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Greek Belly Dance

The Well-Tempered Turkish Belly Dance

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GREEK Belly Dance

Greek belly dance is strongly Turkish-influenced, tempered by time, place, musical traditions and a close proximity to Egypt. The Greeks call it Tsifteteli, and, similar to the dance in Egypt, it has a social component (performed by respectable folks in social settings) and a performance component (performed by less-respectable professional dancers hired as entertainment).

Keti Sharif: "The Greek chiftelli is most similar to Turkish bellydance, with its many shimmies, pelvic tilts and hip lifts."

Morocco: "Real Greek folk dances are phyrric line and circle dances, ther is not true Greek style Oriental. They call it Anatolitiko Khoro: Anatolian (Turkish) dance because it is from whom and where they got it... Greeks of Asia Minor did the same dances as their Turkish neighbors."

The rocky history between the Turks and the Greeks adds an extra filip to the sauce. When Athena Najat taught a workshop on Greek dancing in Louisville, she said that Greeks enjoy dancing to Turkish music... but do not use a Turkish name for the song.


Boubouka: active in the 50s and 60s and justly famous.

Recommended by Athena: Aisha: based in Athens.

Also recommended by Athena: Amira Balkis: based in Athens.

Also recommended by Athena: Maria Aya

Athena Najat is a young American belly dancer of Greek extraction who teaches and performs Greek belly dance and folk dance in Greece and America.

Keti Sharif, Belly Dance.

Dance music suggestions from members of a 1970s belly dance group:

  • Jimmy Linardos
  • Jalaladin Takesh first vinyl release
  • Get into itunes and use search the terms "tsifteteli" and "arapiko"....Also search for artists such as Dalaras, Haris Alexiou and Eleni Vitali.
  • Gus Valli

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