This post may contain affiliate links from Zazzle or Amazon.

Everything You Wanted to Learn of Bellydance…but didn’t know to ask

Not just movement, but context and culture, a whole array of topics that took off on a magic carpet ride of writing.

The Challenge

Could blogposts derive from one single theme to involve a large number of related articles?
I don’t know if I succeeded combining thirty related posts in numerous categories that will all revolved around the topic of bellydance, but this is the result of my efforts …

Presented now for you:

Explore the spectrum of “Bellydance” from the Middle East, Africa, and its forms throughout the world.This group spans the articles posted on several sites, which were originally published on Squidoo as a group that centered on many aspects of one topic.

The Dance: Baladi, Gypsy, Etc.

Gypsy inspired belly dance outfits

Gypsy inspired belly dance outfits

The entire genre of dance was once, and sometimes still is, called by the French term ‘danse du ventre’ or what we translated into English, the “belly dance”. In Arabic it is called “Raqs sharqi” which describes the performance of a solo dancer, or “Raqs baladi” which is the “dance of the country”. The latter is what we usually refer to as a “folklore dance”, common people dancing for a festive occasion in a regional style.

There are a number of styles of belly dance, and related genres of dance, as well. These include Gypsy, Flamenco, and Baladi of the Middle East.  Blogposts cover the range of this group of dances, to give an idea of how they relate to one another.

Although the origination of the Danse du Ventre Vol is lost in time, it is the Gypsy culture which carried this form of dance to many regions. It was then adopted  into the surrounding culture and itself influenced by regional styles of folk dance.

Gypsy performers often kept it alive by providing festive dance and music during times when authorities clamped down and discouraged dance performances.

Ethnic Expressions of a Danceform: Ethnic Expression, Exercise, Dance!

Gypsy and Flamenco, music and outfits may not make obvious the connection, but movements and an overview bring out a pattern of cultural influence. It makes an opportunity to explore gift ideas, too.

The Costumes

festival performance costume

Festival performance costume

Dressing the Part

As with any theatrical performance, there is stage makeup, costumes, and footwear, as well as props to think about. That is probably one of the most entertaining aspects of learning to belly dance: creating the fun costumes. And for those who just want to dress up, it isn’t hard to create your own costume, if you know the right components.These lenses cover the dress-up part of the belly dance world.


On Hubpages, this overview of the different costume styles ranges from demure Baladi, to the classic Egyptian. You can choose authentic details for your chosen style of dance, gain tips on accessorizing or even make your own apparel items.

You Can Bellydance

Don’t doubt that you can learn how to do the basic moves and even advanced techniques from online sources or classes. Learn how.

DIY Costumes for a Bellydancer

Up the ante on your fitness program by exploring what this form of exercise has to offer.


Mideast Wares for Belly Dancers

Just to add an exotic note to your wardrobe, or accessorize a performance. Fringed and beaded scarves, dangly earrings, tribal necklaces and more, are items on wishlists of a bellydancer. Come to the Casbah online to seek your own treasures.

The jewelry is a distinctive folkloric style that often comes into fashion. It creates a Bohemian artistic touch no matter when it is invoked for a special occasion.


Dance Performance Ready

Arabic makeup for eyes

Arabic makeup for eyes

The art of decorating your face and body when dressing up to perform bellydance is part of the fun.


You don’t really have to dance to enjoy the practice of using makeup techniques to enhance your eyes or use henna tattoo designs. Or learn about tattoos. Sometimes it is just something you want to do 🙂

Pretty Feet

Pretty feet and hands are something every woman can relate to, but are part of the performer’s whole look. Learn how to give yourself a pedicure.


Kim Kardashian popularized this look for many years, but it is a classic eye makeup for important Middle eastern events. Weddings, ance performances, anytime a truly dramatic effect is desired.

Near Eastern Music

Bellydance Instruments and Music
Some of the instruments include:

  • The Arabic flute: ney
  • The middle eastern violin: rebab, rababa, rabab
  • The oud, Arabic lute
  • The oriental piano:  qanoun
  • Drums: bendir, deff and tar
  • Mizmar, zurna
  • Tar, dutar, sitar, shashtar, tambour
  • Santoor
stringed instrument

Stringed Instrument

Read more about many of them, here.


Moroccan Decor

Bring the luxurious feel of a Moroccan hideaway into your home. Create a complete interior or just add some touches of exotica with ideas for a Moroccan bathroom or bedroom.

Moroccan Bedroom Oasis

It isn’t just one color scheme or look, but it is gorgeous. Soft textures, rich colors, delirious array of fascinating pattern and fabrics combine in a way that makes you feel pampered.

The Moroccan Bath

moroccan bathExtending the invitation to relax and indulge yourself, this styling of one of your most important rooms of self-care is full of beautiful tile looks, rich detail, and simple comfort.

Serving Mint Tea in Moroccan Glasses

These jewel like tea glasses are perfect for serving Mint tea, but what other uses may they have? Beautiful for weddings, for home decor, and because they delight the eye. A sampling of colors and types and more recipes for refreshing tea.

Orientalism in Art Media

The Middle Eastern Culture – Exotic Sounds, Smells, and Flavors

Loving the food and spices of this region.

The Hafla is a “get together” that combines music, food, and dancing- just for the sheer joy of it. I include some recipes in that article.


Mint Tea, Ubiquitous Hospitality

Everywhere throughout the Arab world, mint tea is a sign of hospitality. If you ever wanted to make it authentically, and serve it with panache, this post is for you.

Chicken Tonight Recipes

A wide range of recipes using roast chicken including delicious regional fare from this part of the world. 10 meal possibilities,

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken Variation – unique Moroccan flavor


Have A Middle-Eastern Hafla Event

This page on Hubpages, has recipes and ideas for throwing a memorable potluck party.

Extend your repertoire with an exceptional cookbook. The flavors are glorious and cooking this way is easier than you think.

Middle Eastern Cookbook One of the joys of this region is its spices, and the distinctive cuisines. It is gaining popularity and is very often a healthy choice. Whether you get a complete cookbook or simply try one of my favorite recipes, do try to sample this style of cooking.


You may not be familiar with this warming spice, but if you are I bet it is a favorite. Discover more about this ingredient in many exotic cuisines.

Turmeric For Health

By now almost everyone is discovering the health secrets of this golden spice.

turmeric and other spices

turmeric and other spices

If you are holding a Hafla event, you may want to stock on some of these baskets to display Belly dance videos, or present your stock of zills. Perhaps use a basket for holding thank you gifts for your guests.
Or as a bread basket for rolls.

Belly Dance Videos!

– Illustrating the many facets of belly dance

Each blogpost has a number of videos to illustrate Middle Eastern dance and culture. there is also a feature of Hollywood vignettes from films.

In the Movies

It went to the movies and highlighted some favorite films of the past. It has had its own popularity in the Middle East.

Make Your Workouts Fun

Loads of workouts featuring this style of dance are available from all sorts of experts. Find online videos or purchase those you love for in-home workouts. Great alternative to taking classes, if that’s what you prefer.

Halloween Costumes

halloween outfit

Typical halloween outfit for women.

Everyone likes to dress up, that is one of the perks of belly dancing. So it isn’t surprising that a favorite Halloween costume would be one with an Arabian Nights theme.

The costuming articles listed in this index are mainly about creating authentic belly dance costumes: the type that real Oriental dance performers actually use.

In completing a Squidoo quest for a Halloween costume lens, I made this one which conforms to the theme of Middle Eastern topics.

Caveat: But remember that Halloween costumes are necessarily much more simple to make, or if purchased, are much less expensive in terms of time and materials and workmanship.

The price will reflect that and I wouldn’t recommend these costumes for the rigors of a belly dance performance, but they sure are fun for a costume party! They are less expensive by far and made of less expensive materials and workmanship- like any other Halloween dress-up purchase. You can get the best of both better quality and cost savings by following the DIY ideas.

The large number of men’s costume ideas in the Halloween lens will serve to costume the male guests at Hafla events, etc.

1001 Arabian Nights Halloween Costumes

Johnny Depp as a pirateWhat do Johnny Depp’s Pirate look and the Arabian Nights have in common? Find out and get some fabulous costume ideas for the next Halloween Party.ideas

How to put the look together, D-I-Y costume pattern links and pictures, costumes for different characters including both male and female versions of Arabian Nights inspired looks.

Makeup  ideas and accessory inspirations for a complete guide to creating your own star performance .

Musical Marrakesh Adventure

Listen to these intriguing sounds and immerse in the exotic sight before you travel on your magic carpet.