Everyone has an opinion or definition of what makes belly dancing romantic. But then again, many people have different notions of what defines romantic. Depending on your lifestyle and experiences everyone will view this dance from their personal perspective and indoctrination.
Some people have a romantic or sexy notion of belly dancing. Surprise, this dance never started out in that manner; strip teasing did. But these two dances have nothing to do with each other.
Origination of belly dancing
In the classroom many of us have been told that this dance originated with its application for women in labor. Young girls started dancing at a very early age to start preparing their bodies for the birthing process. It is not known if the girls and women were aware of these exercises in the form of dance being designed for this purpose, but none the less it was done and continued so for many generations.
Bear in mind that we are talking thousands of years ago. It was said that a hole was dug in the ground and it was used during the birthing process. The mother-to-be was instructed to manipulate her abdominal muscles and to control specific muscle movements during contractions to ease the birthing process.
During labor the surrounding women supported her with chanting and dancing to assist in the delivery of a child.
Nowadays, if you invited a troupe of Middle Eastern Dancers to assist with a belly dancer having her child in a modern hospital labor room; it would never be considered. However, I have heard of belly dancers who have had their music played during the delivery process. These women admitted that taking lessons had strengthened many muscles which are used in the delivery process. They also admitted that listening to their music during the actual delivery made an improved difference in their labor experience.
Origination of strip teasing
Are you curious about how strip teasing started? I have been told that it originated with a housewife who wanted to entertain her husband. Wives of families with low incomes were inspired by this woman and they too also entertained their husbands by removing their under garments to music.
A man heard of this practice and using his entrepreneurial spirit advanced this idea and vaudeville was born. I can’t confirm that this story is true. Costumes were used rather than everyday under garments.
Belly dancing Evolves
From the birthing process belly dancing migrated to private parties, then to public night clubs. With the passing of each generation and its introduction to other countries this performing art has evolved according to how people see it. In today’s world in the United States this dance can be viewed as family entertainment or as adult entertainment.