There is the belief that belly dance is ancient; done in a time
long ago when women would perform a dance to instruct pregnant
women on how to strengthen and roll their abdominal muscles in
preparation for childbirth.
history, the dance was performed by women for women; a tradition
that continues in Saudi Arabia and other conservative Muslim countries.
However, there was a period in the old days when the dance became
a performance (entertainment) and was then performed in the presence
of men and women.
Dance is a beautiful, artistic art form that should be respected
as such. Tipping is encouraged to show your appreciation of the
dancer but it is not required. Traditionally, a dancer is showered
with dollars but in the U.S., the tradition of respectively placing
a tip in her belt is also accepted.