Styles of Belly Dance

By Vintagemode - November 09, 2019

Interest in belly dance increases every day. The dance remains popular, and it doesn't seem like it's going anywhere. At least not in a very long time. It's a dance for everyone no matter your age, shape or size. It's considered as a dance of expression. Where you can express yourself, connect with people and have fun. The dance came about from the Middle East. Belly dance is associated with the folkloric, cabaret and contemporary dance styles. It’s not usually easy to learn this dance. Most of it has to do with working the waist, hips and the other belly which has to move perfectly.

Folkloric Styles


You will find this dance performed at social gatherings for festivities and celebrations. They are usually performed for belly dance entertainers. Folkloric dance styles in the Middle East vary. Every country has its own unique style in the dance. At the theatres, it's common to watch the Egyptian folkloric dance. Other types of folkloric dance styles that are common amongst professional dancers are Hagala, Ghawazee, Malaya, Leff, Raqs Assaya, Raqs Baladi and the Nubian styles.

Carabet Style 

Carabet dance is usually performed on stage. The dancers are seen in their shiny sequins, beads, and decorative bedlahs. This dance style now combines the awalem style popular amongst professional dancers, with the Raqs Baladi (folkloric) and the western ballet dance which is mostly influenced by Hollywood productions. The original dance style, however, started as Raqs Sharki style (also called the Egyptian Oriental Style) and it was trendy around the 1930s and 40s. Others Egyptian belly dance styles are Samia Gamal Raqs Sharki, Leila Raqs Sharki, Mona al Said Raqs Sharki, Randa Kamel Raqs Sharki, and Sahra Saeeda Raqs Sharki.
There are also many other carabet dance styles though also modern but are not connected to the Egyptian dance. They are the American carabet, Russian carabet, and Lebanese carabet dance styles.

American Carabet

This belly dance style is popular in the US, and it started out as a fusion dance. Here you'll find a mix of jazz and other dance styles. They claim it's just the same as the Egyptian Oriental style, but only the natives of the dance culture can tell the real difference.

Russian Carabet

Russians are known for their ballet culture. Everything is graceful especially when combined with belly dance. Their belly dance looks more like ballet than the traditional belly dance.

Lebanese Carabet

Their dance style is more of a mix of Egyptian and Turkish styles, but it is very much different from the Egyptian Oriental style. They have a separate and distinct way of presenting their musical interpretation.

Contemporary Belly Dance

Contemporary belly dance very populaZr across the world. This type of belly dance has a mix of various cultures especially the western part. Twists and turns have been added to give it a unique touch while it still has a little bit of the traditional belly dance movements. You would find this style of belly dance performed at the theatre. It involves miming and choreography from Hollywood, Bollywood, flamenco etc. To create the dance. One popular contemporary belly dance style is the Tribal Belly Dance mostly seen in America. There’s also the Fantasy Belly Dance.
There are still so many more belly dance styles that exist which are not mentioned here. The dance has a long history with the Middle East but has now become a worldwide dance. Every country has their own mix and styles. If you’re interested in taking up belly dance, Zkaka has the right belly dance costumes to get you started on that journey. 

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