Belly dancing is an ever-changing art form originating from India as far as 5000 years ago. Gypsy tribes brought it to the Middle East and Northern Africa where 3000-year-old paintings were found depicting female dancers.
However, most of what we know today as Belly Dance was largely influenced by Hollywood in the 1920s and 1930s when the colonists introduced it to the West, and traditional tuniques were replaced by sparkly bra and belt sets, thus transforming the original folk dance into cabaret entertainment.
In our multi-cultural world today, Bellydance has become a part of the international pop culture and is indeed as multi-faceted as the world community that helped shape it.