Gypsy Dancer

From The Good Life May 2005

BellyDance and the journey of the gypsy dancer.

Gypsies first emerged from India about 1,000AD, first in the Middle East then around 1,400AD to Europe, where they claimed to have come from a country called 'Little Egypt'.   The word gypsy is a shortened form of Egyptian.

Roaming and free the gypsies celebrated life's experiences through their music and dance.   Their rich and expressive dancing embellished by artistic form and graceful hand and arm movements greatly influenced local dance styles wherever they travelled.

Like Chawazee Dancers of Egypt and many of the hundreds of other tribal dance forms, there and throughout the Middle East, there existed a long tradition of free form dancing, driven by mesmerising drum rhythms at the heart of their music.

These ancient dances of ritual, spiritual, fertility and celebrative essence and the gypsies expression of vibrancy, freedom and allure intertwined over time to give birth to the intoxicating, captivating 'BellyDance' styles (a western term) we see today.   The one thing certain about BellyDance now as then is change.

Every dancer connects to the dance in a different way.   There is therefore no 'pure' BellyDance' style, simply millions of women around the world enjoying participating in the wonderful evolution of its art and soul.   A teacher of BellyDance takes her vision of the dance, no doubt influenced by many other dancers and expands it into the community - and the journey goes on.   A sincere and dedicated dancer soon discovers the ancient echoes of the temple priestess and harem dancers, of Bedouin young girls dancing around a campfire or glamorous veiled cabaret performers 'alive' in her dance.   "For me, the dance that emerged out of Egypt which contains the earliest influence of the gypsies has unequalled feeling of free spirit and self expression.   I therefore honour my Egyptian teachers and continue the journey of the gypsy dancer.   BellyDance is for all women.   Dance for life.   The Goddess lives".
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