Belly Dancer

"The philosopher's soul dwells within his head, the poet's soul dwells within his heart, the singer's soul dwells about his throat, but the soul of the dancer abides in all her body."
Khalil Gibran, The Wanderer

Typically, a woman who wears a midriff-revealing outfit and a lot of jewelry. She moves her hips and stomach in a way that can mesmerize onlookers. Occasionally, men belly dance too, but this is less common and may be Played for Laughs or Fan Disservice.

Often occurs in Middle Eastern settings. Serious performers of the sophisticated genuine article began to refer to it as "Middle Eastern Dance" in the 1980s. Strictly speaking, what Westerners think of as belly dancing is the Arabic raqs sharqi style. Some historians believe it was a way of exercising the muscles of the pelvis and abdominal area for women who were pregnant or had menstruation problems; or that it was part of a religious ceremony. Nowadays it's more for entertainment purposes, although it can be utilized as a form of exercise too.

Note that the revealing outfits are purely an invention and misconception made by people who don't know anything about belly dancing; female dancers of the original raqs sharqi style dressed more conservatively.

If a character dresses like a belly dancer, but is not actually one, she is a Bedlah Babe.

Please place only particularly notable real-life examples in the Real Life section.

Check out these shimmying examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ai Kora: Ever since Hachibei discovered that Ayame has the perfect waist that he's been looking for, Ayame learned how to belly dance for whenever she wants to get Hachibei's attention.
    • A very good example of this is in chapter 24, where Ayame and Haiji (who happily swings the other way, it seems) compete for Hachibei's affection. Ayame whips out a tropical dance costume and begins to perform in front of Hachibei and the rest of the school.
  • Ashita no Nadja: Nadja dresses up as one during the show's ending credits.
  • Whenever Turkey is featured in Axis Powers Hetalia gender fliped fanarts, he goes from a Boisterous Bruiser Turks with Troops to a sexy, self-assured and very well-endowed Belly Dancer. See it here.
    • Also, among J-Fen it's popular to depict a teenage Ottoman!Hungary dressed up as a belly dancer.
  • Blue Dragon: Trials of the 7 Shadows: In Episode 9, the group comes across Donna and Reina, two twin dancers who have the power to steal the souls of jealous people. They were originally penniless on the streets, losing their money to other beautiful dancers until Mikheil offered the two Dragon Scales, which made them appear more beautiful and gave them their soul-stealing powers.
  • A Certain Magical Index: This is Ureapaddy Exica's main costume in the PSP game Toaru Majutsu to Kagaku no Ensemble and its light novel adaptation Toaru Majutsu no Index: Road to Endymion, seeing how the character originates from India.
  • CLAMP has several of these characters:
  • Code Geass:
    • One of the many Picture Dramas, set before the China Arc of the second season, shows Lelouch, C.C., and Kallen sneaking into the Chinese Federation to scout around under the guise of three Belly Dancer sisters. The Fanservice of C.C. and Kallen in skimpy outfits and interesting poses manages to counteract the Fetish Retardant of Lelouch in drag (and not looking as pretty as he usually does when he dons female clothing).
    • Akito the Exiled: In Episode 3, Akito and the rest of the Wyvern team end up staying with a gypsy caravan while their access back to their home is denied. During their last night in the caravan, the gypsies host a celebratory bonfire, with Ayano dancing to the gypsies' music.
  • Denpa Kyoshi: During the Ouroboros arc, Kiriko's online avatar dons a belly dancer outfit. Obviously fitting, seeing that her skills fall under the Dancer class in-game.
  • Bastemon of Digimon Xros Wars is this in mon form.
  • In Fairy Tail, a few examples of this are shown during the series:
    • Erza performs a dance on her float during the Fantasia parade.
    • Lucy dresses like one while in Edolas, right before her fight with Byro.
      • Lucy also dresses like one on the cover of chapter 527.
      • She also briefly bellydances to distract Zach Kaine in the second movie, Dragon Cry.
    • Virgo performs a dance for Team Natsu during their celebratory reception in the Celestial Spirit World.
    • The Celestial Spirit Libra has this as her main costume.
    • Mirajane disguises herself as one in an attempt to free Lucy during the Grand Magic Games.
    • Briar of the Avatar dark guild dresses like one.
  • During the last few episodes of the 3rd Season of The Familiar of Zero, Jessica and her father managed to give the "rescue party" of Tabitha some disguises, which were circus costumes and belly dancing outfits.
  • Flint the Time Detective: T.P. Lady (better known as Petra in the dub) performed a dance for a young Marco Polo while in the desert.
  • Rare Male Example: One of the ED sequences of Free! gives us the Iwatobi guys plus Rin dressed in Arabian-styled oufits. Nagisa's in particular looks a lot like a belly dancer's.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Yui Hongo's main Seiryuu-priestess outfit is pretty comparable to something a belly dancer would wear.
  • There is a belly dancing scene in episode 6 of Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet, featuring Amy, Saaya and Melty. It's still a bit unclear as to why their costumes were rather skimpy for their ages as well as the beloved festival for which they were performing.
    • A short series called "Log Book" was released after the end of the anime and went into more detail of life aboard on the Gargantia. The second Log Book was focused on Amy and her friends practicing their dance for the festival; according to this short story, however, Ridget and Bellows also donned similar outfits after Ridget suggested they do so while she was intoxicated. Bellows then performed a dance to inspire Amy and her friends, and the story concluded with Pinion walking on Mayta as she tried on a dancing costume.
  • Gosick: Episode 6 reveals the origins of Cordelia Gallo, whom came to Saubreme after being shunned by her home village. She began to work as a dancer at a cabaret, and managed to catch the attentions of Marquis de Blois.
  • In the second OVA from Season 1 of High School D×D, Issei becomes possessed by the mummy of an Egyptian Magician named Unas, who is just as perverted as Issei. Unas claims that he'll only release Issei if they remove the curse that binds him. The methods of removing it are rather perverted in nature; the first involved Rias dancing in a skimpy belly dancer outfit.
    • In 2013 "Mobage", a card RPG developed for smartphones, was released in Japan. Several cards featured a good portion of the female cast in dancing outfits.
  • In the Beginning: The Bible Stories: One dancer is shown entertaining a crowd in the streets when Joseph is first brought to Egypt.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has Bette Midler note , who's better known from the JoJo's Fighting Game created by Capcom since she never actually appeared on-panel in the manga.
  • K-On!:
    • In the second season's extras, "Ura-On!!", the first episode shows Azusa's attempts at fortune-telling by interpreting the dreams of the rest of the Light Music Club. In the intermissions between the shorts, we're treated to a crudely-drawn Azusa trying to dance to a drum beat.
    • In one of the many chapters of the fan manga "K-ON! Anthology", Yui inexplicably ends up in Iceland. In her efforts to find a way back home, she ends up meeting the Icelandic dopplegangers of Mio and Ritsu, whose special talents are belly dancing and playing a harp, respectively. The real Mio and Ritsu travel to Iceland, only to find their Icelandic versions and Yui putting on a spectacle of dancing, harp-playing and sheep singing.
  • The mute villainess Erola from the OAV Labyrinth Of Flames dressed like a belly dancer and had a short and pointless (but arousing) dance sequence just before attacking the hero with her horde of killer puppets.
  • Laughing Salesman: In Episode 7B of NEW, Oniyo, the Alpha Bitch leader of Nozomi’s group of “mommy” friends, announces that she’ll be attending her belly-dancing lessons (even showing off a quick hip-shake) after sharing her recent accomplishments with her complaints.
  • Legend of Heavenly Sphere Shurato: Lakshu's main costume has her look like this.
  • Shino from Legend of Himiko is a very sensuous belly dancer. You see her dancing for a few soldiers, who became allured by her performance.
  • Considering that the series has been alive and kicking for the past 30 years (leading to adventures throughout the entire world), there have been a multitude of belly dancers shown all throughout the Lupin III franchise:
    • Lupin III - Part II:
      • Episode 2 - A Bouquet of Bills Blossom in Rio's Sunset note : The Brazilian equivalent of one performs at the restaurant where the Rio Chief of Police dines with Zenigata. The chief mentions to Zenigata that he should take his mind off Lupin and indulge in the pleasures that Rio can offer, eyeing the dancer as he states so.
      • Episode 17 - Go For the Oildollar note : In order to get closer to Lawrence the Third and his men, Fujiko disguises her as a dancer while Lupin and the guys dress up as her band; the performance manages to appeal to Lawrence, telling Fujiko to meet him in private after her performance.
      • Episode 22 - Search the House of Mystery Women note : A group of dancers perform for Lupin and Zenigata, mainly to distract from the fight between Jigen/Goemon and the lady warriors of the house.
      • Episode 30 - The Wind is Hot in Morocco note  : In the very beginning of the episode, a beautiful belly dancer, complete with a hourglass figure and a teasing costume, is shown amongst the street performers, immediately capturing the gaze of Lupin, Fujiko and Jigen. Once Fujiko starts trying to mimic the dancer's movements out of slight interest/jealousy, the dancer reveals to be impressed with Fujiko's mimicry; she beckons for Fujiko to dance with her, leading to a dual performance by the two.
    • Lupin III: Return of the Magician note : One of the underground fighters that Goemon goes against in Greece is a woman dressed like this.
    • Lupin III: Sweet Lost Night: Fujiko is shown to be relaxing in some high-class living establishment in a desert country, doing some stretches while dressed as a dancer and telling Lupin to retrieve the magic lamp. Drew's choice of attire for her genie hologram also falls under a dancer's attire.
    • Lupin III: The Secret of Twilight Gemini: Lorre, who is shown to be Lara's grandmother, was a dancer at the temple during the time of Dalune's youth. An extended version of her dance is shown in the special's credits.
      • For some reason, Lorre's dance has sparked a huge influx of loads of anime characters belly-dancing to the film's ending song, all done in Miku Miku Dance.
    • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine: In the first episode, Fujiko performs a dance for the leader of the Fraulein Eule cult in order to find her way into obtaining the cult's secret stash of hallucination-inducing drugs.
  • Magi – Labyrinth of Magic, being a High Fantasy set mostly in the Middle East during its Golden Age, is rife with scantily-clad Belly Dancers. We even see Morgiana try it at some point.
  • Ena from Magical Circle Guru-Guru wears a Belly Dancer outfit most of the time, but doesn't actually do much dancing. That "honor" is given to Old Man North-North, an old man who dances around in a grass skirt.
  • Some dancers show up in Episode 32 of Montana Jones.
  • Myriad Colors Phantom World: Ruru's main costume is straight out of the Arabian Nights, albeit with a lot more leg shown. A piece of official art also shows Reima and Mai wearing her costume.
  • One Piece:
    • In the Alabasta arc, Vivi asks Sanji to get all of them some clothes like the local citizens, so they won't stand out as much. The boys all got burkas. The girls? Dancing Girl Outfits. His excuse was that 'dancing girls are citizens too!' If Nami hadn't liked it so much, he would probably be lacking a few vital organs.
    • Weaponized later by Sandersonia's Snake Dance, which allows her to use belly dance-like motions and Color of Observation Haki to dodge incoming blows.
    • Nami and Robin's slave outfits in Heart of Gold are very close to what a dancer would wear.
  • Onii-chan no Koto Nanka Zenzen Suki Janain Dakara ne!!: Ran is a very dedicated cosplayer who adopts the persona of "Princess Leila". In her effort to find a mate, she performs a ritual dance; she performs one for Shusuke in private when she feels he's the one for her.
  • In Pokemon: Sinnoh League note , May wears a outfit that wouldn't look out of place on a real belly dancer for her return for the Wallace Cup.
  • Queen's Blade: Menace herself could qualify, but her various servants shown in flashbacks and in her rebuilt Amara in the OVA definitely do.
  • Seikon no Qwaser: Miyuri dresses up as one to change into her fortune-telling persona, Madame Lily.
  • Shahra from Shoukoku No Altair seems a stereotypical example at first, but she's also a respected actress and wears sensible clothes when not working.
  • Sket Dance has Saaya look like a dancer in the "Quest Dance" bonus story in Episode 64, obviously parodying Maya from Dragon Quest.
  • Sonic X: In Episode 47note , Decoe and Bocoe head into a cabaret to escape from Knuckles. The echidna walks into the establishment and discovers it to be based on the Arabian nights, with its workers dressed like harem girls and belly dancers. Out of embarrassment, Knuckles runs away from the cabaret, leaving Decoe and Bocoe in the clear to report back to Eggman...but not before they stay behind to have a little fun with a couple of the dancing girls.
  • Soul Eater: Zubaidah, the meister of Jinn Galland, wears a glaringly obvious dancer's costume; it fits well with her weapon being in charge of West Asia, which is the entirety of the Middle East.
  • Tiger & Bunny: The second movie Tiger and Bunny: The Rising featured Karima Graham, a villainess who dressed like a dancer and fought against the heroes with large circular blades and the power of illusion. Turns out her costume wasn't just for appeal, as the movie reveals that she used to be a dancer at a cabaret until Barneby's new promoter bought out her business, leaving her with a loss of purpose.
  • Couple of examples from the Time Bokan series:
    • Gyakuten! Ippatsuman: Mun-Mun dresses like one in Episode 5.
    • Yattodetaman: In Episode 11, Mirenjo disguises as one while the Firebird is said to be in ancient Persia. And when she actually dances, she's not bad at all; the citizens of Baghdad throw money at her for her lovely performance.
    • Zenderman: During the second half of the series, the heroes' Zender-Lion mecha is replaced with the Zender-Gorilla. The new gorilla mecha is much more vulnerable against the feminine wiles of Muujo, leading Muujo to come up with seductive poses and costumes to keep Zender-Gorilla's focus away from attacking in battle. Episodes 37, 40, 41, 44 and 46 all feature Muujo dressed as a dancer in order to keep Zender-Gorilla from attacking.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters: In episode 201, Yami Yugi or Pharaoh Atem finally time travels back to Ancient Egypt, just in time for the coronation ceremony of the Pharaoh. Once the festivities begin in celebration of the new ruler, a couple of dancers and musicians are brought out for the party.

    Card Games 
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! game, there's an old Ritual Monster named Performance of Sword, who not only dresses like a belly dancer, but appears to be one. (The required Ritual Spell Card is called Commencement Dance, and also features a dancer dressed like this.)

    Comic Books 
  • Action Comics: In issue #592, Big Barda was temporarily hypnotized by Sleez, a former loyal servant of Darkseid, and was forced to dance for his own entertainment.
  • Beau Peep: One of the recurring characters in the strip is Vera of the Seven Veils, an exotic belly dancer who has captured the heart of Dennis at first sight. One of the gags of the comics ends up being Dennis constantly feinting/going absolute bonkers at the mere sight of Vera as well as constantly professing his love for her, despite all the rejections she gives him every time.
  • Cinderella: From Fabletown With Love: In this short one-shot series, Cinderella and Aladdin (from fairy tale fame) team up together to stop a trio of fully-garbed harem girls from continuing their smuggling of magical weapons with their benefactor, who turns out to be Cinderella's Fairy Godmother herself.
  • Comic Cavalcade: Issue #5 introduces Zara, the leader of the Cult of the Crimson Flame, who typically dressed in belly dancer attire. She goes on to be one of the founding members of Villainy Inc., a group of villains dedicated to fighting against Wonder Woman.
  • Cracked: In issue #126, the "Products and Ads Designed for the Arab Market" comic feature gadgets and tools for Arab sheiks in mind, with many a dancer and harem girl showing off their usefulness.
  • De Kiekeboes: Fanny is forced to perform a belly dance in De Fez van Fes.
  • The incredibly controversial Foreskin Man comic features a dancer in its 4th issue, where the titular character has to travel to Istanbul to prevent the son of said dancer from being circumcised. Strangely enough, such a dilemma seems to be the only reason why the hero exists in the first place.
  • One shows up on the cover of The Fox and the Crow issue #98.
  • Howard the Duck: In the story "Thief of Bagmom" from the series' first annual issue, Winda and Beverly are transported by magic carpet from their home in Cleveland to Bagmom (a parody of Baghdad), where they are taken in by the Caliph and added to the harem. Once garbed in their new outfits, they are told to dance and sing for the Caliph's entertainment.
  • Jommeke: Annemieke and Rozemieke perform as belly dancers in one of their albums where they are undercover in the Middle East.
  • Millie the Model: On the cover of issue #170.
  • In one issue of the Power Man And Iron Fist series, the cover advertised "dancing girls" in a plotline set in the Middle East. The dancing girls in question were Power Man and Iron Fist.
  • Scooby-Doo: In the story The Spooky Spook House, which was published in Archie Comics #8, the gang finds a mystery at an amusement park, and Daphne becomes a dancer to attract people to Scrappy Doo's ballgame stand.
  • Tales of Suspense: Issue #44 details one of the earliest adventures involving Iron Man as he helps out an archaeology team in Cairo. As Tony Stark, however, he enjoys the Cairo nightlife, watching a belly dancer as he slowly loses enough electricity to keep his heart going.
  • From Tell it to the Marines issue #4 from 1952.
  • Plaster of Paris from The Spirit.
  • One shows up on the cover of "The Nazi Lust Ordeal of the Virgin Belly Dancer", the main story of the February 1960 issue of Wildcat Adventures, which seems to be a popular American men's interest magazine during the '60s.

  • [Warning: NSFW] A doujin called The Moon and the Dancer takes place in a desert country, where a Japanese business representative tries to start a business relationship between the oil shieks and his company. During his stay, he meets with a representative from the shieks, who begins to fall for him. Some time later, at a party celebrating the new business deal, the Japanese rep thought he would never see his new acquaintance ever again...until she shows up at the party as the belly dancer for the party's entertainment, both greatly surprising him and leading the two into a romantic night together.

    Films — Animation 
  • Genie conjures some up in Aladdin, during the "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" musical sequences.
  • Dumbo: During the Pink Elephants on Parade musical number (easily one of the most trippiest and terrifying sequences in Disney history), the background changes to that of Egypt, where a Pink Elephant easily morphs between a camel, a snake, a bellydancer and finally disappearing into an eyeball.
  • Edison and Leo: Early on in the film, Thomas Edison decides to wait for his "fateful" encounter with his mysterious guest's wife by playing a short motion film of a belly dancer using a zoetrope and a special organ played by his teeth. As the film plays, however, the dancer's movements begin to break out of its animation cycle, making the dancer come to life in front of Edison's eyes, both disturbing and arousing him before snapping out of the trance and leaving for the meetup with his guest.
  • Some are featured in El Cid: The Legend. Jimena even dressed like one.
  • An elegant animation of a belly dancer is in the late-70s British film, Gulliver's Travels starring Richard Harris. The sequence with the bellydancer is a bit misplaced in the culture of Lilliput but well choreographed, drawn and executed. The funny thing is that although this is a children's animation feature, the dancer is bare-breasted!
  • Ilya of Murom and Nightingale the Robber: After landing at Constantinople, Alyonushka gets stopped by a smooth talking slave owner, telling her that he'll transform her into a world-famous dancing celebrity. Alyonushka then proceeds to imagine herself as being a talented belly dancer, before quickly snapping out of the owner's inviting trance thanks to the Prince of Keevs.
  • Invitation to the Dance: The "Sinbad the Sailor" act of the film takes place in an unknown Middle Eastern country, where the main character briefly watches a real dancer in a casbah before confronting an animated Sultan and his beautiful wives; this encounter quickly leads to a short belly-/tap-dancing sequence in the palace, where the protagonist tries to distract the royal guards while admiring the beauty of the harem girls.
  • Released concept art from Disney's Pinocchio showed that one possible puppet design for Stromboli's show was to be modeled after an Arabian dancer.
  • Technically, Tzipporah from The Prince of Egypt could be considered a dancer, even though her costume isn't the usual bedlah that many dancers wear. This seems to reflect how conservative dancers' clothing truly was in ancient times.
    • More dancers twirl around with ribbons in Rameses' throne room when Moses returns to Egypt to plead with Rameses to give the Hebrews freedom from slavery.
  • Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights: Haman, dressed as the Prince in disguise, enjoys a dancer's movements in the royal palace, all before Aliyah-Din interrupts the session in order to present herself for marriage.
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut: Some are shown in Saddam Hussein's "I Can Change" musical number. The black comedy of South Park rears its head again, however, as Saddam takes a dancer and snaps her body in half during the song.
  • The 2008 Russian animated film The Tale of Soldier Fedot, the Daring Fellow (original title: Pro Fedota-Streltsa, Udalogo Molodtsa) has the main character, Fedot, go on a worldwide journey to satisfy his King's demands; he comes across a dancer while passing through Arabia.
  • The Suicide Shop: For his sister Marilyn's birthday, Alan decides to get her a transparent veil and a CD of Middle Eastern music as her gift. When night comes, Marilyn strips off all her clothes, plays the CD and dances to her heart's content, finally being able to explore her femininity.
  • Tom and Jerry: In Tom And Jerry Spy Quest, a belly dancer is shown performing in Jade's club once Johnny and the gang reach Moldovistan.
  • Tweety's High Flying Adventure: After Tweety lands in Egypt, he quickly escapes into the Pyramids of Giza to escape Sylvester and his posse of Egyptian cats. Once inside, he finds a room filled with antiques, including a piccolo; he begins to play it, and a nearby basket opens up, revealing a veiled/masked dancing girl moving to Tweety's melody (It's quickly shown that the girl is really Sylvester in disguise).

  • Merrill Joan Gerber's YA novel Also Known as Sadzia the Belly Dancer.
  • On the cover of Assignment - The Cairo Dancers by Edward S. Aarons.
  • Shown on one of the covers of Boy by James Hanley.
  • Shown on the cover of The Curse of a Thousand Kisses by Sax Rohmer.
  • Golden Dragon Fantasy Gamebooks: One shows up at the local tavern in Curse of the Pharaohs and gives you something to shake off your new friend, somehow knowing he's not to be trusted.
  • One is on the cover of The Eye of Karnak by John E. Muller.
  • Shown on the cover of The Far Out Ones by Dell Holand.
  • Transito Soto, the Hooker with a Heart of Gold from The House of the Spirits, once dresses up as one as she speaks to Esteban about her and her friend's brothel. It lets her show off a snake-shaped tattoo around her belly button.
  • In the Discworld novel Jingo Nobby Nobbs is forced to dress up as one. He is not allowed to dance, though. It was subsequently impliednote  that he enjoyed the experience more than he'd expected to and took up crossdressing afterwards.
  • The Most Beautiful is a first-person memoir by Mayte Garcia, the first wife of the late pop star Prince; the memoir describes how she had successfully started her career as a belly dancer during her teen years and how her life changes after meeting and falling in love with Prince.
  • The Shimmy and Steam series written by Michelle Kopra details the adventures of a group of belly dancers who travel to distant lands to dance for royalty while also serving as spies for Queen Victoria and the British Empire.

  • The late R&B princess Aaliyah often incorporated various dance moves borrowed from raqs sharqi (especially "figure 8's" and "hip/belly rolls") into her choreography. The most clear examples can be seen in her last video filmed just before her death, 'Rock the Boat'.
  • Referenced in Akon's song "Belly Dancer." Taken even further in the music video, where Akon follows a woman into a secret hideaway crowded with dancers.
  • Beyoncé performs a short belly dance along the beach at night in Baby Boy.
  • The cover of Bob Dylan and The Band's album, The Basement Tapes, features an odd cast of characters, including a midget, a weightlifter, a fire eater, and a belly dancer.
  • Britney Spears seems to have incoporated a few moves that focus on the abdomen and hips in her music video for "I'm A Slave 4 U".
  • Dutch pop music group Ch!pz had a single titled "1001 Arabian Nights". In the music video for this song, the two female singers, Rach-L (Rachel van Hoogen) and C!lla (Cilla Niekoop) performed a belly dance to distract an evil sultan while the male members of the group reclaimed a magic lamp that was being misused by the sultan.
  • Turkey often has these in the Eurovision Song Contest. For some reason, they usually end up with a lot of points.
  • Hilary Duff plays a belly-dancer in her video for Stranger.
  • Kat DeLuna dons a Bollywood outfit and dances with similarly-clothed woman in "Party O'Clock".
  • Lorenzo Jovanotti's L'ombelico del mondo video includes a belly dancer and a llama, among other things.
  • Three of these ladies (one of them being a Wholesome Crossdresser) appear in the video for Los Tres's "He Barrido el Sol".
  • Natasha Atlas redefined the song "Whatever Lola Wants" as Middle Eastern pop, and the video is about what you'd expect. I think it used clips from an indie movie.
  • Natasha Bedingfield ends up surrounded by dancers while slowly floating up to the sky on a large white lotus in her music video for Pocketful of Sunshine."
  • No Angels: In the music video for Still in Love with You, Jessica Wahls is shown to be dancing right by a swimming pool.
  • Prince: Prince sings to one in his music video for "Seven".
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers: Mentioned in part of the lyrics for "Can't Stop":
    White heat is screaming in the jungle
    Complete the motion if you stumble
    Go ask the dust for any answers
    Come back strong with fifty belly dancers
  • Rihanna: Rihanna incorporates a few belly-dancing moves, as well as her backup dancers, in a beach at night in the video for If It's Lovin' That You Want.
  • R. Kelly: His music video for Snake features a tent in the desert where belly dancers perform.
  • The music video for Sarah Brightman's "Harem" takes place in a Arabian setting, complete with an young sultan, servants and a couple of belly dancers.
  • Shakira, the world's most famous Colombian, is one-quarter Lebanese and incorporates Lebanese cultural elements into her videos. See "Ojos Asi" and "Hips Don't Lie" for the most blatant examples.
  • "Stop, Stop, Stop" by The Hollies is about a man who is so obsessed by a belly dancer that he grabs her in the middle of her performance.
  • U2: It's all right, it's all right, ALL RIGHT! She moves in Mysterious Ways!
    • She makes a reappearance in the video for "Mofo". She is very pregnant, which is strangely in keeping with the historian beliefs mentioned above.
      • The belly dancer in question is actually The Edge's wife. Lucky bastard.
    • A belly dancer shows up unexpectedly in the music video for "Numb".


    Professional Wrestling 
  • GLOW had Little Egypt, who danced her way to the ring and even wrestled in the costume - thus merging this with Dance Battler.
  • Wrestlicious which is a Spiritual Successor to GLOW had a character called Azziza who was also a belly dancer. She never wrestled however.
  • The Bella Twins dressed up as belly dancers for a Halloween photoshoot in 2009.
  • WWE's developmental documentary series Breaking Ground shows a developmental Diva called Aliyah attempting a belly dancer type of gimmick, as she is of Arab descent. The gimmick never made it to TV but the outfit did, making her a Bedlah Babe briefly.

  • Neddie Seagoon visits Arabia in one of the episodes of The Goon Show. At some point, he is treated to an exotic dance of the "seven army surplus blankets", which strip off to reveal that the belly dancer in question is actually Eccles.

  • Dralion: Oceane's outfit and style of dance seem to draw on this trope.
  • Azuri, the villain of The Desert Song.

    Theme Parks 
  • Busch Gardens: In the Pantopia section of the Tampa Bay Park, the Dragon Fire Grill restaurant hosts the "Treasures of the Mirage" stage show, featuring belly dancers and Arabian musical performances.
  • Disney Theme Parks:
    • The Tokyo DisneySea park from Tokyo Disney Resort had a dinner show attraction called A Table is Waiting, which showcased different food dishes from cultures around the world. One of the countries shown was India, where performers dressed as belly dancers would sing about spice and curry with the song "Spice Up Your Life".
    • The 2017 version of the Fantasmic! nighttime show in Disneyland features a new segment featuring Genie singing "Friend Like Me", where he turns Ariel, Cinderella and Belle into belly dancers during the act. However, that soon turns out to be an adult joke, so they got replaced by the dancing camels and monkeys.
    • The World Showcase area in Epcot features the Moroccan Pavilion, designed to appear like a real-life Moroccan street, where tourists can catch belly dancing shows either in the courtyard or inside the Restaurant Marrakesh. The Souk-Al-Magreb shop also offers books that can teach its reader how to belly dance.

    Video Games 
  • 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors: Lotus's main costume is that of a belly dancer. Turns out it still makes sense for her to wear such a costume (she takes belly dancing as a hobby but got kidnapped before she had the chance to change), as it's revealed to be her habit despite being an incredible computer hacker.
  • Alteil features Kurina, who's also a Cat Girl.
  • Ape Escape: Yumi from Ape Escape 3 dresses as this while wearing the Genie Dancer Morph, complete with a real genie used to distract enemies.
  • Bayonetta 2: Bayonetta's Rakshasa costume definitely fits under this, complete with veil.
  • Baladi Princess from Bugs Bunny and Taz: Time Busters.
  • Mikki from Chrono Cross.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: In Soviet Mission 4 of the Yuri's Revenge Campaign, Romanov is shown to be alive and well from his plane crash; he spends the entire mission in a cabaret, eating dinner while a dancer performs for entertainment.
  • Conquests Of Camelot: While in Jerusalem, the player ends up in the home of Fatima, a sultry belly dancer who constantly offers the player (or Arthur, in this case) tempting offers to kiss her and end the journey right then and there. Turns out Fatima is supposed to be one of the Guardians of the Holy Grail, testing you to see if the player is indeed worthy of obtaining the grail. Should the player give in to their desires and try to kiss her, she ends up choking you with her veil and proceeds to smother you to death. Not kissing her, however, guarantees you story progression and the info needed to enter the final area.
  • Criminal Case: In World Edition, starting in case 7 you meet Asal Hawaa, a Femme Fatale Spy who disguises herself as a belly dancer while acting as an Israeli Intelligence Service member on the side. Given her looks, her deadly skills and her gyrating hips, she's one dancer you do not want to mess with.
  • The Dead or Alive series has Helena look like an Arabian dancer in both Dead or Alive 2 Ultimate and Dead or Alive 3.
    • Ayane, Marie Rose and Nyotengu all have new dancer outfits in Dead or Alive 5: Last Round.
  • The Kali class, Dancer subclass and both the Blade Dancer and Spirit Dancer specializations in Dragon Nest SEA definitely fall under this.
  • Some examples from the Dragon Quest series:
    • Maya from Dragon Quest IV is an infamous example in Japan.
    • Jessica from Dragon Quest VIII dresses like one whenever she wears the Dancer's Dress.
    • In Dragon Quest IX, the "Lady of the Dance" sidequest involves you searching for the inheritor of the amazing belly dance left behind from Flamenca, a world-renowned dancer. The description states that the current holder is "very pretty, and always adorned with jewels", but before you start thinking about finding an attractive guy who can shake his hips and is adorned in glistening beauty... the inheritor turns out to be a Goody Bag enemy, a bag-shaped monster filled with jewels. Regardless, once the sidequest is complete, the Belly Dance party trick is able to be used.
  • The Blade Dancer class from Eden Eternal.
  • Ellia from Eternal Darkness.
  • Etrian Odyssey:
    • The Troubadours in the very first game of the series and in Heroes of Lagaard.
    • The females of the Dancer class in Legends of the Titan. The NPC Wiglaf can count as well.
  • Princia Ramode from F-Zero AX and GX.
  • A good number of examples throughout the Final Fantasy series:
  • Fire Emblem:
  • The female elementalist dance emote in Guild Wars is a belly dance (and several of their armour sets in the Nightfall expansion were belly dancer costumes). The female paragon dance is based on an African tribal dance, but has elements of belly dancing as well.
  • Selena from the Harvest Moon series, showing up in both Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility and Harvest Moon: Animal Parade.
  • As a dancing game, Just Dance has its share of dancers dressing up like this for their choreographies. The most blatant examples are: Hips don't lie (of course, save for the alternative version), the alternate version of Lean on and Leila (bonus for the latter being based on a Turkish pop song)
  • The sequels to LEGO Star Wars (Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga) have Princess Leia in her slave form perform a dance as her taunt.
  • Jean from Lunar 2: Eternal Blue is a dancer that joins your party.
  • Namira from the Arcade/N64 game Mace: The Dark Age.
  • Odin Sphere has Princess Velvet, who incorporates it in her chain fighting style.
  • One Piece Treasure Cruise: Princess Vivi's new "Love" costume can fall under this.
  • Rise Kujikawa dons a brand new Arabian-inspired outfit, complete with detached sleeves, in Persona 4: Dancing All Night.
  • Meditite and its evolution Medicham from Pokémon.
  • Karli from Popn Music.
  • Rouge from Power Stone (shown above) adopts this into her fighting style.
  • Quest for Glory:
    • Featured in Quest for Glory II. In this case, though, it's a literal Cat Girl, which probably helped convert more than a few young gamers into Furries.
    • In Quest for Glory V, the Dead Parrot Inn has a pair of former harem girls who will occasionally dance. In a plot event, the Player Character (who is decidedly male) gets roped into belly dancing at the other local inn.
  • Rabi-Ribi: Kotri is a fox-eared Dance Battler who casts different magic spells depending on the dance she uses.
  • Rise of Nightmares features Yeli, a Romanian gypsy fortune teller, dancing in a rather trippy sequence that ends with her stabbing the player into entering the dream world.
  • Sara from Risen.
  • Sista A's superstar persona in Rumble Roses XX.
  • One of Okuni's DLC costumes in Samurai Warriors 4-II has her dressed as such.
  • The main character of Shantae not only dresses like a belly dancer — her belly dancing is magical. She's half-genie. It (sort of) Makes Sense In Context.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, when the party reaches the Nasr region, they bump into a beautiful dancer named Bellena. After she accompanies you for a mission, she reveals her true nature as Belleza, Fourth Admiral of the Valuan Armada.
  • In Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, to get past a heavily guarded door, Carmelita disguises herself as a belly dancer and performed a dance to distract the guards allowing Sly and the others to get through.
  • Solstice: Constance rocks the look quite well.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Pullum Purna from Street Fighter EX is both a belly dancer and a Dance Battler.
    • Menat from Street Fighter V is both as well an her dancing style is like this, although her default outfit doesn't fully bare her midriff, instead only exposing her belly button.
  • Karin and Mina in Suikoden are both dancers you can recruit for your army.
  • In Surgical Strike, early on in the first level, a belly dancer randomly appears in a doorway for a few seconds before a guerrilla comes to shoot you.
  • The animated opening for Vagrant Story features a belly dancer, whom is no one else but Mullenkamp, the ancient priestess with an entire cult named after her in-game.
  • Violent Storm: In the Downtown stage (Stage 3 overall), the player goes through a bar/nightclub where the entertainment for the night is a belly dancer, prompting a change of background music for hard rock to Middle Eastern to fit the dancer. Once the player clears all enemies in front of the stage, the dancer stops and dancing and jumps for joy while the player continues on.
  • Sanzang from Warriors Orochi 3.
  • In World of Warcraft, female trolls and draenei have this as their /dance emote. This makes some degree of sense for the vaguely Roma-inspired draenei, but for the Caribbean-esque trolls...not so much. (Both dances are based on Shakira.)
  • One is in a computer game called World Dance: A Cultural Adventure.

    Web Comics 
  • Dumbstruck offers a romantic night with a dancer as part of a "Priceless Valentine's Day" in its 2004 Valentine's Day strip.
  • Araceli temporarily transforms into Jeanie and begins to dance for Neil in strips 172 and 173 of I Dream of a Jeanie Bottle. Kudos to the author for actually placing an animation inside a web comic.
  • Nerf NOW!! shows a couple of instances: one where Angie ends up modeling/cosplaying/dancing as Shantae for Jo (after making the comment that Jo was only supporting a Kickstarter for Shantae just for "belly dancing fanservice"), and another when Shantae switches places with Ora from Mark of the Ninja, where Ora learns dancing lessons from a citizen of Sequin Land.
  • Monique dresses up as one a couple of times in Sinfest: once for a Bollywood parody and while she was cosplaying as a gypsy.
  • Gwynn wears one of these in this Sluggy Freelance strip, in a fiendish attempt to kill Doctor Schlock. He would have died happy, at least.
  • Anna, the Love Interest of the protagonist of White Noise. In fact, they first meet during one of her performances, when she singles him out in the crowd to make him blush.
  • Winter Moon: After finally reaching the desert city of Abu Qanasta, Florence decides to relax for a bit and heads into a club with dancers performing. The female lead dancer tells Florence to leave a tip if he enjoys the perfomance —and is quickly shoved away by him. Turns out that Florence was trying to eye the male dancer performing in the back of the club.

    Web Original 
  • Disbanded Japanese pop duo 294 (つくし, or Tsukushi, featuring members Kahori and Haruka) created a online video blog called 294tv, which greatly focused on their adventures while touring Japan outside of performances. In one of the episodes, Kahori and Haruka decided to go to an Indian restaurant in the Shijuku ward of Tokyo, where they took a lesson of belly dancing from two accomplished dancers who regularly perform at the establishment.
  • Brain Dump: In Max's scathing review of Rogue One, Max attempts to summon back Goofball for more product placement. Goofball decides to return, dressed up as Jeannie, and performs hip shakes while refusing Max's request for more product placement.
  • Bravest Warriors: Beth's "30% sexier" costume is a version of this in "Butter Lettuce". And thanks to Wankershim, the Beth hologram decides to perform a dance for Chris as a "reward" for his victory.
  • Drunken Peasants: In Episode 157, the "Troll or Not a Troll" segment involves a rather big-breasted belly dancer balancing a scimitar on her head while discussing her conservative political views. Best part? She ends up being totally real.
  • Luna of Cairo is a small short story told by a real-life belly dancer in modern-day Egypt, who goes into detail of the struggles she deals with as a dancer as well as the surprisingly intricate social hierarchy for Egyptian dancers.
  • The narrator of "Hips of Fools", a story in The Wanderer's Library, meets one on another planet's moon.
  • Athena from Oska Software's "Dancing Girls".
  • In Zero Punctuation's review of inFAMOUS, Yahtzee says it best in terms of his job as a video game critic:
    ... But then I realize that if I'm trying this hard to find complaints then I may have forgotten what I'm in this gig for: to depict the majority of games as the bland garbage that they are to highlight the few glittering belly dancers that rise above it, and inFAMOUS is good. In fact, it's great. Huge, creative and fun. It's rare that I find a game for which I'm willing to suffer haemolacria.

    Real Life 
  • Alla Kushnir, a Ukrainian belly dancer who has competed in World Championships. Her performance at Ukraine's Got Talent can be found here.
  • Bellydance Evolution, an LA-based dance company that puts on massive productions complete with storylines and world tours, including auditioning and using local dancers in each country they tour.
  • Japanese pin-up girl Fumina Suzuki.
  • Modern Egypt is the home of modern belly-dancing, producing the following famous names in the art:
  • We really need to note that what the West knows as belly dancing is something of an artificial construction. As noted above, it's generally raqs sharqi (Oriental Dance), which is a more sexualized version of the traditional dance of the Arab world, developed for the entertainment of wealthy men, and thus only practiced by women. However, the traditional dance of several countries is similar; this is particularly true of the Egyptian raqs balady ("native/local dance"), which is practiced by both men and women and shares many moves with the other thing. So in other words, if you ever see a guy on the dancefloor who looks like he's bellydancing: (1) well, he is, but (2) he's probably just Egyptian.
  • Shakira, Shakira!
  • We now have Steam Punk belly dancers! I say...
  • Western dancers blended raqs sharqi (often called "cabaret" in the West) with hip-hop and ballet to create "Tribal Fusion" bellydance, as demonstrated by Edenia Archuleta.
  • In Turkey, it is not uncommon for a slender, veiled dancer to perform a belly dance on the more sensual end of the scale, and then unveil to reveal that it was a male dancer, to the consternation (and in some cases probably delight) of the spectators. Obviously, the regular version exists there as well.
  • Unlike strippers or burlesque dancers, many professional belly dancers are hired to perform in the presence of mixed audiences (men, women and children). It is not uncommon to see belly dancers, male or female, performing at weddings, baby showers, or even retirement parties. Children will often learn to belly dance at a young age as well.