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Belly dancing: liberating or sleazy? | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

"In Europe I feel like a real star," says Egyptian belly dancer Randa Kamel. "But at home I am blamed for being some kind of prostitute." Randa is the top act of the first Dutch Belly Dancing Gala in Amsterdam. Her audience consists primarily of Western women who do not necessarily view belly dancing just entertainment for men.
The audience in the hall of the Amsterdam Krasnapolsky hotel gets excited when Randa Kamel appears on the stage. Her dance is erotic, but it is more than an ordinary male fantasy. It contains a particular mix of power and femininity that somehow seems to have got lost in the West.
Some of the visitors are of Arabic or Turkish origin, but the majority are Dutch women who practice belly dancing themselves. "In the past years, belly dancing has become very popular in the Netherlands," says organiser and belly dancing teacher Amira Ates. She thinks that women practice the dance primarily for themselves:

"Women love this way of dancing because it allows them to be themselves. The dance consists of natural, feminine movements. You do not have to act unnaturally or feel ashamed of your body."

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Dec 10th, 2009 at 02:40:49 PM EST
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