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Learn Belly Dancing in Cairo

Listed under Arts, Crafts & Cookery in Cairo, Egypt.

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Better known in the UK as belly dancing, raqs sharqi literally translates as ‘Eastern dance’, and far from being simply an expression of feminine sexuality as it is often seen in the West, it can in fact be performed by members of both sexes, and at social gatherings by children and adults alike where it is part of the traditional, local culture.

Originating in the Middle East, Asia and North Africa, it is possibly the oldest ‘folk’ dance form in recorded history, and it is precisely this at once conflicting and complementary mixture of cultures that endows it with its appeal. Elements of Romany, Indian, Egyptian and Greek dance and music merge within the style, and it has been variously described as devotional religious, social and courtship art.

However we interpret its roots, the romance of Orientalism and the mystery of the ‘East’ are embodied within it, and it is a method of vibrant, powerful emotional expression. For modern dance enthusiasts, most particularly beginners, it holds even greater appeal because of the grace, poise and good posture that develops naturally in the performer as the techniques of muscle control, the tricks of constantly graceful movements and the discipline of proper mannerisms begin to have their effect – in other words, it’s a wonderful way to work out without even noticing!

There are hundreds of good belly dancing classes available but for something a little different, try a course in Cairo. The Raqs Sharqi Society provides a good list of options, including a week’s residential dance workshop in a Moorish-inspired Cairo hotel by the Nile. As well as six days of dance classes, available for all ability levels and accompanied by traditional Cairene musicians, there will be time for excursions to the nearby historical sites and museums, and trips to watch traditional Sharqi and urban Baladi dance at local venues.

Belly Dancing class options.

Written by  larapiegeler.

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