In the 1960s and 1970s, a belly dancing craze swept the United States. Audiences could enjoy live belly dancing performances in Middle Eastern restaurants and clubs. Viewers could watch belly dancers in hit movies and on popular television shows. At first glance, the history of belly dancing appears to be a story of white middle-class women appropriating Middle Eastern culture and styles to make themselves more exotic. But the story of belly dancing is much more complex: it is a story in which Middle Eastern and American artists and audiences shaped and reshaped artistic expressions, sexual performances and cultural identities.
Hosts and Creators: Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman
Senior Producer: Saniya Lee Ghanoui
Producer and Story Editor: Rebecca Davis
Assistant Producers: Chris Babits, Isabel Machado and Mallory Szymanski
Intern: Julian Harbaugh
Thank you to Kanina, Mychelle Crown, Roberta Dougherty, Roxxanne Shelaby, and Barbara Siegel for sharing their stories with our senior producer Saniya Lee Ghanoui.
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