A California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal:
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belly dancing

by Annette Federico

Belly dancing is the oldest form of dance, dating back thousands of years, although it has only been known in our country since the late 19th century. The solo form, or Cabaret style (also known as American Cabaret Style), has its roots in the 40’s and 50’s casinos and supper clubs on the banks of the Nile River. Egyptian belly dancing stars, such as Badiaa Masaabni, Samya Gamal, Tahiya Karioka and Naima Akef’s talents spread to American shores via Egyptian movie musicals that sought to mimic popular Hollywood films.


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