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Many experts say bellydancing is the oldest form of dance, having roots in all ancient cultures from the Orient to India and the Middle East. Probably the greatest misconception about bellydancing is that it is intended to entertain men. Throughout history, this ritualized expression has usually been performed for other women--generally during fertility rites or parties preparing a young woman for marriage. In most cases, the presence of men is not permitted. Bellydancing is natural to a woman's bone and muscle structure with movements emanating from the torso rather than in the legs and feet. The dance often focuses upon isolating different parts of the body, moving them independently in sensuous patterns, weaving together the entire feminine form. Bellydancing is generally performed barefoot, thought by many to emphasize the intimate physical connection between the dancer, her expression, and Mother Earth.