The Unique Forms of Egyptian Belly Dancing

One of the oldest styles of dance comes from Egypt where specially trained women danced as bodies were wrapped for placing in tombs. Today, that style of dance has evolved to become the Egyptian belly dance. While most people group all Egyptian Belly dancing together comparing them to a stripper, there are several different forms.


Originating when the people started moving from the country into Cairo, this Egyptian belly dance is traditionally performed by groups of women at weddings with those attending often joining in the fun. It is often performed to earthy accordion or saxophone music. Often the music involves a question and answer format that is also reflected in the music.


Belly dancers in Upper Egypt often use a cane while dancing. The stick is usually welded like a martial arts weapon as two men or two women dance together. Percussion instruments are very instrumental in saidi music along with a precursor of the violin and a whiney horn. The instruments usually play a very strong 4/4 beat while the dancers are performing.

Melaya Leff

One of the most traditional dances in Egypt still performed today is the melaya leff. Women move a shawl in a rhythmic pattern throughout this dance as they play a hide and seek type game. The shawl is flirtatiously slipped on and off several times during the dance. Traditionally, women dance to this music while wearing high heels and a knee-length modest dress with a rounded neckline.

While none of these dances show the belly, they each are very flirtatious. They were developed by people who wanted to dance when they were happy. When you need to increase the happiness level in your own life, then try dancing them for yourself.