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Dance


If belly dancing is the only form you associate with Turkey, you must prepare yourself for a surprise. To start with, belly dancing was not originally Turkish (or Middle Eastern for that matter) but Spanish, and was imported through the Jewish emigration from Spain to Turkey in the late 15th century.

Have you heard of the Whirling Dervishes who came from Turkey and dance for the love of God? Did you know that the largest European out-of-doors disco is in Bodrum, a tourist resort on the Aegean coast? Were you aware that there is a school of ballet in Ankara, set up as part of the State Conservatory of Music and Drama, and its first students in 1947 were trained by Dame Ninete de Valois, the well-known choreographer and founder of the British Royal Ballet? There is a lot of dancing going on in the Turkish lands and most of it has little to do with the belly.