The History of Male Belly Dancing

This type of dancing, which to those who are curious and are surprised there are indeed male belly dancers, has a curious history linked with culture, subjugation and the usual hate and prejudice we read a lot more often. Documentation on male belly dancing, as it is, is scant and tedious to gather, as most are anecdotal and mainly from the present – yet we see ancient Egyptian tombs with paintings – samples here, showing people in those poses typically done in belly dancing (though we’re not sure if they’re actually male).

However, we can always start, theoretically speaking, that dancing itself must have started during unrecorded times when people – the old, young, men and women alike – gathered together to celebrate events and even the ordinary happenings in their lives. People then, as most of us nowadays, could have found means to express physically their joyfulness and other emotions, of which in dancing can be very well expressed in a more authentic manner. The celebrations, with concomitant festivities, must have been continued periodically, such that traditions from them were then developed in time.

These traditions, including that of male belly dancing, have continued to flourish for many, many more years that passed, that everybody in the community would participate in the dancing. We recognize here the origins of folk dancing, of which belly dancing has one its roots. And people from the Middle East, and Africa, where belly dancing is believed to have originated, apparently don’t see much problem from men doing belly dancing in modern times, as long as they’re doing it “folkloric” style.

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