Inspirational curvy Oriental dancers

written by Andalee on May 18, 2015 in Plus size belly dancers with 3 comments

Sometimes we all just need a little bit of pretty in our life to serve as inspiration. I’ve decided to curate a list of some of my favorite curvy belly dancers. Because I am an Oriental dancer, these will all be within that style or folkloric styles (sorry, no Tribal or Fusion videos in this post–If you’re a Tribal dancer and you want to share your inspiration, please contact me!). Not only is it great to find inspiration for our dancing, these women also serve as role models for a lot of us.

I know some people don’t like that I am calling out or drawing attention to a certain body type, but when it comes to having a healthy body image and good self-esteem, I believe that it’s important to look up to women who look like us. For example in the plus size modeling industry, Tess Holliday, is an amazing model and the first size-22/24 model any agency has ever hired. Not only is this ground-breaking for the industry itself, it also moves fat acceptance and size acceptance forward in our culture. And I want to do that with belly dance. The more curvy dancers there are circulating throughout the web, the more commonly accepted their bodies will be and hopefully the more successful they–and as a result, we–will become.

Please note, that I am not suggesting that any of these dancers are fat or even plus size! I don’t know how much any of them weigh or what size they wear. I know plenty of people that don’t mind calling themselves fat or plus size (myself one of them), but I am not going to label anyone here without their permission. Instead, I am calling them curvy dancers. What I mean by that is that these are women who’s bodies are maybe a little fuller than what we see in mainstream belly dance.

I know most of our readers know that belly dancers come in all shapes and sizes–amazingly wonderful and talented belly dancers also come in all sizes! Enjoy these dancers for their hard work, technique and amazing stage presence and hopefully you’ll feel inspired!

Lisa Zahiya, Asheville, NC, USA

Miasia, Washington, D.C., USA

Sa’diyya, Dallas, TX, USA

Nadira Jamal, Boston, MA, USA

Amity Alize, White River Junction, VT, USA

Deirdre (my former teacher!), Seattle, WA, USA

Emily Beaman, Raleigh area, NC, USA

Amani Jabril, Atlanta, GA, USA

Mahsati Janan, Asheville, NC, USA

Monica Berini, San Francisco, CA, USA

Béatrice Curtis, Surrey, UK

Diana Tarkhan, Alexandria, Egypt

Who did I miss? Who are some of your favorite curvy belly dancers? Who are your most inspirational belly dancers?


About Andalee

Andalee is the founder of Belly Dance at Any Size. She is an Oriental dancer and instructor from Durham, NC, now based in Montpellier, France. She has been dancing since 2005 and teaching since 2008. Her mission is to promote Oriental Dance (a.k.a. belly dance) as a respected and valid performance art.