Belly Dancer

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"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.


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.
  • 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.
  • CLAMP has several of these characters:
  • One of Code Geass' 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).
  • Denpa Kyoshi: During the Ouroboros arc, Kiriko's persona 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.
    • 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.
  • Rare Male Example: One of the ED sequences of Free! gives us the Iwatobi guys plus Rin dressed in outfits that look a LOT like belly dancer outfits. Specially Nagisa's.
  • During the last few episodes of the 3rd Season of 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • An episode of Lupin III (Red Jacket) called "Morocco Horror Picture Show" has one in the beginning, complete with hourglass figure and veil. Fujiko try to imitate her and eventually is invited by the previously mentioned dancer to dance with her.
  • 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 Mahoujin Guru Guru wears a Belly Dancer outfit most of the time, but doesn't actually do much dancing. That "honor" is given to the Old Kita Kita Man, an old man who dances around in a grass skirt.
  • Some dancers show up in Episode 32 of Montana Jones.
  • 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.
  • In Pokémon, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    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.
  • De Kiekeboes: Fanny is forced to perform a belly dance in De Fez van Fes.
  • Jommeke: Annemieke and Rozemieke perform as belly dancers in one of their albums where they are undercover in the Middle East.
  • 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.
  • From Tell it to the Marines issue #4 from 1952.
  • Plaster of Paris from The Spirit.

    Fanfiction 

    Films — Animation 
  • Genie conjures some up in Aladdin, during the "Friend Like Me" and "Prince Ali" musical sequences.
  • One of the Pink Elephants from Dumbo actually transforms from a snake into a bellydancer and into an eyeball.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • The Chipettes dress like this in The Chipmunk Adventure, given that their costumes bare their midriffs.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Every. Egyptian. Movie. Ever. And most other Arabic-language ones too, come to think of it. A belly dance and dancer are to Arabic film what The Item Number and Item Girl are to Bollywood.
  • A rare male example in the film Alexander; Bagoas, the Persian dancer who performs for Alex at one of the big banquets. (He was real, and so was that hot & steamy make-out session he has with Alex later in the film.)
    • A more traditional female example was Roxana's dance.
  • The 2004 film adapation of Around the World in 80 Days starring Jackie Chan and Steve Coogan had a scene where Phileas Fogg, his assistant Jean Passepartout (played by Coogan and Jackie Chan respectively) and Monique were invited by a Turkish prince (played by the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger) into his palace. Fogg's group entered the palace and were met with dancers who performed to the prince's music from his oud.
  • In Batman: The Movie (the based on the tv show one from the 1960s), a belly dancer rises out a suspicious package and does the "dance of the seven veils" to distract several soldiers while she gasses them.
  • The 1966 Italian eurospy film Bob Fleming...Mission Casablanca (also released as Killers Are Challenged, original title being A 077, sfida ai killers) had a belly dancer twirl around for a few moments before grooving out to rock music with the attendees in the club she performed in.
  • Cannonball Run 2. Scariest belly dancers ever.
  • Used as part of a disguise/infiltration ploy in the first Charlie's Angels film.
  • In Charlie Wilson's War the congressman's girlfriend does a belly dance for some Egyptian bigwigs, one of whom comments that it doesn't resemble any belly dance he's ever seen (there are some definite pole-dancing moves).
    • Truth in Television: Egypt is one of the major traditional centers of belly dancing (see above), so the minister knew what he was talking about. Though the real woman also had a sword that made the bodyguards very nervous.
    • The actress that played the belly dancer is Tracy Phillips, the daughter of the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, providing another tie between real-world Texas and the movie.
  • Conan the Barbarian (1982) featured a dancer in a tavern, shortly after Conan (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) slayed a huge snake.
  • One dancer is shown in Days of Wine and Roses.
  • Around the beginning of Deathstalker II: Duel of the Titans, a topless dancer is shown inside a tavern, who continues to dance even when the tavern's occupants break out in a brawl.
  • The "Can You Dig It?" sequence in The Monkees' film Head takes place in a harem full of belly dancers.
  • The Beatles entered an Indian restaurant in their film Help!, where a dancer was performing before she was taken away by members of a suspicious cult.
  • Several in the James Bond films:
    • From Russia with Love: There's one under the opening credits and another in a dance scene at a gypsy camp.
    • Octopussy
    • The Man with the Golden Gun: She was the lover of one of the villain's former victims, and after he died, started wearing the golden bullet used to kill him in her navel when she performed. Bond needed the bullet as evidence and... Well, suffice to say, getting it from her wasn't easy.
    • Also in Casino Royale (1967) which was, err... a movie with James Bond in it.
  • The 1965 Cold War spoof John Goldfarb, Please Come Home! is chockful of dancers, all who perform for the deranged Sultan of Fawzia. Shirley MacLaine and Nai Bonet were two of the dancers in this film.
  • The 2012 film Just Like A Woman had its two female protagonists drive across the country, performing as belly dancers in bars and nightclubs, while running away from a possible murder charge and a failing marriage.
  • One of the shadow puppets from Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
  • The incredibly raunchy film King Frat has a dancer perform in the frat party that occurs after the main event of the film...a farting contest.
  • Adrienne Canterna in Life with Mikey.
  • Rhonda Flemming in the movie Little Egypt.
  • Muttertag: A couple of the Austrian housewives hold a private dance session for their exercise regimen, which somehow escalates into a photo shoot shortly after.
  • No Way Out. Government agents are going through a list of every gift that's been received from foreign governments. One of the gifts listed is a dancing girl, with a note that this particular 'gift' was refused.
  • Paradise: In the beginning of the film, David goes out to fetch some water and overhears music and cheering nearby. He goes to investigate and is treated to the movements of a flirtatious dancer.
  • There was a six-breasted alien in Jabba's palace who appeared to be a bellydancer in Return of the Jedi. In Tales from Jabba's Palace, we learn that she is actually 'fat dancer', a kind of performance that the Hutts prefer. She was selected for his performance because her species have fat cells that work like a sponge, allowing her to appear much, much fatter by absorbing water. This ability, plus the fake warts she is forced to wear, allow her to look like Jabba's mom.
    • Moving right along, Jabba's also got some more traditional examples in the human and twi'lek dancers. Although he seems to prefer feeding them to giant monsters.
    • Slave Leia anyone?
  • In the Tunesian movie Satin Rouge, widowed Hiam Abbass lands in a cabaret (a raunchy, male only cafe featuring belly dancers) when she wants to confront her teenage daughters lover, who works there as a musician. She ends up dancing herself.
  • If a Sinbad movie does not feature one of these, be very surprised.
  • The leading female in Slumdog Millionaire wears a very beautiful midriff-baring outfit, complete with big amounts of jewellery while she's about to be rented for the first time (the dance was part of the advertisement) when the lead finds her again after being separated from her.
  • The 1983 Disney adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes had a troupe of belly dancers performing inside a tent as one of the attractions in a carnival.
  • In the credits scene of The Comebacks, the team's star kicker, Jizminder Featherfoot, is shown to belly dance as a possible part of her exercise regimen. The scene would be considered out of place, had it not been for the film identifying itself as a sports film parody.
  • One shows up in a really trippy sequence apparently involving drugged apples in the 1965 British comedy film The Early Bird.
  • The Flight of the Phoenix (1965) has a scene where a character dying of thirst hallucinates a belly dancer in the desert. It's all very trippy.
  • The Hitman, featuring Chuck Norris, had one show up briefly right before Norris does what he does best: kicking butt and taking names.
  • Several dancers are shown inside the Blue Fez restaurant in The Man with Bogart's Face.
  • Some dancers perform for a brief period inside Jonathan's Egyptian-inspired nightclub in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
  • One of the leads of the investigation of the main case is shown to be dancing in The Night Strangler.
  • In The Secret of the Grain (original title La Graine et le Mulet) by Abdellatif Kechiche, the stepdaughter of an Arab restaurant owner, upon finding that the main course can't be served on time at the opening night, begins an improvised belly dance that has the entire audience transfixed. It provides the movie with its climax.
  • In The Son of the Sheik, this is Yasmin's job with her traveling vaudeville troupe. Unbeknownst to her, the rest of the troupe has a profitable side business in kidnapping and robbery.
  • Videodrome: A belly dancer shows up in the restaurant where Masha reveals more about Videodrome to Max.
  • In Waiting for Guffman, one is shown to be one of the people auditioning for the main musical of the film.
  • Anisa Guzman is even credited as such in Wham Bam Thank You Spaceman.
  • The sexiness is subverted in Where the Spies Are (1965), where the amateur spy played by David Niven watches a belly dance while listening to his veteran agent partner grumble about how he's met "more randy girls back in England than in the mysterious bloody East." Niven does get involved with the belly dancer though, who also turns out to be a spy.
  • In Wholly Moses, featuring Dudley Moore, the city of New Sodom is filled with many a dancer, looking to partake in temptation with whomever they can seduce.
  • Parodied hilariously in Wild Wild West, after Kevin Kline has been captured by the big bad, Will Smith shows up to rescue him, dressed as a belly dancer. It's hilarious. Especially when his pasties turn out to be flame throwers.

    Literature 
  • Merrill Joan Gerber's YA novel Also Known as Sadzia the Belly Dancer.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One of these, a girl named Natasha, shows up in 1000 Ways to Die. Predictably, she ends up as the victim: while practising for a competition she carelessly throws her scarf up in the air, it gets caught in the ceiling fan, and you know where this goes...
  • Airwolf: In the pilot episode "Shadow of the Hawke", a couple of CIA operatives disguise themselves as dancers in a Libyan nightclub.
  • Are You Being Served?: In "Fire Practice", an Arab Emir wants to buy some trousers from Grace Brothers. After Captain Peacock refuses payment of a goat, then a handmade rug, the Emir offers a wife which Peacock also refuses. However when the woman takes off her burka and does a sensual belly dance, he's tempted to reconsider.
  • The Dark Star club on Babylon 5 had a lot of these.
  • The Batman series from the 60s had these on two occasions.
    • Marcia, Queen of Diamonds (played by Carolyn Jones) would wear the outfit on occasion.
    • The episode guest starring Liberace featured a trio of female henchmen who on one occasion wore the outfit.
  • Banacek: Little Egypt shakes her hips in "The Vanishing Chalice".
  • Breaker High had an episode, "Belly of the Beast", where the students stopped in Morocco for a short visit. A small belly dancing troupe led a small class and later put on a performance, with Jimmy as a surprising addition to said performance.
  • The main character of Bionic Woman performed a dance for an Arab sheik in "Jaime and the King".
  • In one episode of the 1980s Casablanca TV series, the Girl of the Week is an ex-ballerina performing as a belly dancer at the Blue Parrot as cover for her work with La Résistance. Belly dancers are seen in the background in other episodes, as well.
  • Kelly Garrett disguises herself as one in a Charlie's Angels episode, "Angels on Ice (Part II)'', and another one is featured in another episode called "Angel in Hiding".
  • Cheers: Cliff throws a bachelor party for his mother's fiance and hires a couple of belly dancers in "Money Dearest".
  • In Columbo, small-time actress Marie Silva-Alexander is in charge of a belly dancing class in the first episode of Season 7, titled "Try and Catch Me".
    • Seems that the costume that Silva wore was still considered a little risque for the time, according to the standards that were accepted in the media during the 1970s.
  • In Department S, one dancer shows up in the episode "A Fish out of Water".
  • Ellen DeGeneres had a belly dancer appear on her talk show to teach her how to dance in front of a studio audience.
  • Firefly: In "Train Job", a bellydancer at a pub-bar surreptitiously slips Mal the contact details for a new caper as she dances by his table.
  • A weird reclusive artist crashes on Gilligan's Island and offends Ginger by asking if he can paint her while she's dressed as a "belly Dancer." Turns out he actually asked her to dress as a Bali dancer; that is, a dancer in a Balinese dress.
    • In "Slave Girl", Ginger performs a dance to stall Gilligan's death ritual before he is burned to death.
  • Megan McCormick attended a belly dancing class in Beirut in Globe Trekker.
  • One is named 'Fatima' in a Growing Pains episode, "Jason Sings the Blues".
  • The dancer in the opening titles of Hawaii Five-O.
  • The episode "Honey, I'm Rooting for the Hometeam" of the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV series features Diane taking belly dancing lessons with her friend Eileen and performing at her recital in full regalia.
  • In one of the Kitchen Nightmares episodes, "Prohibition Grille", Gordon Ramsay went to a failing establishment where the proprietor saw her restaurant as a vehicle for showing off her belly dancing skills. She was blissfully oblivious to the food being crap just as long as she could get to dance in front of an appreciative audience. Gordon's initial response was a disbelieving Gordon Bennett! He then had the task of explaining to her that she'd got her priorities wrong and her first concern should be the quality of the food. Which was dire.
  • The episode "La vida es un suspiro" (translates to Life is a sigh) from the telenovela La Rosa De Guadalupe featured Virginia, a promiscuous teenager who loved to dance, albeit provocatively in what seemed to be a Catholic school. After going out with her friends into a club and gaining the attention of the owner, she began to moonlight as a belly dancer with the nickname Salome. At first, the new job made Virginia happy until the owner began to molest her about being a personal dancer for one of his customers.
  • Episode 3 of Season 1 of Max Headroom, entitled "Body Banks", featured a belly dancer in a seedy tavern, performing on stage alongside a pig.
  • One dancer is in a Married... with Children episode, "Live Nude Peg''.
  • Michael Palin's New Europe, of course, featured it when he went to Turkey. Palin had a go himself...
  • In Night Court, Fatima performs a drastically short dance for Bull's bachelor party in "Looking for Mr. Shannon".
  • The 1970 British comedy On The Buses had a dancer with a snake in "The Snake".
  • Our Miss Brooks: Belly dancers appear in Miss Brooks' Middle East themed dream in the episode "King and Brooks".
  • On the episode "Leslie's House" of Parks and Recreation, Leslie livens up her boring dinner party by inviting teachers from the Pawnee community center to demonstrate their skills, including a caricaturist, a fencing instructor and a belly dancer.
  • One seen in an episode of Pugwall called "The Local Show".
  • Barbara Eden in an episode of Rawhide called "Incident at Confidence Creek".
  • The fitness TV show Shimmy features a lot of this.
  • The Star Trek episode "Wolf in the Fold" has a belly dancer...in space.
    • And let's not forget the very first appearance of a Green-Skinned Space Babe in the pilot episode "The Cage".
    • Belly dancing is pretty much the Hat of Orion females.
  • Stephen Fry, on his Stephen Fry in America series, encountered a belly dancer, who also happened to be a member of the Salvation Army (four words Silent Hunter never thought he'd put in the same sentence). She pointed out that she takes tips, but not in Victoria's Secret Compartment.
    • Incidentally, the series also featured a "Mormon Missionary calendar". Yes...
  • One is also known as 'Flame Dancer' in a So Weird episode, "Carnival".
  • Spy shows on TV featured these a lot. Go figure.
    • Diana Rigg squeezed into one during an episode of The Avengers
    • Get Smart featured a doomed agent named Tamara doing the dance ("There's no Tamara, Chief")
      • At the end of "Survival of the Fattest", the Chief informs Max that the Arabian prince he rescued has sent a gift, but as a government agent he can't accept gratuities. Max promises to send the gift back tomorrow, but when a scantily clad dancing girl enters...
    Max: Would you believe the day after tomorrow?
  • In an episode of That's So Raven called "Psychic Eye for the Sloppy Guy".
  • In The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr., a troupe of belly dancers help out Briscoe and Bowler rescue an orphan in "The Brooklyn Dodgers".
  • The Season 4 episode "The Sheik" from The Beverly Hillbillies featured an Arab sheik who gave away dancing girls to Jed as a token of friendship. Turns out Jed doesn't want anything to do with the girls, leading to hijinks as Jethro tries to take them all for himself.
  • The Champions: In "Desert Journey", a dancer performs for the tribe belonging to a sheik who was saved by Craig. The sheik's advisors welcomed in Craig as thanks, allowing the dancer to be intimate with him after her performance.
  • In an episode in Season 4 of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air titled "Who's the Boss?", Carlton enlists the help of Jazz when the performance of his management job on campus begins to suffer. Shortly after, Jazz brings a weird group of friends to help out, including a belly dancer with a snake.
  • In "Mystery of King Tut's Tomb" of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, a dancer briefly shows up in the club of the antagonist of the episode.
  • The British comedy series The Kids in the Hall had a sketch that takes place in Morocco, featuring a nice closeup of a dancer's navel.
  • Fran and Grace in The Nanny disguise themselves as belly dancers in "Not Without My Nanny" when they think they're being held prisoner by the sultan of Kooristan, the father of one of Grace's friends, who also happens to have a harem of real belly dancers. Surprisingly, that episode was funny.
  • In The New Adventures Of Beans Baxter, a group of dancers is hired by U.G.L.I. to seduce information out of Beans' father in "Bean's Home Life Gets U.G.L.I".
  • In the episode "The Street Urchin Raid" in The Rat Patrol, the older sister of a small boy containing vital information for both the Americans and Germans performs in a club as a belly dancer.
  • Belly dancers with miniature bombs in their navels feature in whatever episode it is/was of The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • In an episode called "Aptitude" from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Maddie performs as a belly dancer in place of a professional one, whom suffered from a bellyache.
    • In the spinoff The Suite Life on Deck, one dancer is peforming a Dance of the Seven Veils aboard in the S.S. Tipton in "Rock the Kasbah".
  • In the episode "The Liar's Club" of The Wayans Bros., two twin belly dancers are the main entertainment in a Moroccan restaurant, where Shawn pretends he's married to Marlon's love interest.
    • At the end of the episode, it turns out that Marlon's crush only wants to be friends with him. Shawn leaves him alone to give him some personal time, only for Marlon to open his closet and reveal the twin dancers, who begin to dance with him. Shawn immediately returns to the apartment, sees the two lovely girls, and dances with them as well.
  • In Three's Company, a lovely dancer is shown in "Good Old Reliable Janet", who has fun with the main cast, except for Janet and Mrs. Roper who had plans of their own.
  • In Webster, Papa is introduced to an older dance instructor and falls in love with her in "Papa's Big Romance".
  • An episode in Season 5 of Whose Line Is It Anyway? had attractive twin belly dancers with snakes. The comedians kept alternating between humor and terror throughout the whole scene. Especially when one of the snakes tried to get very personal with Wayne Brady.
  • An Australian documentary on the private investigation industry called Watching the Detectives had a PI following a woman to investigate an insurance claim for a back injury. Eventually he follows her to a Turkish restaurant, but can't find her inside. He thinks he's blown the case until she comes out dressed as a belly dancer and starts performing in a manner that would disprove any claim of back injury.

    Music 
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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 reset 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.
  • 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".

    Pinballs 

    Radio 
  • 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.

    Theater 

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • One dancer is featured in the 2 Stupid Dogs episode, "Jerk".
  • 6Teen: The episode "Going Underground" introduces Taj Mahome Video, a large home video brand store with an obvious Indian/Middle-Eastern theme, complete with belly dancers who serve as the mascots for the store's grand opening.
    • In "Major Unfaithfulness", Underground Video ends up being bought out by Taj Mahome Video, forcing Wayne, Wyatt and Jude to now become employees of their new establishment by wearing turbans and working with belly dancers who sing and dance to Bollywood-style music numbers.
    • In "Kylie Smylie", Jen tries to disguise herself as one in order to get closer to her favorite idol.
  • An Alvin and the Chipmunks episode called "Just One of the Girls" has a little scene of Brittany Miller belly-dancing.
  • One is featured as a cameo in an Animaniacs episode, "Plane Pals".
  • Nikki belly dancing in a Beverly Hills Teens episode, "Splitting Image".
    • Another belly-dancer is in an episode called "Greens with Envy".
  • "Bosko in Bagdad" has frogs as belly-dancers.
    • A Bosko and Honey cartoon called "Circus Daze" features a belly-dancer in the sideshow at the beginning.
  • Harem cats are featured in "Catnip Capers", and reused in Gandy Goose's "Somewhere in Egypt" and Heckle and Jeckle's "King Tut's Tomb".
  • Shown in a parade of Clarence called "Goldfish Follies".
  • One shown in a Dexter's Laboratory episode called "Sister's Got a Brand New Bag".
    • Another shown close to the end of "D & DD", another episode.
  • In a Donald Duck cartoon, "The Autograph Hound", three silhouettes of belly dancers are behind a curtain, who then turn out to be the Ritz Brothers.
    • Daisy Duck is featured in a penny arcade called "Dance of the Seven Veils" in a Donald Duck cartoon called "Good Time for a Dime".
  • Ghastly does it in an episode of Evil Con Carne called "Ultimate Evil".
  • Flip the Frog dressed up as a harem belly-dancer in "Movie Mad", and another Flip the Frog cartoon which is called "Circus" had a belly-dancer at the beginning.
  • In "The 40 Disco Girls" from the French animation Funky Cops, Fly went undercover as an actress who took the role of Scheherazade in an Arabian Nights production in Las Vegas, which also featured backup belly dancers.
  • One dancer is featured in a Hong Kong Phooey episode called "The Little Crook that Wasn't There".
  • Clarabelle Cow in a House of Mouse episode called "Ladies' Night".
  • A bunch of belly dancers can be seen in the Inspector Gadget episode "Arabian Nights".
  • One episode of James Bond Jr. has Tracy and Phoebe dressed up as belly dancers but they also happen to hate it.
  • An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Lucius having several Nightmare Sequences involving being one for Jimmy as a result of an You Owe Me storyline.
  • Koko the Clown sees one through a keyhole in the Koko the Clown cartoon called "Harem Scarem".
  • Mickey Mouse dresses up as one in "The Opry House".
  • A harem belly-dancing girl mouse is featured in the Mighty Mouse cartoon, "Sultan's Birthday".
    • Another cartoon called "Law and Order" had one shown.
  • One is featured in an MGM cartoon, "Good Little Monkeys."
  • In the Muppet Babies episode "Gonzo's Video Show", Piggy briefly appeared as a belly dancer but doesn't do any dancing.
  • In an episode of Oggy and the Cockroaches called "3 Wishes and You're Out", three are shown in it.
  • One is shown on a poster at the carnival in a Pluto cartoon, "Bone Trouble".
  • A Porky Pig cartoon called "Wholly Smoke" features one during the song about smoking.
  • Katherine in the second half of the 2-parter episode of Rambo: The Force of Freedom called "Alphas, Arms, and Ambush".
  • Sheherazade dances in episode 49 of the TV show, Princess Shéhérazade.
    • You may find it in here and/or in here.
  • In the Sabrina: The Animated Series episode called "Boogie Shoes", one is called Salome, and she is shown as one of the judges, but doesn't dance at all.
  • A belly dancer appears in the Samurai Jack episode "Jack and the Warrior Woman".
  • Scooby-Doo
    • Velma and Daphne disguise themselves as belly dancers in the What's New, Scooby-Doo? episode, "Mummy Scares Best".
    • Velma dresses up as a belly dancer for a costume party in the movie Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! .
    • In one episode of the original Scooby-Doo series, Velma and Daphne Dress up as belly dancers, but it's a bit weirder than you'd expect, especially if you regularly watch the show.
    • In an episode of The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo called "When You Witch Upon a Star", Scooby, Shaggy, Daphne, and Scrappy dressed themselves up as harem girls.
    • In an episode of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated called "Grasp of the Gnome", one is shown at the beginning.
    • Aliyah-Din transformed from princess to belly dancer while entering to the 'Prince' (Haman in disguise), and then turning back to princess in Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights.
  • One shown in an episode of Shazzan called "A Thousand & One Tricks".
  • In the underrated and sadly forgotten Sonic cartoon, Sonic Underground, Sonia the Hedgehog disguises herself as a belly dancer during the "Cosmic Dance" number in "The Jewel in the Crown".
    • Sonic and Manic end up being Disguised in Drag as dancers in order to distract Sleet and break out Sonia and a Freedom Fighter from prison in "Who Do You Think You Are".
    • Another dancer is shown to be living with the members of the resistance who are part of a desert tribe in "Dunes Day".
  • The titular character of Stripperella performed a striptease while resembling a belly dancer in "The Return of the Queen".
  • Wonder Woman belly dancing in a Super Friends episode, "Rub Three Times for Disaster", as a ploy by the heroes to distract their enemies while they make a go at retrieving the magic lamp.
  • In the first part of the Talespin 2-parter "For Whom the Bell Klangs," Louie does this to distract Klang's guards while Baloo rescues the captive archeologist Katie Dodd.
  • In one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), the turtles enter a alternate universe where Shredder rules the world. In this universe, April and Irma are slaves to Bebop and Rocksteady where they dressed as belly dancers.
  • In The Archie Show episode "Veronica's Veil", Veronica disguises herself as a belly dancer due to Archie and Reggie paying more attention to Betty.
  • During the episode "The Word" in The Beatles, the wives of the sheik dance to the performance of the band, while the chubbiest member of the harem tries to flirt with George.
  • Marty Sherman in one episode of The Critic.
  • The Real Ghostbusters: A chubby dancer called Little Egypt shows up in "Drool, the Dog-Faced Goblin".
  • Princess Kashmir (real name: Shauna Tifton) on The Simpsons dressed as a belly dancer for a bachelor party on the season one episode, "Homer's Night Out" and has often appeared in her belly dancer garb in other episodes (such as the Couch Gag for "Marge vs. The Monorail" in which The Simpsons are joined by three rows of recurring characters). Originally, Princess Kashmir was going to be a stripper who dressed like a belly dancer, but the Fox censors at the time objected.
    • Some dancers are in Homer's dream in the episode, "Skinner's Sense of Snow''.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Hero Hampton", Babs dressed up as one (known as Mata Harey).
  • In Total Drama Island, Izzy's special talent is belly dancing. It was so hypnotizing it made Owen fall in love with her.
  • Sincerity from What About Mimi appears as one in the episode "Teacher of the Year".
  • In a Willie Whopper cartoon called "Insultin' the Sultan", Willie's girlfriend is sold to the Sultan (by mistake) as a belly dancer.
  • Morgiana does it in a "Wizard's Tale" film called "Ali Baba".
  • Princess Salami from a Woody Woodpecker cartoon called "Socko in Morocco".
    • A belly-dancer is shown close to the end of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon called "Roamin' Roman" which reveals to be the lion in drag.

    Real Life 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • We now have Steam Punk belly dancers! I say...
  • Alla Kushnir, a Ukrainian belly dancer who has competed in World Championships. Her performance at Ukraine's Got Talent can be found here.
  • Shakira, Shakira!
  • Japanese pin-up girl Fumina Suzuki.
  • 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.
  • 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.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BellyDancer