Gypsy dance and its similarities to belly dance

There are many ideas about how belly dance might have originated, but there is very little proof that it actually happened as said.

One of the theories is that belly dance was brought from India and the Persian Empire by gypsies; there are indeed many similarities to dance forms in India. After these gypsies had brought their music and dances to the Western world, several elements would have been added. The dancers continued to travel to world with their movements and music, which created the belly dance we know today: a collection of movements from different countries and cultures.

Gypsy dance and music cannot to be described clearly, since the travelling gypsies (Romani or Roma) adopt the music and dance from the host country and add their own flavours. It is also possible that the influences from a previous host country are still visible. You could say that the music of a people on the move is always in motion.

Even now it is clear that a gypsy mixes easily with any style of music


About the Romani

In Europe there are about 10 million Romani (also known as Romany or Roma). The Romani are Europe’s largest ethnic minority. They are systematically being discriminated against in education and housing. Many Romanis are affected by racist violence, to which the police and justice do not respond. Prejudices and racist expressions are widespread.

To many people the word gypsy has a negative connotation and many Romani find it discriminating. If the Romanian government get its way, Romani should be called gypsies again. This is because in the rest of Europe the Romanians are often mistaken for Romanis, because the words are pretty similar. The Romanis I spoke to in Romania encounter the same confusion and do often not even understand what you mean by Roma; they consider themselves gypsies speaking the gypsy language.


For a brief history of gypsy people watch the animation movie!

Gypsy legend
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English transalation on this site : Anouk  de Meijere