How to belly dance for your husband

Sonny Lester His Orchestra & Chorus – How To Belly-Dance For Your Husband (Vinyl)

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A2Fertile Desert2:49
A3The Unveiling3:27
A4Boom Boom2:37
A5Calcutta Rag2:16
A6Salome's Veil2:28
B1Daughter Of The Nile2:37
B2The Belly Dancer's Waltz2:47
B3The Dream2:34
B5Card Of Bagdad2:40
B6Queens Night Out2:30

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Being the Husband of a Belly Dancer. A husbands experiences.

Last Updated on January 23, 2022

Watching Egyptian musicians at an event

Learning to Appreciate Dance

How can someone who does not enjoy dancing enjoy watching dance so much?

I have never enjoyed dancing myself and yet throughout my life I have come across so many people saying that everyone can dance and the impression seems to be that everyone is expected to enjoy doing it.

I have found over the years that watching dance at every level can be rewarding and entertaining when you are watching people who have a passion for it.

The great thing about the belly dance community I have found in fact is that there is no pressure to join in, in that it is for the ladies who enjoy performing and for those who are happy to watch.

Men, of course, do belly dance but they are far and few between and I have not yet personally seen any in person (although Valeria has trained a few times with Khaled Mahmoud) and I have no plans to become a male belly dancer just yet.

I guess as a spectator of an event, someone who enjoys watching rugby or football but would not dream of playing these sports (as they may enjoy watching them but not playing them), experiences the same appreciation of the spectacle that I do at the dance events I get to go to.

I used to have so many people explain that they would help me to learn to like dance and yet my offer to teach them to play football in return has never been taken up.

I have always loved sport and when playing football the need for great balance and movement is perhaps shared with dance.

I would never try and drag Valeria onto the football pitch to play football and she never tries to drag me onto the dance floor.

Acting as Valeria’s personal photographer

Dance Shows and Highlights That We Have Seen In Person

Since meeting (and eventually marrying Valeria) over the last ten years, we have seen a quite diverse range of performances and some of the best shows we have been to for me have been the dance performances by the beginners and intermediate dancers because of the sense of community that exists at the shows. Some of the professional dance shows have though been well worth seeing and the list of events (professional and not) has included the:

  • Russian Bolshoi ballet – Excellent.
  • Cardiff University belly dance group.
  • Bellydance Superstars – a group whose performances include various types of belly dance fusion and a who put up good show.
  • The National dance Company of Wales.
  • Various shows at Sadler’s Wells in London.
  • Burlesque organised by Foo FooLaBelle.
  • Annual Flamenco Festival in Barcelona.
  • Dozens of amateur bellydance shows in Cardiff, Newcastle, Bristol, London and across the UK.
  • Lord of the Dance, an Irish dance group directed by Michael Flatley.
  • Matthew Bourne’s dance pieces.
  • Various contemporary dance performances in Cardiff.

The agreement many years ago as we sat in a bar in Seoul, Korea, where we were living at the time, was that Valeria would join me at a sports event for every art and dance performance I went to.

Several years later, an uncultured lad from Plymouth, Devon, has been to the ballet, opera, watched several classical concerts, been to tonnes of other dance shows, trudged through dozens of museums and art galleries.

Alas, Valeria has now been to an:

  • Rugby World Cup game
  • Spanish F1 Grand Prix
  • International cricket match
  • England Football games at the European Championships (in Lisbon)
  • Horse racing and visited a baseball game (both in Korea).
  • The list goes on. Certainly though the result has been a great range of experiences and I’m waiting for the next dance show.
A flamenco show we attended in Barcelona.

Egyptian Style

I do not consider myself an expert in any way on belly dance but I do prefer traditional Raqs Sharqi style rather than more modern fusion styles, tribal and other forms.

If anything, I think it is the music and the style that the traditional sharqi dance offers that most appeals to me.

Styles such as tribal fusion are still fun to watch but I love the movements that come through traditional Egyptian belly dance.

Even Turkish and Moroccan styles I realize now are really quite different and I like Egyptian style over any other styles (to watch and not to dance to of course)!

Can a Husband Help

I had an interesting discussion a few years ago with a feminist and during which I expressed that I am a feminist i.e. I strongly believe in women’s rights (I believe in fact in everyone’s rights though additionally) and the equal rights for all, but I was told I am not allowed to be a feminist because I’m male.

That debate aside, I love the independence I see belly dance gives women, the passion it instils in those who dance, and the power it gives them i.e. when dancing on stage, the power is firmly embodied in the dancer (I mention women as the majority of belly dancers I know are women but this point is valid for male performers too).

It is a power that is neither the panopticon (Foucault, 1991) (where one hidden person views the many) or the synopticon (Mathiesen, 2004) where the many view the minority and have the power.

The power is in the viewed dancer and with the belly dance community what makes it quite incredible is the way in which everyone supports everyone else.

Despite the various levels of dancers, the desire to improve always seems to be a healthy one i.e. supportive rather than competitive.

Driving Valeria to events

As a husband, I do everything I can to help.

From helping to guide Valeria through setting up this website, to driving her to events when I can, to sitting in the audience when I can, through to encouraging her to train as much as she wants to and helping to pay for her trips to Egypt (and next year Morocco).

If you love belly dance I would strongly recommend one of the holidays (see Valeria’s Egypt report) given the great pleasure I see it gives a dancer going on one of these trips.

Studying intensely for a week or so and immersing yourself in the culture, seems to really be worth the cost of these trips.

The one part of the show I do feel a little uncomfortable with is filming and photographing Valeria as she dances.

Valeria finds it invaluable to be able to watch her own performance back on video, to see afterwards how she can develop as a dancer i.e. what moves she most needs to work on, and also to see what she did well.

At some events though there are very few guys and sat there alone videoing the dance, I do sometimes feel out of place.

The truth is though that the events I have always been to have been great in that everyone is always really friendly.

One thing I have noticed though at some dance events (although normally non-belly dance shows) is that photography does become a problem.

At some events guys acting on behalf of the organizers have been stood in front of the stage with cameras flashing away to the point whereby even as a spectator, I was more focused on the flash going off every few seconds for a whole performance and not the dancer/s.

At a couple of events, the photographer has even partially blocked my view of the stage as they stand right in front of the stage.

I am curious to know how as a dance the photographing and videoing is or perhaps is not a problem.

As a dancer do you find that trying to capture the event is becoming at the expense of you as the performer and the performance as it happens live?

Would love to hear your comments below.

Paul and Valeria before a Portugal dance show.

What is it About Contemporary Dance?

We do go to other forms of dance sometimes, the most recent performance being in the Wales Millennium Centre to see the National Dance of Wales group.

‘Water Stories’ is a piece they are presently showcasing and certainly worth seeing and I personally found quite inspiring.

I have found though with so many contemporary dance performances that they seem to be based on the negative!

Such a high percentage of contemporary dance routines are very serious, with little smiling and with often sad background stories.

Is this negativity really so necessary in contemporary dance?

Or am I perhaps not really understanding what I see? When I see belly dancers on the other hand, I love the passion, the ability for dancers to smile and look as though they are enjoying themselves.

I find watching a performance so much more enjoyable when I sense that the dancer herself is having fun.

Even where a dance tells a story that reflects the society in which we live, surely there can be more positive elements to the routines?

I wonder if perhaps it is in its history and the foundations of belly dance in which the reasons for the positive attitude exist.

Hula dance and Brazilian samba are other dance forms I have seen live and it seems as though these forms of dance are impossible not to smile for, when trying.

Other dance styles such as tango and some forms of ballroom dancing on the other hand, seem so serious and perhaps once again, reflect the historical nature of these dances.

Tango with its connection to social struggle perhaps explains its serious nature and this is understandable.

Anyway, I look forward to seeing you all at future events and please do NOT ask me to dance. I am a great spectator but not a great dancer!

Written by Paul Symonds – the husband!


  • Foucault,M. (1991), Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (Penguin Social Sciences). Penguin; New Edition.
  • Mathiesen, T. (2004). Panopticon and synopticon as silencing systems. Silently silenced. Essays on the creation of acquiescence in modern society, 98-102.

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Dr Valeria Lo Iacono is a belly dancer and a dance researcher with a PhD in dance and heritage. Valeria also teaches and performs as a belly dance but also enjoys learning ballet, jazz dance and other dance genres.

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Belly dance as a form of seduction - Psychology of effective life

It so happened that I teach bellydance - belly dancing - in Germany. Among my acquaintances, only the lazy one did not joke about this topic: they say, the Russian teaches the Germans Arabic dances. Of course, not only German women come to classes. But it is they, according to my observations, that are distinguished by a special “woodiness”. And the lack of plasticity and oriental dances are incompatible concepts.

For a long time I tried to develop flexibility in the participants of the course by training the dance technique. But after several master classes dedicated to this, I noticed that it is much better to “rock” the girls with a story about what message each movement carries.

Having mastered the dance vocabulary, any, even a beginner dancer, is able to fill the dance with her own experience and emotions and tell a story that will not leave the audience indifferent. As a rule, these stories are about love and seduction. And the dance lexicon dedicated to this is the ABC of seduction. Anyone who reads this article can use it.

How belly dance appeared

Now it is difficult to judge the origins of belly dance. It incorporated the features of an ancient ritual dance dedicated to fertility and the birth of a new life, and a gypsy clockwork dance ghazi , which was once performed on the streets and squares. And finally, bellydance took shape in the form in which we know it, thanks to the French cabaret of the late 19th century.

It is to the traditions of cabaret that modern belly dance owes its splendor, brightness and total focus on men, or more precisely, on the fact that a man was enchanted, bewitched and almost died of delight.

For a long time it was believed that oriental belly dancing is nothing more than a private dance for a man. Partly it is. But only women who live in harems dance it first for themselves and for each other, and then for their dear husband. Considering that a man often has several wives, it is not so easy to win his attention and affection.

Judge for yourself: being naked is not customary - in the East, belly dance (for "their own", not for tourists) is danced in discreet gauze capes that hide arms to the hands, stomach, and sometimes half of the face. Aggressive "invitations" and outright flirting are condemned in every possible way.

And yet no one has succeeded in the art of seduction as much as Eastern women. All the apparent disadvantages of their position, they managed to turn into pluses.

Choose the right "drapery"

Take, for example, the ban on the naked female body. First, it has long been known that the number of clothes worn is not always inversely proportional to the degree of sexuality. A lady in a peignoir often looks much more interesting naked. Please note: Oriental beauties are almost always “draped” in translucent chiffon, through which the outlines of the figure are perfectly guessed.

The classical beginning of the dance: the dancer stands with her back to the viewer and holds a chiffon shawl in her raised and slightly laid back hands, through which her figure can be seen. Her body performs smooth wave-like movements.

The main rules of seduction in action - create a puzzle and leave room for the imagination . The figure of the dancer seems to be visible, but only partially - you have to think it out.

How can we transfer this principle to the realities of our life? Well, for example, take a closer look at the fabrics that “drape” the body - the same chiffon. If the clothes do not fit the figure, but only hint at its curves, understatement effect . And the man begins to involuntarily think about how to contrive and “finish” this story - to see what figure is hidden under the drapery.

Eye to eye

After the dance “riddle” with the shawl, the “riddle” usually follows the dancer turns to the viewer. In any turn of any dance, we turn our heads last - any instructor will teach this. And here is a curious question: where to look at the same time? Look for the viewer with a look and establish eye contact with him?

In general, you can do this, but bellydance dancers are slow to do this. They know: direct eye contact is the most aggressive form of flirting . It can be saved for the middle of the dance. And for starters, there is a little trick: follow with your eyes the part of the body that is currently performing the main movement. Behind the hips, for example, or behind the hand.

Everything is decided... manicure

Belly dance hands are a separate and very special story. Indeed, sometimes this is almost the only open part of the dancer's body (except for the eyes, of course). Therefore, with hands and fingers in bellydance, you can “pronounce” words and even whole sentences.

A simple example: you must have paid attention to the smooth circular movements of the hands with which the dancers accompany most of the dance figures. Like any circular movements, they can be performed in two directions - clockwise and against it, that is, towards you and away from you . The “literal” translation of the movement towards oneself is “come to me” . From myself, respectively - "away" .

The habit of caring for your hands is exactly what you can bring from the dance world into everyday life. I noticed that for many students, the key to soft, alluring brush movements is... manicures.

Maybe it's because of some inner picture that starts to take shape in the girl's head: I have beautiful and well-groomed hands, with which I make beautiful smooth movements. As soon as this internal picture appears in the head and the girl believes in it, the movements will start to turn out.

In addition to manicure, by the way, any external "helpers" work - for example, thick long hair. Anything that helps a girl feel truly irresistible will do.

Keep your back - and not only

The way we feel is greatly influenced by the way we carry ourselves. Yes, yes, we are talking about the notorious posture, which is extremely important not only in dance, but also in life. What is posture in belly dance? Straight back, shoulders laid back, chest “bulging” forward. And something else - a raised head, or rather, a raised chin.

Pay attention: even when looking down, the dancer never really lowers her head. This habit once came from royalty, and today it is used to emphasize: every woman is queen in her own way .

In order to train themselves to keep not only their backs straight, but also their heads, dancers from generation to generation train by placing, say, a stack of books on their heads. If books fall - a mistake is made, the girl lowered her head. By the way, this is a good exercise for anyone who wants to correct their posture. Try to dedicate at least 20 minutes a day to walking - or even dancing! - with a stack of books on his head. Checked - it works!

The main principle of seduction

In conclusion, I will tell you about the main principle of seduction, which permeates all oriental dances as a leitmotif. I myself comprehended it, starting to stage (and not just perform) choreography for performances.

Any sharp, fast and intense movement in the oriental dance is necessarily replaced by a slow and smooth one. Let's say shimmy (hip shaking) followed by eights (soft, rounded hip movements), hand sends "come to me" are replaced by sharper - "away" .

Often, both movements - soft and sharp - seem to collide in a dance: the dancer performs shimmy with her hips, and smoothly "entices" the audience with her hands. In this way the contrast effect is achieved, which, if we recall the history of the origin of the dance, serves its main purpose.

It not only generates attraction, but also makes it gradually increase, intensify. Subconsciously, any man, and indeed any person, reads all these “to me” - “away” perfectly without words. At first they confuse him, then gradually warm up his interest and eventually make him lust for a belly dancer.

For those two minutes that the dance lasts, she captures his attention completely, she is both his queen and goddess, and, as the sultans once wrote to their beautiful concubines, "the mistress of his heart. "

For a long time I thought that it was at least stupid to talk about such tricks of seduction to emancipated German women. But no: master classes on this topic are popular. However, their real goal is not to please a man, but rather to themselves.

Freud would say: make friends with your animus, the male image in our imagination. And I will say this - this is another way to gain self-confidence. And if my bellydance courses help someone with this, I'm only glad.


In pursuit of male attention, many women are often ready to go to any course - even belly dancing, even a master class in oral sex. That's just ... are sex training worth the time? Why go there at all and are they useful? Journalist Rebecca Holman conducted her own investigation:

Going to a master class is one thing, but putting what you have learned into practice is quite another.

Learn more