The Belly Dance Reader

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About the author: is an online resource in magazine format that seeks to become a freely available library of knowledge supported by and for our Middle Eastern music and dance community. Our goal is to become the Journal of Record for this community. Online we include articles ranging from historical research to up-to-the-minute news, reflecting a full spectrum of viewpoints. This is our first book, written and edited by our community. Lynette Harris is the principal editor and publisher of - an all volunteer organization that encourages the inclusion and tolerance of all those who wish to participate. Together, we can promote our identity and pride by sharing the resources and ideas, concepts, history of dance, and the rich music and culture of the Middle East. We thank you for helping to support our goals by purchasing this book! Please also visit us online at

The Belly Dance Reader

Authored by Lynette Harris

The Belly Dance Reader is an anthology of essays from many of the leaders in our Middle Eastern music and dance community. The contributors range from PhD scholars to hobbyists. This book is illustrated with hundreds of photos and artwork from current to vintage, including various sub-styles of the dance, gathered from around the world. Subjects covered include: An introduction, dancing at various ages and stages, history, costuming and appearance, regional and sub styles of the dance, theory and technique, as well as valuable resources such as Arabic scales and rhythms, glossary, maps and more.

Belly Dance Reader Contents

Section 1 - An Introduction
* Gamar a poem by Beatrice Parvin of the UK
* Welcome to Bellydance by Najia
* Belly Dance and Contemporary Dance Studies by Barbara Sellers-Young PhD
* Reading Like a Researcher, Can You Trust Your Sources? by Mahsati
* Orientalism, Zumarrad's Completely Non-scholarly Quick & Dirty Guide by Brigid Kelly
* The Soul of Belly Dance, The Most Importatnt Thing is the Feeling by Alia Thabit

Section 2-Dancing Through the Stages of Your Life
* Teaching Children to Dance, Joys and Pitfalls by Martha Duran
* A Dancer's Journey, From Beginner to Semi-Pro by Elianae Stone
* The Teacher-Student Relationship, A Psychological Point of View by Izzah Isabelle Gagnon PhD
* Bellydance Class... or Cult? Artwork by Leela Corman
* Turning Pro, From Hobbyist to Star to Teacher by Lauren and Jillina
* Boomerang Career, Life and Dance in the Land Down-Under (Pro to Teacher/Hobbyist) by Amera of Australia
* It Ain't Easy being the Crone by Shelley Muzzy

Section 3-History
* "Harem Girls", Dance in Historical Harems, Early 1700s - Early 1900s by Andrea Deagon PhD
* The American Belly Dancer in Early Burlesque and Vaudeville Theatre by Catherine Mary Scheelar (married name here)
* Belly Dance as a Performance, Historical Phenomenon or Logical Evolution? by Iana Komarnytska
* Dancer Trading Cards- Artwork by Leela Corman, Stats by Sausan
Section 4-Biz
* What a Band Needs, But Doesn't Always Get by Denise Mannion of Pangia
* Dancing with Live Bands, The Little Book of Etiquette by Leyla Lanty
* Selling your Dance, A Series of Elevator Pitches by Athena
* Marketing Belly Dance for Fitness, Is It A Good Idea? by Mayada
* Tip O' the Hat to Tipping, Practices of Appreciation by Samira Sharuk

Section 5-Costume & Appearance
* Raqqin the Retro, Vintage Costume Care by Princess Farhana
* Omani Jewelry from the Collection of Nancy Hernandez Photography by Alisha Westerfeld
* Practice Makes Perfection, Make up Artists Share Their Secrets by Davina ~ Dawn Devine
* A Costume Gallery

Section 6- Regional Styles
* Beyond Sequins, Meaning in the Movement by Yasmina Ramzy
* The Rom, Nomads of the Spirit by Sierra (Sadira) Suraci
* Romani (Gypsy) History An Introduction by Renee Rothman
* The Zar, Dancing with Genies by Yasmin Hekesh
* In Search of Zambra Mora by Dondi Dahlin
* Improvisational Tribal Style, Constructing Self and Community by April Rose
* The Ghawazi by Jalilah
* Two Weddings and a Dancer, The Beledi and The City by Leila Farid
* Zeffat Al 'Aroosa, Ritual Procession for the Egyptian Wedding by Sahra Carolee Kent
Section 7-Theory & Technique
* Belly Dance Motivations, Context and Content of Performance by Jezibell Anat
* Contextualizing, Giving Your Dance Context! by DaVid of Scandinavia
* Performance Enhancement by Mahsati
* How to Balance Anything! by Stasha Vlasuk
* Improvising with Ease, Strategies that Work by Anthea Kawakib Poole
* Shimmylab, Muscular Activation Patterns in Belly Dance by Venus Marilee Nugent
* Are the Stars Out Tonight? Fitting Music & Dance to Your Gig by Najia

The Backside
* Maps- Sahra's Regional Dances of Egypt, The Mid East, Mediterranean, and North Africa
* A Few Maqamat and Rhythms
* References, A Bibliography Project, Bonus Material, Disclaimers, Errata
* Gig Form
* A Glossary of Common Belly Dance Terms
* Contributors Bios
* Photo Credits
* Late Additions photos

Publication Date:
0615735592 / 9780615735597
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
8.5" x 11"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Performing Arts / Dance / General

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