Belly dancing in Israel: body, embodiment, religion and nationality

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


In the past years, there is a growing tendency among Israeli-Jewish women to practice belly dancing. This practice is not unique to Israel. Others (Keft-Kennedy 2005) note that women have taken up belly dancing in the West as a popular feminist activity. Downey, Reel, SooHoo and Zerbib (2010) indicated the wide popularity of belly dancing in the USA. However, differently from this line of research, the chapter wishes to explore not only the reasons for the popularity of this trend in Israel but mainly to investigate how the subjectivities of bodily performance and performativity in the studio change women’s social identities. These belly dancing effects are investigated using three scales: the body, the studio and the ethno-national identity perceptions. The chapter is based on an insider perspective as a student of belly dancing for many years as well as on in-depth interviews with other belly dancing students.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoving Through Conflict; Dance and Politics in Israel
EditorsDina Roginsky, Henia Rottenberg
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages16
Edition1st Edition
ISBN (Electronic)9780367808518
ISBN (Print)9780367406875
StatePublished - 2020

RAMBI Publications

  • rambi
  • Belly dance -- Israel


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