Alia Thabit Traditional and Avant-Garde Belly Dance


What is belly dance part III

What is belly dance? Part III Read Part I here Read part II here Of course, there are specific folkloric dances that have nothing to do with belly dance—no one is arguing about that. But there are others that have been adopted. They are not belly dance as such (Sa’idi stick dance, for example, or […]

What is Belly Dance II

Last time, we looked at belly dance in the wild, as a natural culturally-formed expression of the music. This week, let’s look at it a bit further afield. We closed last week with, You would think “what is belly dance” would be pretty obvious—you see the people dancing, the hip drops, shimmies, and undulations—and there […]

What is belly dance? (and why is that a question?)

What is belly dance? (and why is that a question?) Back in the early 70’s, when I was a baby dancer, I worked as a figure model for art classes, mostly at the Brooklyn Museum art school (sadly, long gone), and at Pratt Institute. There was one prof at Pratt whom I liked a lot, and I […]

Why we dance—the secret surprise (and how to find it)

You know those little voices that always rag on us to just quit and be done with it?  That we will never amount to anything? What does that even mean? Like we will not be world-class famous dancers with tons of money and fame? Why is that the benchmark of success in our dance? Few of us dance […]

Why belly dance is like Rodney Dangerfield

Here’s another excerpt from Midnight at the Crossroads!   Why belly dance is like Rodney Dangerfield Rodney Dangerfield, the garrulous, pop-eyed comedian from the 80s, couldn’t get no respect, and neither can belly dance. Because of its outré associations with burlesque, stripping, and other louche pastimes, because it looks so easy and doesn’t conform to […]