Oriental vs. Folkloric

Aisha Azar

New member

Dear Miamidancer,
Orientale or Sharghi are words that mean belly dance, while folkloric is not belly dance.
Folkloric denotes the folk dances from the various countries of the Middle east/ North Africa and they are separate from each other and from belly dance. However, you do see some of those folkloric movements in belly dance, because some of the folk dances are the mother dances of belly dance in the countries of origin.


New member
I believe "oriental" is a fairly generic and vague term left over from colonialist days that covers dance associated with Middle Eastern countries, Turkey, Armenia, etc.

"Folkloric" refers to a style that is more like that which was/is performed in the traditional fashion by ordinary folks for their own amusement.

Tarik Sultan

New member
Oriental Dance, (Raks Sharqi), is the Middle Eastern performance dance done in nightclubs and on stage that we call belly dance. There is not any one folk dance. Folk dances are the social dances done by the ordinary people in their communities. There are hundreds of them. Each community in each country has its own specific folk dances. The movement vocabulary of Oriental dance is based largely on one of the folk dances in Egypt and the Middle East, Raks Baladi.