When I met the dance it was still relatively unknown in Denmark. The first years I kept quiet about this activity. When I finally told about it I was met with wry smiles, suggestive glances and remarks about “Arabian striptease”. I see this reaction as a symptom of lacking knowledge. To change this I arrange the annual ORIENTAL DANCE FESTIVAL Denmark sinde 1994 – and I still do.
To me the dance is art. When performed right it is an expression of the utmost beauty. It is the essence of femininity and joie de vivre. It is important to me that the audience focuses on my DANCE and not only my body. Of cause I know that (men) use the first seconds to study my body and the (women) my costume. But hereafter it is my aim to open the audience eyes to my dance as art.
Now and again I hear the dance referred to as a "sport". To me, this indicates a lack of insight - or maybe even lack of respect - toward the ancient tradition and culture from which this dance derives. Who would ever refer to ballet as a sport…
When I look around the internet I find a lot of various interpretations of the history of belly dance. An intangible thing like dance is very difficult to substantiate historically and a lot of the literature about this topic is incomplete. Maybe the “truth” is the simple one that belly dance has not ONE history but various historical courses in different parts of the large area in which the dance is practised.
Instead of composing one more short and fast cyber version I will refer to the innumerable other contributes.