Hi, I'm Bridget Poulter and welcome to my Egyptian dance website.

Egyptian dance - sometimes termed Raqs Sharqi (oriental dance) - is often called by the more familar name of bellydance. Yet movements involve more than the belly. This term derives from 'danse du ventre': a phrase coined by 19th century French travellers to describe the intricate torso and hip movements which were just not possible for corseted ladies in the West. It may also be a transliteration of the word 'baladi' which means 'of the country' in Arabic.

Today, 'bellydance' usually refers to the cabaret form with dancers dressed in a beaded 'bedlah' and maybe a bare midriff. The differences between these styles are subtle - the most obvious being that, with traditional-style dance, we are more covered up.

Both forms share the same heritage and it's really only since the Egyptian film hey-day with its Hollywood ideas of glamour that this divergence occurred.

Click on the menu to find out more about the background to the dance, my classes, and details on dance events and performances.

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