Implicit Religion, Vol 16, No 3 (2013)

“I Really Don’t Do It For The Spirituality”: How Often Do Belly Dancers Infuse Artistic Leisure with Spiritual Meaning?

Rachel Kraus
Issued Date: 1 Dec 2013


To what extent does spirituality play a role in artistic leisure? Utilizing semi-structured interviews with 35 belly dancers in the United States, this article discusses how although many participants attach spiritual meaning to belly dance, there is a wide range in how often and within what contexts people do so. Findings show that some dancers infuse belly dance with spiritual meaning almost every time they engage in the activity, but for most participants, spirituality does not make up the majority of their belly dance experiences. Many dancers rarely or never attach spiritual significance to belly dance. Furthermore, the context in which dancers attach spiritual meaning to belly dance varies. If dancers infuse belly dance with spirituality, they will most likely do so when they are dancing alone in their homes. Only dancers who associate belly dance with spirituality most of the time they dance experience spirituality when dancing outside their home, such as performances or teaching their dance students.

DOI: 10.1558/imre.v16i3.301


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