I would consider my personal belly dance style Turkish Fusion or Cabaret. I love the classy Egyptian style as well and use plenty of it but there’s something about the floorwork and more earthy Turkish style that I really enjoy.
I also like putting in some American Tribal flavour in when the music has a slower or darker part. It’s a dramatic difference and can keep a performance very interesting.
The one part of belly dancing I would like to learn more is the folk dancing. I think it gives you a good grounding of rythym and history especially for Egyptian dancing. Here’s some info on Baladi and Saidi from Lisa of Belly Dance Secrets.
Let’s look at some of the styles of Belly Dancing, and the many names those styles go under, starting with one of the most traditional Middle Eastern Dances.
Baladi (or Beledi) is the Egyptian term for country or folk dances, which are typically danced at weddings, festivals, and in the home. The word comes from Arabic meaning country or home town.
The Baladi costumes are usually floor-length sheath dresses or kaftan style with hip scarves over the top.
Take a look at this video of a traditional Baladi. Note the more earthy style in comparison to most modern Belly Dancing:
Saidi is a form of Baladi, in that it is a style of dance which comes from the folk traditions of Upper Egypt. This video shows two of the famous Mahmoud Reda dancers performing Saidi. They really capture the fun, playful nature of the dance: