DANCE NAMES AND TYPES

 “If we seek the real source of the dance, if we go to nature, we find the dance of the future is the dance of the past, the dance of eternity, and has been and will always be the same.”
Isadora Duncan

Close-up of my coin hipbeltBelly Bolly dance is an umbrella term for a huge range of women’s dance styles, historically and geographically.  There are many dance names and types: Middle Eastern dance, North African dance, Raqs Sharqi, oriental dance, Persian dance and the ubiquitous ‘belly dance’.  Bollywood is a form of Indian dance that evolved along with the film industry there that fell in love with Hollywood.  Bhangra is the upbeat Punjabi style of Indian dance.

Dancing on the Quay, Penzance

Belly Bolly dances have a certain amount of shared ancestry.  Some originated as sacred ritual dance. Every temple had its priests and/or priestesses who performed ceremonies for the seasons, for rites of passage, to placate deities or to make requests.  Some dances came from village gatherings when folk came together to share and celebrate events like weddings, seasonal festivals and harvest time.

Whatever the reason, the dancing had purpose and meaning. The dances reinforced tradition and brought people together.  New dances emerge all the time as well, reflecting changes in society and peoples’ experiences.  Dancing moves along in an organic sense.

We don’t dance that much in the West, unless it’s at a disco or an event like a wedding reception.  Belly Bolly dances tap in to traditions and emotions.