The Art of Belly Dance
Belly Dancing is both a
celebration of the female spirit & a
physical display of the strength & beauty of women. Its roots can be
traced back to the rituals of past matriarchal cultures & to the secular
that evolved as the gypsies traveled through India, Central Asia,
the Middle East, North Africa and Spain. It also invokes The Goddess
brings out of everyone who moves in her divine rhythmus a powerful
force of healing & empowerment.
Bellydance Videos, CD's & DVD's
Those new to the world of bellydancing may
quickly get confused about some of the words & terms used in this genre. Below
are some commonly used words & terms:
Beledi. (Pronounced "BELL uh dee".) Alternate
spellings include Baladi, Beledy, and Balady. Most often, the word is used for
a wonderful musical rhythm/beat.
Choli. (Pronounced "CHOH lee".) This is the
bare-midriff, fitted blouse worn under saris by women in India and as part of
some bellydancing costumes. You are more likely to see choli's worn by the
American Tribal bellydancers.
Def. (Pronounced "def".) This is a Middle Eastern
frame drum which looks like a large tambourine.
Dumbek. (Pronounced "DOOM bek".) This is the
hourglass-shaped Arabic drum. May also be spelled Dumbec, Doumbek, Doumbec, or
Darbuka. Traditionally, dumbeks are ceramic, with the head made of either
goatskin or fish skin (more difficult to tune as well but sound beautiful!).
Today, many dumbeks have synthetic heads (mylar), and the drum body may be
made of metal. Many players prefer the metal bodies when traveling. They have
a great sound & are alot easier to tune & replace the head should it get
damaged or tear.
Hafla. (Pronounced "HAHF lah".) This basically refers
to a party. Most hafla's are belly dance festivals with vendors, food and
several stage performances. Talk about FUN!
Mizmar. (Pronounced "MIZZ mar".) This musical
instrument, which resembles a Zurna, produces a loud, blaring sound. It is a
member of the oboe family of musical instruments. Sounds wonderful when played
Ney. (Pronounced "nay".) Sometimes spelled Nay, this
is a traditional instrument used in Turkish and Arabic folk music that
resembles a flute both in appearance and sound.
Oud. (Pronounced "ood" as in "food") Sometimes
spelled Ud. This is a musical instrument commonly used in Arabic, Turkish, and
Armenian music. This stringed instrument is played/held like a guitar.
Rakkasah. This Arabic word means, "the female
dancer". This is also the name of a very famous and popular annual belly dance
festival that is held in California, in the month of March.
Raks. (Pronounced "rocks".) This is the Arabic word
for "the act of dancing", and is sometimes spelled
Raqs. It usually appears combined with another word that defines what type of
dance. Raks Al Asaya, for example, means "cane dance".
Raks Sharki. (Pronounced "rocks SHARK-ee".) Also
sometimes spelled Raqs Sharqi. In Arabic, this means "dance of the East", and
refers to cabaret-style belly dance as it is performed in nightclubs in Egypt,
Lebanon, and other Arabic countries.
Sagat. (Pronouced "suh GOT".) This is the Arabic name
for finger cymbals. Sometimes spelled Zagat.
Shimmy. A movement that resembles "shivering".
Usually isolated to the hips & shoulders. A very invigorating move to
do....and impressive when sustained!
Taqsim. (Pronounced "tock SEEM".) You may also see it
spelled Taksim, Taxsim, Taxim, or Takasim. It is an Arabic word which means
"division", and refers to the section of music where a specific instrument is
playing a solo. This is usually a rather slow & dramatic part of a dance.
Zaghareet. (Pronounced "zah guh REET".) The zaghareet
is a high-pitched "yell", making a distinct sound you will always recognize.
Within the bellydancing community, it is an expression of approval for
whatever the dancer/dancers are doing at the time.
Zills. (Pronounced "ZILLS".) Sometimes spelled Zils.
This is the Turkish name for finger cymbals
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