Oriental Belly Dancers The performance dance form known in the West as the Oriental Belly Dancers, and Raqs Sharqi locally is based on one of the social dances native to the Middle East and Dubai. Despite its western name belly dancing, Raqs Sharqi uses movements in every muscle group of the body. It is, fundamentally, a solo improvisational dance with its own unique dance vocabulary that is fluidly integrated with the music’s rhythm. Though the basic movements of Raqs Sharqi have remained the same, the dance form continues to evolve. Mahmoud Reda is noted for incorporating elements of ballet into Raqs Sharqi and his influence can be seen in modern Egyptian dancers. The most important non-Egyptian forms of belly dance are the Syrian/Lebanese and the Turkish.