The Art of Belly Dancing

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The winding history of belly dance as an art form is a fascinating tale of ancient folk dances, customs, and traditions of the Middle East under the influence of Hollywood, capitalism, and the west’s vision of “exotic lands.”











Belly dancing
is believed to have had a long history in the Middle East, but reliable evidence about its origins is scarce, and accounts of its history are often highly speculative. Several Greek and Roman sources including Juvenal and Martial describe dancers from Asia Minor and Spain using undulating movements, playing castanets, and sinking to the floor with ‘quivering thighs,’ descriptions that are certainly suggestive of the movements that we today associate with belly dance.  Later, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, European travelers in the Middle East wrote extensively of the dancers they saw there.


Daughter of resident Sue Renard, Aurel, entranced Lodge residents with her one-woman seminar exploring the roots of belly dance using music samples, folkloric dance demonstrations, old-world dance props, as well as handouts illustrating some of belly dance’s pivotal characters and how they impacted the development of this mis-understood art form.

About Aurel

Aurel’s performances are known for imparting non-stop sparkle, fluent musicality, snake-like execution, laser sharp accents, and joy to her dance-loving fans from all ethnicities. Her talents have connected her with audiences at Middle Eastern Dance Festivals, 5-star weddings, elegant restaurants, wellness events, private parties, universities, and other fine venues throughout the United States, Canada, England, Ireland, Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Greece, and Egypt.  Aurel’s education in music, classical dance forms, acting and directing comes from fine institutions, such as, the Empire Institute of Performing Arts in New York state, The Boston Conservatory of Music, and The Berklee College of Music.












For booking information or to take belly dance classes with  Aurel visit


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