In the Middle East women dance for other women—for their friends, neighbors, aunts, mothers, and cousins. They use it to amuse themselves during the day while the men are out earning a living and they use it to celebrate happy family occasions such as weddings. The tradition of the dance is not one of seduction as it is performed for other women, and it is not viewed as such by the people who have grown up in Middle Eastern families. Women do not teach their daughters a dance of seduction.
In the United States belly dancing is viewed in a whole different light. When belly dancing is mentioned, people automatically think of the “Dance of the Seven Veils” or women who are part-time strippers. Asha strives to educate the public about belly dancing and who belly dancers are. Belly dancers are strong, determined women and men who enjoy an artistic form that allows them to express themselves in a creative manner and to enjoy the camaraderie it brings.