With those words I heard a stoned
dude in Santa Cruz
cut to the core of the dichotomy of modern belly dancing
This weekend I went with my fiance, who is a belly dancer, to a sort of belly dancing convention and found it overall very interesting but most especially the clear split between "artistic" and "slutty".
As she explains it, there are basically two kinds of belly dancing- tribal ("artistic") and cabaret ("slutty"). I noticed that the cabaret folks look much more, well, bright and sparkley and while performing tended more toward 'look at my breasts" maneuvers. The tribal folks tend toward the modern primitive look and, not surprisingly, seem to wear more traditional dress (not that I'm an expert). Their dancing style is IMHO more graceful and, although very sensual, not as overtly sexy.