My two favorite bellydancers:
Roya & Shiva
(don't ask me why lj put them in a scrollbox but I guess you can only watch one at a time anyway)
if you can't get the embedded vids to work, here are the direct links:
Every time I hit play on either of these I get sucked in and have to watch all the way through! (or most of the way through Shiva's -- dayum, he's got some stamina!) With Roya, WOW. Belly dancing is so second-nature to her that she plays with it! If you've never tried it you've no idea what an accomplishment that is. And she always smiles! all the way through! She takes so much joy in what she does. I love her veil-work and I love how she makes use of the whole space in her choreography and really moves around, yet still manages all those isolations. A lot of bellydance videos I watch involve the dancer staying in the same 4-foot circle, hardly using the legs at all -- not so with Roya! I love all the freedom that comes in her dance-running around. She doesn't really seem to perform so much as just play around and cheerfully share with whomever wants to watch. I could easily see her dancing around a fire.
Shiva -- WOW. I'm so impressed that he dances so fluidly! I think the male and/or slender body is not as easily suited to some of the movements in bellydance -- shimmies for instance -- but he does it all, seemingly without effort! Those belly rolls! DAYUM! I love the creativity of his costume -- no self-consciousness, not trying to be 'feminine' or 'masculine' but just being decorative. The headscarf is a really great touch, and I love the makeup. And he also makes use of the whole space! and OMG that backbend while shimmying?? I can't even freaking IMAGINE! oooh, and I love how he grins and waves on the cheers when balancing the length of the cane on his hip!
Also, Roya & Shiva are quite possibly the two sexiest beings in the universe. They're just so in-tune and ALIVE and sensual and free! It is a lifetime goal of mine to see them both perform live -- which means going to San Francisco and Sydney, Australia. Yay!
And I have to add a bellydance artist who doesn't bellydance: the photographer Michael Baxter. His photographs are beyond stunning! Under the cut are 6 he took of Roya, followed by 11 of other artists.