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The Top 10 Types of Belly Dances Across the World

Belly dancing is an enchanting and expressive dance form that is said to have originated in the middle east and surrounding regions like Egypt and Turkey.

Over the years, it has evolved and spread to various parts of the world, giving rise to different styles and variations.

Each style showcases its unique characteristics, music, and cultural influences. In this article, we will explore the top 10 types of belly dances across the world, showcasing the diversity and beauty of this captivating art form.

1. Egyptian Raqs Sharqi

Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, also known as Oriental dance, is one of the most well-known and widely practiced belly dance styles. It originated in Egypt and is characterized by graceful movements, intricate hip articulations, and vibrant costumes.

Egyptian belly dancers often incorporate props like veils, canes, and finger cymbals (zills) into their performances, adding flair and excitement.


2. Turkish Oryantal

Turkish Oryantal, also called Turkish belly dance, is a dynamic and energetic style that fuses elements of traditional folk dances with Middle Eastern movements. It emphasizes intricate footwork, fast spins, and powerful hip isolations.

Turkish belly dancers often wear colorful, sequined costumes and perform with a lot of energy, captivating audiences with their lively performances.

Belly Dance Didem

3. Lebanese Raqs Sharqi

Lebanese Raqs Sharqi is a style of belly dance that emerged in Lebanon. It combines elements of Egyptian and Turkish belly dance styles, creating a unique blend of movements.

Lebanese belly dancers are known for their elegant and fluid movements, which incorporate graceful arm and hand gestures. The dance is often accompanied by traditional Arabic music, creating a sensual and captivating performance.

Jasirah – Batwanis Beek by Warda

4. American Tribal Style (ATS)

American Tribal Style (ATS) belly dance is a modern fusion style that originated in the United States. It draws inspiration from various traditional dances, including Middle Eastern, North African, and Indian.

ATS dancers perform in groups, using improvisation and synchronized movements. The style emphasizes strong, earthy movements and intricate formations, often adorned with elaborate costumes and tribal jewelry.

American Tribal Style (ATS) by Sirin Tribe, December 2016

5. Tribal Fusion

Tribal Fusion is another contemporary style of belly dance that blends elements of traditional belly dance with modern dance forms, such as hip-hop, flamenco, and contemporary ballet. It encourages creativity and individual expression, allowing dancers to experiment with various movements, music, and costuming.

Tribal Fusion dancers often incorporate props, tattoos, and piercings into their performances, creating a unique and edgy aesthetic.

Habibi Lal, КИРА ЛЕБЕДЕВА, Украина | TRIBAL BEAT FEST 2016

6. Flamenco Oriental

Flamenco Oriental, also known as Gypsy Oriental or Spanish Oriental, combines the passion and intensity of flamenco dance with the sensuality and fluidity of belly dance. This fusion style originated in Spain and has gained popularity worldwide.

Flamenco Oriental dancers exhibit powerful footwork, dramatic arm movements, and emotional expressions. The fusion of Spanish and Middle Eastern elements creates a captivating and fiery performance.

Samantha Diaz – Oriental Flamenco (Dalida)

7. Khaleeji

Khaleeji dance originated in the Arabian Gulf countries, particularly in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia. It is a joyful and celebratory dance form performed at weddings and special occasions.

Khaleeji dance focuses on intricate hand movements, shoulder shimmies, and playful hip rotations. Dancers often wear colorful, embroidered dresses called “thobes” and elaborate headpieces. The dance exudes elegance and grace while showcasing the cultural heritage of the Gulf region.

Khaleeji – Stephanie Bellydance – Oriental Romance 2020 – Brussels

8. Persian Dance

Persian dance, also known as Iranian dance, is a traditional dance form from Iran. It is characterized by graceful and delicate movements, emphasizing arm and hand gestures.

Persian dancers often wear flowing, brightly colored costumes and perform to classical Persian music. The dance reflects the rich cultural heritage of Iran and expresses emotions and storytelling through elegant movements.

Bandari – Persian music belly dance choreography by Haleh Adhami – Hele Mali

9. Bollywood Belly Dance

Bollywood Belly Dance is a fusion style that combines belly dance movements with the vibrant and energetic dance style of Bollywood. It emerged in India and has become popular globally due to its lively and entertaining performances.

Bollywood belly dancers incorporate Bollywood-inspired choreography, expressions, and costumes while infusing belly dance techniques. The result is a dynamic and visually stunning dance form that merges two vibrant cultures.

DILBAR Full Song | Nora Fatehi

10. Tribal Belly Dance

Tribal Belly Dance, also known as American Tribal Style (ATS) or Tribal Fusion, is a style that emphasizes group improvisation and collaboration. Dancers perform synchronized movements while incorporating cues and gestures to create a seamless performance.

Tribal belly dance costumes often feature ornate tribal jewelry, coins, and textiles inspired by various cultures. The dance style fosters a sense of community and sisterhood among dancers, promoting inclusivity and creative exploration.

Yana Kremneva (Kremushka)

Belly dancing encompasses a wide range of styles and variations that have captivated audiences across the globe. Whether it’s the elegance of Egyptian Raqs Sharqi, the dynamic energy of Turkish Oryantal, or the fusion styles like Tribal Fusion and Bollywood Belly Dance, each type of belly dance offers a unique artistic expression. Exploring these diverse styles allows us to appreciate the rich cultural heritage and creativity that belly dance brings to the world stage.

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