Dance is integral to the culture in Morocco, far more so than it is in the West. Both men and women dance, but it is mainly something done by women. It’s a way of women sharing and being together, and displaying themselves in public in a way they don’t usually do in ordinary life. It is joyous, sensual, and energetic, and is performed mainly at weddings, parties and ritual. At these gatherings the women wear beautiful dresses when they dance; long, flowing and colourful, with belts around their waists.
Moroccan dance includes aspects of Middle Eastern belly dancing – rotating the stomach is a common element and other styles such as Gnawa (an African ethnic group who became part of the Sufi order in Morocco), where the movements involve jumping and hair tossing and tribal dances from the Amazigh (Berber) regions which vary widely.