Sacred Birthing Ritual
A woman's dance
Societal changes and
changes made the
lose its sacred
become a social
The basic posture for belly dance, with the knees slightly
bent, the pelvis tucked under, and the heart lifted, is
excellent for counteracting many of the common
discomforts associated with the physical changes to her
body which a woman experiences during pregnancy,
especially in the last trimester as she approaches her
The hip and torso movements provide exercise to all the
muscles of the abdomen and the muscles of the pelvic
floor involved in birthing in terms of both strengthening
and improving flexibility.
As the labor progresses to the active phase, and
contractions become stronger, the woman goes deeper
into herself. An emotional turning inward which
resembles the mood of the chiftitelli, the slower
movements of a typical 5-part belly dance routine, is
observed here. Floorwork, dancing on the floor, is often
employed during the chiftitelli, and illustrates many of
the positions women assume when actually giving birth.
In ancient birthing traditions, a shallow depression would
have been dug into the earth to receive the baby, and
the birthing woman would lower herself to the floor and
position herself in such a way as to gently release the
baby into this hollow.
The Middle East
Although Belly Dance has its roots as a sacred
birthing ritual, it has gained much popularity as
form of exercise and fitness.
Belly Dance is performed in male clubs,
cabarets, in the Middle East.
Belly Dance is performed by mostly women in
a tribal form of group dance
Men and women have segregated
celebrations. Men dance with men and women
with women both in different rooms.
CLICK ON THE PICTURES ABOVE TO
SEE AN EXAMPLE OF MALE AND
FEMALE BELLY DANCE STYLES