Turkish Belly Dance

Istanbul Ortakoy

It developed through the influence of many different cultures and continues its long process of development today. One of its origin could have been the Greeks which participated in esoteric religious rites which included dancing throughout their history. Some dancers think Egypt is considered to be the source of belly dance. For Saudi women, the dance itself was considered to be sacred, and not intended to be seen by men at all.

Across borders and cultures, "belly dance" is recognized as a dance style of its own. There are several points that make oriental dance different from other dance forms and reveal its diverse heritage. It has traditional associations with both religious and erotic elements. This ambiguity has caused belly dance to be disdained, scorned, and loved by many. Its apparent origins are the fertility cults of the ancient world.