This Middle Eastern dance is famous in the performing arts world.
The folk dance which led to Oriental dance – often called belly dance – has been part of local culture throughout the Middle East and North Africa for centuries. The dance has been linked back to ancient times, when it was used to support child birth.
Belly Dance was predominantly performed in family orientated situations, until the 1920s when the first nightclubs in the Middle East offered this dance as a type of entertainment. The 20th century film industry also popularised Belly Dance, treating it as an art rather than a social dance.
Egypt became a centre for the development of Arabi performing arts. Belly Dance is also known as; Middle Eastern Dance, Balady or Raks Balady, Egyptian Raks Al-Sharqi, Raks Sharki, Dance Oriental, or Dance du Ventre.