Localised Exoticism: Developments and Features of Belly Dance in Taiwan
Belly dance has become one of the most popular dances in Taiwan today, with women of various ages participating in this imported dance. With respect to this speedy expansion, the purpose of this study is to investigate current developments, and to distinguish features of Taiwanese belly dance. The method adopted is literature analysis: a large number of Internet news items were collected to capture the trend of belly dancing in Taiwan. This study concludes that belly dance in Taiwan is primarily presented as: an exercise that is beneficial for health; widely accessible and partially embedded in local life; an exercise for all age groups and genders; a blend of multiple cultural elements; outstanding dancers acclaimed as the pride of Taiwan. The representation showed that the development of belly dance was influenced by the Taiwanese social background. Within the Taiwanese cultural landscape of meanings, belly dance moves between the exotic and the local. This study argues that belly dance is better described as "localised-exoticism" in Taiwan.