Belly dancing is an immensely popular dance form, which had its origin in the Middle East. Though it is going to be exciting to know that the dance derived its name from the French term “danse du ventre” and it has its history drawn back to the Victorian age. It is also said that the dance form has originated from the Ouled Nail which is more like a tribal dance and also needed the movement of the abdomen.
That is how it came to be known as belly dancing. So we see that one of the major characteristics of the dance form is the amazing way in the movement of the torso. Let us now focus on some of the most amazing belly dancers who are not only magnificent but also awe in their own right.
10. Shafiqa Al-Qibtiyya
The Belly-dancers from Egypt was supposed to be one of the students from the first Shoor in Egypt. She was born in the year 1851 and it is very interesting to know that she has run away from home when she was just 12. With an eye to become a dancer, she became one of the finest dancers of Egypt. After her marvellous performance in the folk festival and there was no turning back for her. It is said when she performed her fans used to throw pure Egyptian gold coins. According to the report, she used to wear a shoe which had its heel made out of gold. It is also said she has become even more popular after she started dancing in the nightclub El -Dorado.
9. Hekmet Fahmy
Hekmet Fahmy who was born in the year 1907 and had always dreamt of becoming an actress in the theater. She started her career in the theater of Ali El Kassar. Later in the year 1927, she left the group and started working in the Badia Masabni’s sala. She also became popular in the Mary Mansour’s sala, and it is said that people used to visit just because of her. Very soon she became one of the well-known dancers in Cairo. Soon she started becoming popular in the higher and the richer segment of the society. However, the most interesting fact is that she got involved in the espionage and it is said that she worked for the Germans. Later she was sent to the imprisonment for a period of five years.
8. Naima Akef
Naima Akef was born in the year 1929 on the 7th of October, in Tanta which was very near to the valley of Nile and had been well acclaimed for her skill in belly-dancing. It is believed that she has inherited the craft of belly-dancing from her parents, who had been working as acrobats in Akef Circus. This circus was considered to be the best at that time. She became very popular at quite an early age of four. When the circus shut down she was fourteen then and started her career as a professional dancer. Badia Masabni’s nightclub was her next step and she was very popular there also. She had worked at the Kit Kat club where she got a chance to be introduced to the film director Abbas Kemal and started her career in the films.
7. Badia Masabni
Badia Masabni was a fine and graceful dancer. She was born in the year 1892 in Lebanon. Apart from her being a fine dancer with the awesome style, she soon became the queen of belly-dancing. Later in the year 1920, she moved to Egypt for certain reasons. She had got innumerable admirers in the sophisticated and elite society. She had introduced different forms in belly-dancing and it swayed with the traditional form with a tinge of the western art also.
6. Tahia Carioca
Tahia Carioca was born in the year 1920 and it is believed that she comes from the Golden Age of the belly dancers in Egypt. As known, she was born in Ismaileya, Egypt. However, she was another one to run away from home to Cairo because of the commotion with her family. Later she became a coveted dancer and joined the group of Badiaa Masabni. She remained in the group, however, she joined the film industry and she successfully completed near about 150 films. Her dancing form was a bit different from others because of the fact that she had trained herself in the oriental form of dance and ballet. She retired in the year 1952.
5. Samia Gamal
Born in the year of 1924 in Egypt, she too started off her career from the group of Badiaa Masabni. She got her training in both the ballet and also in the contemporary dance form. She was a graceful dancer and she is always remembered in the way she played with her veil and the extraordinary movement of both the torso and the hands and this made her look even more elegant than other dancers of her time. As it always happens, she moved to the film industry and became well known after the film Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves in the year 1954. She went on to have a love affair with the singer and composer from Lebanon, Farid el-Atrash, who ultimately did not marry her. However, she is still and will always be remembered with her perfect swaying movement.
Amani hailed from Lebanon and she has never liked that. However, she had to continue with her schooling just like others. It is said that she was a born dancer. She kept it flaming in herself and practiced in her room for hours, whenever she had time. Oriental dance form was as if running in her blood and she practiced in front of the mirror. This paid her off and soon she set the stage on fire and her dream got fulfilled and she justified her name Amani which also meant “as a wish” in English and she continued to charm her fans and followers. Later she drifted in the acting field and was even successful there. This is more like a holistic approach she had in her career.
3. Rachel Brice
She is truly an amazing lady and certainly sets the heart throb faster with the skill to make a fusion which includes the tribal, and also some part of other oriental dance form and gives the best to her audience. She performs in the Tribal Fusion Style Belly Dance situated in Portland. She is taking part in many of the Belly-dancing competitions and she is successfully conducting her own institution where she teaches the belly-dancing class in Studio Datura. It is justified when someone calls her awe and she is as graceful as ever. She conducts World tours and Brice led all from Australia, Europe, Asia and the United States. Talking about her and her style would actually continue, she being the darling of fans.
2. Amelia Zidane
Amelia Zidane born in Grenoble France and despite her family opposition, she joined theater and dance. To everyone’s surprise, besides being a children psychologist, she could not be away from her passion for dance. She during her performance got noticed by Jacques Boni and this helped her to move ahead in her career. By this time she got a thorough lesson on Hip Hop and also belly-dancing and other forms of the oriental dance form and formed a fusion with all forms and surprised her admirers and other spectators. She choreographs her own numbers and takes her troupe over various programs all over the world.
1. Alla Kushnir
With a smiling disposition, she is one of the greatest in this genre and sometimes she is even termed as one, who goes crazy whenever she steps into the stage. She happens to be the most versatile of all the contemporary belly-dancers now. She got her lesson from the world famous dance trainer Tarik Sultan apart from the Mahmoud Reda, who hails from Egypt. She is just a darling of the crowd and with her agile nature, she is still what she is by her own right. Her smile is all set to take the million of hearts and becomes a fantasy for all her fans. He has been nominated and became the Miss Belly dance of Europe 2008 in Berlin and also the Ukrainian champion in the year 2007 and 2008. It would not be wrong if we see her as an institution in herself.
Belly-dancing is certainly the most appealing dance form and is undoubtedly quite a marvellous display over the muscles of the body along with the calculated usage of the art of breathing in and out and taking all the spectators at awe. Splendid is the art of Belly-dancing.