Bellydance by Amartia, what exactly is Greek Belly Dance? Is Greek Belly Dance its own style or it is closer to Turkish? What movements are specific to Greek Belly Dance? All of these are questions that I get asked a lot. For someone that grew up with it, it is a very difficult to answer. So, to get the best, most accurate answer, I decided to ask my Mom (Yes, this is the Greek Mom Bonus Review Mom).
Me: Mom, what is Greek Bellydance?
Mom: There is no Greek Belly dance, there is tsifteteli.
Me: Mom, that’s considered bellydance.
Mom: Well that’s fine but I call it tsifteteli, not bellydance.
Me: What movements are Greek?
Mom: Hands, Chest, Figure 8s, (she demonstrates, I tell her what it is), turns and mostly upper body movement. And that thing your cousin does.
Me: What thing? (Mom does it) OH you mean shoulder shimmy.
Mom: Yes and also head movements. Sometimes you will see people just move their heads. Everything SLOW not fast. Like the bouzouki.
Me: A lot of people say that the bouzouki is fast.
Mom: Bouzouki is NOT FAST! Each strum is not fast.
Me: Greek music is considered fast paced by a lot of people.
Mom: (looks at me like I have three heads) No it’s not. Greek music is not very fast at all! You think syrto is fast?
Me: No, not syrto. I mean bellydance- tsifteteli music. And it’s not ME Mom.
Mom: Bouzouki isn’t fast.
Me: I don’t know what to tell you Mom, that’s what they say. They must not hear the same beat you do.
Mom: What other beat is there but the Greek beat?
I had hoped to show her a lot of videos but only got the chance to show her one of me doing a more Raks Sharki performance. She asked me what it was and said that it wasn’t Greek but it was nice. She said she kind of recognized one of the songs: Enta Omri. But that was about it as far as comments went.
In the next installment, Bellydance by Amartia will hopefully be able to get more details from her mother and a few other relatives as to What IS Greek Bellydance?