Male belly dancing

Belly dancing is almost always associated with lithe, scantily-dressed women vibrating their hips rapidly. Here are four Youtube videos that are real gender benders.

When I first saw them, it seemed rather odd to be seeing men rather than women doing it, but it grew on me, till it was possible to see past the gender and appreciate the art, even though it is a guy performing it.

In the first video, it’s done in the traditional style (He has a nice body). My first impression – the first few seconds –  was that this somehow looked strange, though I’m sure the problem lay with me, not the dancer:

A dancer from Turkey showing how it really is belly dancing, not trembling-hips dancing. Yup it got stranger…..

Ballerin Arabe. Nice choreography. Sexy body. At this point, my feeling was that it was nice, but exotic.

A modern/fusion dance by Amrit, that looks a bit like hiphop… and now, it’s beginning to look familiar:

Is this progression from strange to exotic to familiar, a natural one when we encounter new things? Like seeing men kissing?

No doubt, there is also a class of people who immediately think “disgusting” and never allow their opinion to change. In fact, they might not even get through the first video above. But is “disgusting” a reflection of the object — the men and their dancing — or a reflection of the viewers’ state of mind?

1 Response to “Male belly dancing”

  1. 1 GG 6 June 2009 at 06:32

    I didn’t know male belly-dancing existed, thanks for the introduction. The first video was, to me, quite sensual. As a gay person, I am surprised that I am put off by the seemingly ‘effeminate’ assertions the way his body moves at times.

    Its our conditioning, from sources like typical homophobic Singapore style, Western influenced macho-stereotyping, that I can think of for now. It could also be a bit of self-loathing.
    But thank god, Turks have proven themselves to be quite vicious and successful at war and conquests, and its nice to know they are able to embrace their hips and hands to defy presumptions as well.

    The guy in the first video is actually quite hot, with that muscular upper body.

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