Belly dancing originated from the Middle East and as such there are many different forms of styles that have developed in different countries and regions. The most popular and recognized style is Cabaret/Egyptian that is glitzy and flamboyant, however there are several other styles that are becoming more popular around the wold.
1. Zambra Mora - Zambra Mora is a form of belly dancing that is infused with flamenco dancing. Not only does it use Middle East styles but the music is played on Spanish instruments such as guitar. Today Zambra Mora is famed for its chest circles and shimmies as well as the posturing associated with flamenco dancing.
2. Khaleeji - Originating in the Arabic peninsula, Khaleeji is different from the styles that are favoured in Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey. Instead of hip movements, Khaleeji focuses on foot movement and as well as spinning. There is also a lot of movement in the upper torso and shoulders, allowing the dancers to toss their hair from side to side.
3. American Tribal Dancing - American tribal Dancing was founded in California, USA in the 1970's and is performed in groups as opposed to solo dancers. The group's head leads the dance signalling moves to the others via hand signals. Props are also used such as finger cymbals and even swords!
4. Gothic Belly Dancing - the bright colours of belly dancing may not be something that would have an immediate association with Gothic styles, but over the years a form of Gothic Belly Dancing has evolved. Known for their intensity, Gothic Belly Dancing incorporates elements of life and death to its styles making for a trance-like dance that utilises the styles of both the East and the West. (www.worldbellydancer.org)