Women Span Personal to Political in an Israeli Belly Dance Setting

Ephrat Huss, Karen Bond

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The World Dance Heritage Research Center calls belly dance a global phenomenon. This study highlights meanings of belly dancing in a multi-generational, inter-cultural group of women citizens of the state of Israel. Twenty-two women, ages 25–60, participated in a 6-week series of once-weekly, 90 min belly dancing sessions run by the Women’s Forum at Ben Gurion University (BGU). This chapter revisits original qualitative data to advance a “site specific” personal-to-political analysis in dialogue with the growing body of literature on belly dance’s global status as a mode of “empowerment” across genders. Aligning with historical and contemporary literature on the functions and effects of belly dance for women, participants in the study describe experiences that move beyond belly dance’s recreational and commercial value, touching on areas of subjective knowing (bodily-affective experiences, memories of childhood), intersubjective and intercultural meanings, and political agency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDance and the Quality of Life
EditorsKaren Bond
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-95699-2
StatePublished - 2019


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