Interesting & Informative Sites
Table of Contents
Sites About Belly Dance
Why do I like these sites so much? Because they're not solely
dedicated to advertising. In other words, these sites somehow
educate, enrich, inform, amuse, or inspire the people who visit
Plus! for Plus-Sized Women. By Shira. Size positive site
with costuming advice and other resources for full-figured women
who are interested in belly dancing.
Belly Dance Home Page. By Yasmina. I'd have to say this is
one of the best of the web sites owned and operated by a dancer.
She has articles, some jokes, a limerick, reviews of videos,
music reviews, puzzles, a series of "Spotlight" articles
on dancers and troupes, and a lot more. Better yet, she regularly
adds new material to her site, so it keeps growing and is worth
coming back to visit from time to time to see what's new.
Dancer. Many excellent articles and song translations.
Al Amir. By Amara. Enjoyable collection of articles, some
written by Amara al Amir and some by other contributors. Also
links to selected articles on other web sites.
- Meira, the Joyful Dancer. This rich site
contains many articles, including an extensive one on the history
of Oriental dance, instructions for making some costume pieces,
and cultural information. Also sells postcards featuring her
artwork and links to a site where you can buy her clip art for
use on your flyers, business cards, etc.
- Raqs Kashmir. This site
by Kashmir in New Zealand offers humor, opinion pieces, safe
dancing tips, how to do some moves, how to make some costuming
pieces, and more.
Gilded Serpent. A great online magazine published by Lynette
Harris intended for aficionados of Middle Eastern Dance. Be sure
to look for the "Archives" section so you can enjoy
articles from previous editions!
Tassels, & Tattoos. About American Tribal Style dance
as done by dancers in Australia and New Zealand. Message board,
advice on tattoos, workshop reviews, and back health.
Kin Studio. The main focus of this web site is on the activities
organized by Lynette's studio in Oakland, California. However,
the sections titled "Najia's Articles", "Edwina's
Articles", and "Resources For SKS Students" will
all appeal to belly dancers in general, whether you can attend
Lynette's classes or not.
Of Middle Eastern Dance. A photo gallery of nearly 60 scanned
pictures from vintage postcards, Hollywood posters, and other
sources depicting women in Middle Eastern dance settings. Some
are genuine ethnic portrayals, some Westerners' harem fantasy.
Mozuna's Caravanserai. By Shibar Mozuna and Veshengo. Here
you'll find lots of useful dance tips, five poems, great quotes,
suggestions on finding dance music, lyrics to three songs translated
into English, a glossary defining more than 50 terms, suggestions
on how to have a hafla, recipes, video reviews, book reviews,
music reviews, and other great content.
Meanderings. By Morocco. Local content includes articles
on belly dancing and childbirth, floor work, ethics of ethnic,
Dancing For Older Women. This web site consists of several
articles exploring topics related to belly dancing that are particularly
slanted to the needs of older women, but interesting even for
- 1001and1.de. By Harald Gaertner. Site is in both English and German. Some
song translations for Arabic songs, dance clip art, Arabic names
with their meanings, event calendar, and more.
- Learn-to-Belly-Dance.Com. Candra's web site is rich in articles on many topics of interest
to dance students, including a historical timeline, overview
of diverse styles, question & answer section, etc.
- Anthea. Many articles written by Anthea over the years.
- Raqs in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Male dancer Asim (Woodrow Hill) shares his research into Middle
Eastern dancing during the SCA period.
- Bellydance Stuff. By Lauren. Electronic postcards, tips on dance technique, information about different dance styles, and more.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Pixie Vision, Glendale, California.
The following links lead to individual news articles that
mention belly dancing.
News from Egypt
These are arranged in chronological order by when the news story appeared.
- Wriggles Give Nixon the Giggles. June 13, 1974. News story about Soheir Zaki performing for U.S. President Richard Nixon and his entourage during one of his state visits to Cairo in 1974.
- Fifi Abdou's Income. July 30, 1997. Brief article stating
Fifi made the equivalent of 1.3 million dollars over three years
- Musicians And Dancers In A Pharaonic Tomb. November 11, 1997. Describes a tomb at Saqqara with pictures of musicians
and dancers on the walls.
- Nagwa Fouad: Hours of Glory. August 13, 1998. Al Ahram interview in which Nagwa talks about her life.
- World: Middle East Farewell to Egypt's Queen
of Dance. September 21, 1999. BBC obituary for Tahia Carioca.
- Tahia Carioca, 79, Dies; A Renowned Belly Dancer. New York Times obituary for Tahia Carioca. September 22, 1999.
to the Rhythm of Time. September 29, 1999. Al Ahram obituary for Tahia Carioca.
- Arabian Nighties. October 8, 1999. A lingerie souk in Cairo
inspires the author to reflect on the role of sex in Egyptian
- Tummy Talk. July 19, 2000. Discusses the Oriental
dance scene in Egypt as of 2000. Don't forget to click on the link at the
bottom for page 2!
- Dina's Sex Tape Scandal
- Fifi Abdo Refers to Dina as a "Substitute
Dancer" Called In When She Has a Headache. May 13, 2003.
One of Egypt's celebrity tabloids quotes from a television interview
- The Forbidden Dance. Undated. Article gives brief
history of belly dancing and discusses current efforts by Islamic
fundamentalists to suppress it in the Middle East.
- Non-Egyptian Belly Dancers Booted. November 11, 2003. Egypt announces ban on foreign belly dancers.
- Foreign Belly Dancers Ban Lifted. November 16,
2004 update on the status of performing licenses for foreign
dancers in Egypt.
- The Mystique Of Belly Dancing. 2004. What the Oriental dance scene in Cairo was like in 2004.
- Belly Dance Brings to Life City of Dead. September 24, 2006. Profile of an Egyptian woman who lives in the necropolis in Cairo
and makes belly dance costumes for a living.
- Female Entertainers in Egypt Criticized for Offering Food to the Poor. October 18, 2006. Some Islamist clerics criticized female entertainers for using money obtained in a shameful way to help the poor.
- Dina Accused of Violating the Code of Professional Film Artists. November 11, 2006. Reports allege she was dancing "wildly" in public with singer Saad al-Saghir.
- Male Belly Dancing Makes Comeback in Egypt, Defying
Suppression. January 1, 2008. A look at the profession of male belly dancers
in Egypt, including quotes from Tito.
- Male Belly Dancers Apply for Permits in Egypt.
May 11, 2008. Al Arabiya article.
- Sexual Assaults in Egypt. October 15, 2008.
Al Ahram examines a rising problem in Egypt.
- Belly Dancing, a Now Silent Art. December 12, 2008. Amira Mohsen. In the newspaper The Daily News.
- Foreigners Preserve Cairo's Reputation as Belly Dance Capital. February 15, 2010. Insight into dance scene in Egypt at that time.
- The Life and Times of Carioca. July 1, 2010 review of a rough cut of a documentary about Tahia Carioca.
- How a Belly Dancer Could Achieve Martyrdom. February 9, 2012. A professor from Al-Azhar describes the circumstances under which a belly dancer could be considered a martyr.
- Dina Turned Away from Performing at a Wedding. October 4, 2012.
This story was reported in several Arabic-language news outlets, but in an interview Dina denied it happened.
- Dancer Makes Political Statement. November 15, 2012. The dancer Sama al-Masri mocks the Islamist government in Egypt by dancing to a song filled with political innuendo.
- Dirty Dancing in Egypt. May 14, 2014. Raqs sharqi, the subversive dance art!
- Q&A: Bellydancer Aleya of Cairo. May 25, 2014. The Scoop Empire e-zine interviews U.S. dancer Aleya who now lives and works in Cairo.
- Egypt's Mood Sways on Belly Dancers. August 28, 2014.
What it's like to work as a dancer in Egypt as of 2014.
News from Israel
News from Turkey
News from Iraq
News from Sudan
News from Brazil
News from Finland
News from North America
- Dance of Abundance and Peace: Alia Thabit. Lovely profile of a Vermont dancer, Alia Thabit.
Calories with Belly Dancing? Dr. Andrew Weil recommends belly
dance as a helpful form of exercise.
- I Started to Belly Dance, and I Was Happy Again. Hania Porucznik talks about how belly dance changed her life.
For Health. From Columbia University's Health Education Program
web site. Explores the health benefits of dancing.
- Another Day, Another Pointless Treadmill? A Wall Street Journal writer chronicles his wife's attempts to
establish an exercise routine.
- Belly Dance Class: What Readers Think. The
Wall Street Journal writer follows up with feedback from readers.
- Gut Reaction. The Rocky Mountain News does
a story about belly dancing centered around an upcoming show.
Beware of the dubious "history lesson" at the end!
- Morocco - Of Will and Kismet. Profile of
the dancer Morocco which appeared in Al Ahram.
- Belly Dancing: A Woman's Workout. Appears
on Yahoo News. A dancer named Teresa describes how rewarding
belly dance has been as a form of exercise for her.
- Upswing in Hip-Swiveling Revives Belly Dancing. Profiles dancers in Oak Park, Illinois.
- Making the Gyms Go Belly Up. Commentary by
Sandra Tsing Loh regarding belly dance.
- Belly-Dance Studio Turning Out Movers and Shakers. News story announcing the opening of Jordana bint Zweena's dance
studio in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Inner Goddesses, Come Out and Dance. New
York Times article about belly dance instruction in nursing homes.
- Movin' and Shakin': Charlotte Bellies Up
to An Ancient Art. News story about the belly dance scene in
Charlotte, North Carolina.
- Belly-Dancing: A Good Exercise for Weight Loss? Comments by Dr. Edward Laskowski at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester,
- Spotlight: Do Hips Hold Sway Over Link to Spirit? About Daleela Morad's book I Know Who I Am When I Belly Dance.
- Belly Dancing: Sway Anything. On Weight Watchers web site.
- Ohio Lawmaker Says He Was Punched at Restaurant. Why? For blocking another man's view of the belly dancer!
- Prenatal Belly Dancing (The Doctors). A video clip.
- Is It Possible to Have a Fetish for Belly Dancing? Advice by a columnist.
- What Is Endangered Dance? Important food for thought for ethnic-style dancers everywhere to consider.
- Belly Dance Fitness: Women Embrace Their Sexuality, Get In Shape, Have Fun Doing It. Interviews with some dancers in the Chicago area.
- Did Richard Nixon Appear on Same Television Episode as a Belly Dancer? A slow news day at the Washington Post.
- Belly Dancing Student: "I Just Love It". Feature piece in Quad Cities Times regarding local belly dancing scene.
- 1,000 Ways to Die. In 2010, an episode of this tv show claimed that a belly dancer died by having her scarf get tangled up in a ceiling fan, strangling her.
- Chicago's Secret Society of Death-Obsessed Journalists and the Belly Dancer Who Exposed Them. Omene, the dancer who received an urn containing human remains as a tip.
- Forgotten Scandal: Omene, the Suicide Club, and Celebrity Culture in 19th Century America. Profile of Omene, a belly dancer who achieved celebrity status in the 1890's.
News from China
General Middle Eastern Cultural Perspective
News from Europe
News from South Korea
- Museum Tours: Virtual Egyptian Museum. 124
lithographs by 19th-century artist David Robert.
Art. Online gallery of artwork by 19th century artists, including
Etienne Dinet, Charles Gleyre, Jean-Leon Gerome, Louis-Joseph
Anthonissen, Henri Regnault, Ludwig Deutsch, Edward Lear, Leon
Belly, and others.
- Sahnobar Dance Ensemble. Excerpts and pictures from Orientalist
writings in the 19th century about the Ghawazee.
Belly Dance for
Renaissance Faires & SCA Events
If you plan to offer belly dance as entertainment at either
Renaissance Faires or events sponsored by the Society of Creative
Anachronism (SCA), then you'll need researched, documented information
about the costuming and culture of the Middle East during the
specific period of time covered by these events. Here are some
web sites, listed in alphabetical order, particularly focused
on information and vendors that will be useful to SCA members,
Renaissance Faire guilds, or anyone else who wants to focus on
belly dance within a historical context:
Bint Nurr's Research Papers. One article on headwear in the
Middle East and India before 1700, and another on Middle Eastern
dance before 1700.
- Cariadoc's Miscellany. Several useful articles:
see Concerning the Archery of al-Islam, Some Sources for Islamic
Persona, An Islamic Dinner, and Notes on Islamic Clothing.
Traders. The Ottoman Traders are a historic re-enactment
guild that portrays a Ottoman Turkish trading caravan of the
mid-1500's. The site includes costume guidelines, photographs,
political history, some Arabic and Turkish phrases, and more.
Excellent resource for anyone wanting to create a historical
Florilegium: Sources For Medieval Middle Eastern Dancing. This site is a collection of e-mail messages collected by Mark
S. Harris on the subject of belly dancing within the context
of the SCA. The messages cover a broad range of topics.
Of Saint Gabriel. This is an organization that researches
historically accurate Medieval names for use within the Society
of Creative Anachronism. The Academy Library contains a list
of about 80 Arabic women's names (but doesn't tell what they
mean), and includes an extensive bibliography on Middle Eastern
- Raqs in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Male dancer Asim (Woodrow Hill) shares his research into Middle
Eastern dancing during the SCA period.
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