made in the talk page of Arab dance with the result not on your favor. Cramming sources on this subject does not really help your case since the same book you cited mentions 'Arab dance' in P278.[2] My post on your talk was an edit warring warning in response to your behavior of continually reverting several editors and going against consensus, not a threat. Swazzo (talk) 08:20, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

There is also nothing in the Independent article to support your assertion that it is also known as "Egyptian dance". All the article says is that there are belly dancers in Egypt, which is not news. A cite has to actually support the material that it accompanies. Pinkbeast (talk) 10:15, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Obviously the book mentions how the art was rooted in all Egypt and from simple villagers to everywhere.
The Independent article literally says ancient Egyptian art of belly dancing, that's how it is globally called in so many places.
I didn't remove the term Arabic Dance from the other names section, also i didn't remove any sources or asked others to not put the different known worldwide names of Belly Dance.
There are endless people worldwide who call it Egyptian Dance and students in western dancing schools register a course with the name Egyptian Dance, even the term Raqs Sharqi which is written in the page is the Egyptian style of folk belly dancing.
[3] Quoting: " Raqs Sharqi is the beautiful Egyptian dance that we will focus on here due to its growing popularity among beginners. "
" In fact, we recommend Egyptian dancing to the women who say to us 'But I'd never go to a public dance class, not with my body. I'd think everyone was looking at me and laughing'. You're in good company. Lots of women feel like this. "
[4] What is Egyptian raqs sharqi and cabaret style.

[5] Bellydance Styles, Egyptian Raqs Sharqi.

Thank You. Marina Towadros (talk) 10:50, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

The Independent article does say that. It does not, however, say that belly dance is known as Egyptian dance, so it does not support the material you are using it as a cite for. None of the other cites you produce here appear particularly reliable (if even they actually supported your claim, which they don't). Swazzo has already dealt with the book, but what you have just said about the book _also_ doesn't justify the claim that it is known as "Egyptian dance" (rather, it says that it originated in Eygpt, something the article already reflects). Neither of your cites, then, actually justifies the material you are trying to include, so it should be removed until you have a reliable source that _does_ justify that material. Pinkbeast (talk) 11:52, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, it clearly has been called Egyptian by many, even books written on Raqs Sharqi literally mentioning it as Egyptian dance,

Book: Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890-1930 by Heather D. Ward. [6]

Book Description: Raqs sharqi, the Egyptian dance form also known as belly dance, has for generations captured imaginations around the globe. Yet its origins have been obscured by misinformation and conjecture, rooted in Orientalist attitudes about the Middle East--a widely accepted narrative suggests the dance was created in response to Western influences and desires. Drawing on an array of primary sources, the author traces the early development of raqs sharqi in the context of contemporary trends in Egyptian arts and entertainment. The dance is revealed to be a hybrid cultural expression, emerging with the formation of Egyptian national identity at the end of the 19th century, when Egypt was occupied by the British.

Also, the funny thing is that first line within the Belly dance article literally says Raqs Sharqi which is the Egyptian Folklore Style.

I will add the book to the article, and i will leave the matter to the Dispute Resolution notice board to judge by themselves. Cheers

Once again, that does not say that it is known as "Egyptian dance". It say it is an Egyptian dance. These are not the same thing. Alexandria is an Egyptian city, but because there is more than one city in Eygpt, it is not known as "Egyptian city".
You need a cite which actually says that belly dance is referred to as "Egyptian dance", and you don't have one. Pinkbeast (talk) 17:06, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

No, and you're claiming false things again, the book description literally says Raqs Sharqi, the Egyptian dance form also known as belly dance, but you are playing tricks and not giving any logical comments. I will leave it to the Dispute Board. Marina Towadros (talkcontribs) Marina Towadros (talk) 19:10, 31 December 2017 (UTC)

I'm not claiming anything false. The book may well literally say that; but it doesn't actually say that it is known as "Egyptian dance" - and no extract you've provided does say that. Pinkbeast (talk) 04:34, 1 January 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ How the ancient Egyptian art of belly dancing is suffering a wobble in popularity.
  2. ^ Fraser, Kathleen W. (2014-11-25). Before They Were Belly Dancers: European Accounts of Female Entertainers in Egypt, 1760–1870. McFarland. p. 278.
  3. ^ Belly Dancing
  4. ^ What is Egyptian raqs sharqi and cabaret style.
  5. ^ Bellydance Styles: Egyptian Raqs Sharqi
  6. ^ Egyptian Belly Dance in Transition: The Raqs Sharqi Revolution, 1890-1930

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

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Raqs Sharqi[edit]

Why is it called Eastern Dancing (towards Indo-Iranian) if it originated in Egypt? Shadzad (talk) 04:38, 26 March 2019 (UTC)