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This week’s podcast is a story about the ancient Egyptian form of belly dancing, and comes from The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories. In “When the Goddess Danced,” Ra, god of sun and father of all creation, falls in love with the beautiful Ruditdidit. When Ruditdidit becomes pregnant with triplets, Ra does everything in his power to keep her happy and comfortable. Tune in to find out how belly dancing helps Ruditdidit through childbirth, and read on for a chance to win!

In “When the Goddess Danced,” Ruditdidit is taught to belly dance by the goddess Isis. What is your favorite type of dance? Let us know by sharing a comment, and you will be entered to win a copy of The Barefoot Book of Dance Stories. The contest closes Tuesday, March 13 at midnight EST and Wednesday, March 14 at 5am GMT.

Here are some fun facts related to belly dancing:

  • In the past, most of the dances associated with belly dancing were performed with the sexes separated; men with men and women with women.
  • Historical evidence links the ritual of fertility dances to modern belly dancing. The sharp hip movements and deliberate muscle contractions demonstrate strong connections to a woman’s body during labor and delivery.
  • Belly dancing’s popularity grew after the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair due to the publicity surrounding a belly dancer named Little Egypt. Little Egypt’s pelvic and torso-focused dancing was imitated by so many to such an exaggerated extent, however, that she began to protest against the impostors for distorting her performance into sheer vulgarity.
  • Beginning in the late 1990s, belly dancing hit the mainstream market with fitness videos by artists such as Veena and Neena, which are still popular throughout the world and are credited with opening a new market of belly dance fitness classes.

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