I am writing a new page primarily for students and browsers on Arab Culture as I believe it is integral to understanding and mastering the Art of this Dance.
I have approached Arab Musicians and Dancers to help me in compiling these pages and I am very grateful for their support.
For many people, belly dance exists outside of and separate to, Arab culture. Perhaps they don’t have Arabic neighbours or friends, perhaps they may not holiday in Arab resorts or towns. Perhaps they are learning the dance in very isolated regions where resources might be more limited; Who knows?
I am introducing this subject to the website to encourage students and browsers to be more aware of Arab culture as I feel that dance and culture intertwine and that sadly they are separated by some great distance with some dancers…..
An example of my quest to embrace this culture is the research I undertake to be better informed. An example of this is my work understanding more about the Zaar
There is obviously Arabic restaurants and night clubs that one can visit and there are those where you can see live music and bellydancing. Perhaps you might even join in! The experience of doing this in a “real” environment is very different to haflas organized by your teacher!
There are cultural centres and societies that promote culture as well as understanding where you can also learn Arabic.
You can subscribe to magazines directed at the belly dance community, or read about the concerns and values of Modern British Arabs.
For something meatier – perhaps in places heavy going - and certainly a little outdated -but definitely reccommended read this book to better understand protocols and social niceties.
Why not check out the words to the songs that you like? Make sure that you are not performing to sacred verse from the Quaran!
If you are adding gestures to your dancing, do you know what they mean?
See here for other on-line information:
Find out definitions of Arabic words we use for Dance and learn more about the Middle East
Finally, articles have been commissioned from our Arabic colleagues: