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RSVP for Belly Dance: A Space for Personal Expression


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Belly Dance: A Space for Personal Expression | Thurs. June 8, 2023 | 6:30 – 7:30 pm EDT | In-person Event

The solo interpretive dance that Americans call “belly dance” is actually called raqs al sharqi in the Middle East. It means “Eastern dance.” It is one of the oldest documented dance forms and can be traced back to ancient Egypt. It has a long history as a women’s art form done by professional entertainers at weddings and celebrations of all kinds, but it also has a long history as a social dance that everyone, both men and women, know as soon as they are old enough to stand. Belly dance has attracted adherents around the globe because it is a perfect vehicle for women to express their femininity and their strength.

In the Middle East, dance and music are inseparable from daily life, a vital part of virtually all celebrations and family gatherings.  In the belly dance performance, the dancer actually “becomes” the music through movements of the torso, hips, and arms. Habiba will trace the long history of the dance and invite the audience to participate in some basic movements.


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