Common steps and sub-activities
Although this may seem an odd statement to make, Belly Dancing is simply an animated form of diaphragm locking. As it is taught these days I don’t think much locking goes on, but at one time belly dancing was not a jolly pastime but a serious religious practise.
Belly dance is the "Western"- name for the traditional raqs sharqi (Arabic: ). Raqs sharqi could be performed by female dancers but was also sometimes danced by men. It was a solo improvisational dance, and its objective was ecstasy or trance states.
The term "belly dance" is a translation of the French "danse du ventre" which was applied to the dance in the Victorian era. Nowadays, the name is something of a misnomer because more modern versions use every part of the body and the most featured body part is usually the hips. But at one time, the objective was spiritual and as such the key parts of the body were indeed the belly and the diaphragm. In fact the dance will not work to induce a spiritual experience unless you go back to its roots and employ diaphragm locking and undulations.
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