The term “Arabic dance” is often associated with the belly dance. However, there are many styles of traditional Arab dance and many of them have a long history. These may be folk dances, or dances that were once performed as rituals or as entertainment spectacle, and some may have been performed in the imperial court. Coalescence of oral storytelling, poetry recital, and music has a long-standing tradition in Arab history. Among the best-known of the Arab traditional dances are the belly dance, the ardah, and the dabke.
Traditional dancing is still popular among expatriate Arabs and has also been successfully exported to international folk dance groups all over the world. All dancers wear the traditional costume to embody the history of their culture and tell their ancestors stories.