From Salome to Pole dancing. A history of Exoctic Dance
According to history Salome danced the dance of the seven veils for King Herod on his birthday. He was so impressed he promised to give her anything she desired. Did she ask for diamonds, or gold? No, she asked for the head of John the Baptist, it was her mother’s idea. This was during a time when women had little power, but had a way of getting what they wanted. The strongest man can be brought low by the idea of sex. During a time when marriages were arranged and a man never saw his bride till after the fact, dancing girls would dance during the wedding feast to get the groom pumped up and ready. Modern grooms have bachelor parties with Cincinnati strippers, but for an entirely different reason.
Even father back, in the Paleolithic era cave drawings show women doing exotic dances to please various gods. They were sexual by design, they were used to please the goddess of fertility. They were meant to ensure not only the fertility of the young women, but also the crops.
The priestesses of sacred temples would perform exotic dances as part of ritual worship. Many of these women were also prostitutes, a sacred and honored profession back then. It wasn’t till Christianity became the prevailing religion that theses occupations became looked down on.
It was an honor to dance for the gods, or goddesses, and these women were treated with the same respect reserved for men.
In the Middle East, during the 14th century, a type of dancing known as erotic dancing became popular. What we know as belly dancing took hold. Often performed in the streets, men would throw money, making them the first women who would dance for money to live on. These women never removed a single piece of clothing, but their erotic movements with their hips and belly, would get men excited. No surprise the “respectable” women complained till street dancing was outlawed. Again, it was the idea of sex that stirred up the men, and then the women. The idea of having women dance seductively to entertain men as they dined during celebrations thrived. These were men only affairs, except for the courtesans that entertained them. The courtesans invented the use of fans during dances to make their moves appear more mysterious and seductive.