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Greek Bellydance
































Apollo is one of the Olympian deities in classical Greek and Roman religion and Greek and Roman mythology. The national divinity of the Greeks, Apollo has been recognized as a god of archery, music and dance, truth and prophecy, healing and diseases, the Sun and light, poetry, and more.

Tsifteteli is the Greek belly dance. Tsifteteli follows a rhythm common all over the middle east. The name tsifteteli is turkish and comes from chifteteli, which originally meant “two strings”.

A typical tsifteteli is not performed by a single belly dancer in a Rhine-stone costume, but by a massive number of dancers populating the dance floor, just like in a disco!

Tsifteteli is danced by men and women alike, in solo, couples and group formations. However, if you have been to Greece, you probably figured out that tsifteteli is the essential seducing female dance. Many women dance tsifteteli on the tables or bars trying to seduce and tantalize the men who are watching them, ready to fight for her eyes only!

Belly dancing is believed to have had a long history in the Middle East. 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 are today associated with belly dance.

Later, particularly in the 18th and 19th centuries, European travellers in the Middle East wrote extensively of the dancers they saw there, including the Awalim and Ghawazee of Egypt & Persia.



The Greek historian Herodotus related the remarkable ability of Egyptians to create for themselves spontaneous fun, singing, clapping, and dancing in boats on the Nile during numerous religious festivals. It's from somewhere in this great, ancient tradition of gaiety that the belly dance emerged.

In the Ottoman Empire, belly dance was performed in the Sultan's palace.

Greek and Turkish styles of bellydancing have a lot in common, however the Greek styles of Bellydance are performed with Greek instruments and also derive its culture from Ancient Hellenistic Greek Culture and Beauty. Women did slow moves so as to show their respect to the Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses.

In both countries belly dance played a mystery role in celebrations. In Greek culture it is a part of entertainment. Both men and women dance ‘oriental’ in weddings, parties, celebrations. Along with zeybekiko it is one of the most usual dances of Greece.

Many archaeologists say that Belly dance already existed in ancient Greece. That ancient Greek women used it for worshiping Aphrodite (Venus). There may also have been Belly dance through Greek medieval times. At that time of the Byzantine Imperia the Greeks had strong cultural exchange with the Arabs and other Middle-Eastern populations.

The most common Greek Bellydance movements are:

Small Hip Movements and Shimmies
Shoulder Shimmy
Vertical backwards
Hip circle
Hip semi-circle
Rotating around oneself with hip circle
Hip lift to the front
Hip lift in circle
Half camel step
Hands stretched out to the sides
Snapping the fingers
Hands put at the back side of the head
Bending backwards
Belly rolls (some times)
Hip sway forwards\backwards
Certain Leg Techniques

As it is a social dance, nobody plays cymbals while dancing it. Only in rare cases, when professional dancers perform Tsifteteli, then they play cymbals. Probably the Rembetiko Tsifteteli dancers who had come from Smyrna, played cymbals, but the more Tsifteteli spread all over Greece, the less common it became to play cymbals.


It was not common for the dancers to have originated from the beautiful Greek countryside which then evolved into Temple dances performed by the priests, this would probably have morphed into society and has now reached us throughout the ages and is now considered a beautiful unique style of song and dance all to it's own!