In Egypt, Belly Dancing Goes Co-Ed

Overcoming taboo, male dancers are making a comback
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2008 1:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Belly dancing is an ancient tradition in Egypt, and two centuries ago, it was dominated by men. Now male belly dancers are making a comeback, overcoming suppression by government and religious leaders who equated gyrating male hips with homosexuality, Bloomberg reports.

They're performing in cafes, at weddings and at birthday parties, just as women do, but with a difference: I don't believe that a male belly dancer should imitate a woman,'' says one. "We should not forget we are men and dance in a manly way.''  Not that they're not competing with women:  "We can do more with our muscles,'' one crows.