Why «Oriental» instead of Belly?

fritz scholder
Fritz Scholder

Why I use Oriental instead of Belly Dancing when I refer to my lessons?


Reason 1

What in western countries is know as “Belly dance”, is called originally “Raqs sharki” in Arabic language.
رقص شرقى
Raqs is dance. Sharki is Eastern or oriental. Then the arabic people call it Oriental dance.

Reason 2

Moreover I want to to radically differentiate from the belly dance style that is show-oriented, a bit diva and superstar type with fancy and colorful clothes (sorry the photo is too extreem I definetely do not aim to offend anybody)

I have nothing against this kind of belly dance but I simply feel more connected with the more ancient way of dance, simple and more intimate.

So oriental dance as I understand it and as I approach it,  focuses a bit deeper trying to find the inner source of movement.
What Mary Whitehouse one of the pioneers in Dance Therapy used to say:

Movement, to be experienced, has to be “found” in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat. There is that in us which has moved from the very beginning. It is that which can liberate us.

Mary Whitehouse, Founder of Authentic Movement

Therefore in the lessons we do not focus in copying choreographies and performing , but in finding our inner resource to be able to create the movement by ourselves.

That is why I call it Oriental Dance.