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History and Origin of Belly Dance

Where did belly dance come from? The origin of the word ‘belly dance’ comes from the French Danse du ventre, which can be translated into “dance of the stomach”. Sol Bloom is said to have been the first one to use the English term belly dance, for the dancers of the Chicago’s World Fair in 1893. Belly dance is also often referred to as “oriental dance” and also sometimes raks sharqi.

This is Arabic for “Dance of the east”. The term Dance "du ventre", from which belly dance originates. To be politically correct Belly Dance is a less used word and Oriental Dance is the more modern term use to describe this kind of dance.

Although you can find many dance studios and publications use to describe the dance as "Oriental Dance", the term Belly Dance still persists around the world and accepted as the formal term to describe this beloved form of dance.