Where Did Shakira Learn To Belly Dance

In this article, we will cover Where Did Shakira Learn To Belly Dance?

Shakira’s Early Life and Introduction to Belly Dance

Shakira, a name that resonates with millions around the world, is not just famous for her singing prowess but also for her unique belly dancing style. But how did she learn this mesmerizing dance form? Let’s delve into her journey.

Shakira’s Early Life

Born as Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoli, Shakira’s life has been a blend of diverse cultures. Her Lebanese roots and Colombian upbringing played a significant role in shaping her music and dance style. Here are some key points about her early life:

  • Shakira’s grandparents were Lebanese immigrants to the U.S., and her father was born in New York.
  • Her father moved to Barranquilla, Colombia, where he married a Colombian, and Shakira was born and raised there.
  • The name Shakira is derived from the Arabic term ‘shukran’, meaning ‘thankful’.

You can learn more about Shakira’s early life and her Lebanese roots in this article.

Introduction to Belly Dance

Shakira’s introduction to belly dance is as fascinating as her performances. Here’s how she fell in love with belly dancing:

  • Shakira was only four when she first heard Arab music at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Barranquilla.
  • She was enchanted by the rhythm of the doumbek drum, a traditional Arab music instrument, especially used in belly dance.
  • Captivated by the music, Shakira began to dance on the restaurant table, marking the beginning of her belly dance journey.
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Shakira’s journey of learning belly dance was self-driven. She combined belly dance with Latin dance, creating her own signature style. You can read more about Shakira’s introduction to belly dance in this article.

Shakira’s Belly Dance Career and Influence

So, where Did Shakira Learn To Belly Dance? Shakira’s belly dance career took off with her breakthrough world hit, Ojos Asi. Her unique ability to dance like an Arab, combined with her Latin roots, created a mesmerizing fusion that captivated audiences worldwide. Here are some highlights of her belly dance career:

  • Shakira’s Lebanese-Syrian Arab background greatly influenced her dance movements, especially those that have a strong sense of oriental dance (commonly known as belly dance).
  • She is particularly proud of her hip-shaking movements, a unique fusion of Arab and Latin dancing.
  • Shakira’s belly dance performances, such as her Super Bowl halftime show, often reflect the influence of Arab belly dancing and her father’s Lebanese roots.

You can watch Shakira’s Super Bowl performance and her unique belly dance style in this article.

Shakira’s Influence and Goodwill

Beyond her music and dance, Shakira has used her fame to make a positive impact on the world. Here’s how she has used her influence for goodwill:

  • Shakira has been a proponent of children for many years. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, she has lent her name to support children in need worldwide.
  • Her multi-millionaire wealth, a result of her spectacular success, has enabled Shakira to support not only her immediate family but also help children in Colombia.

Shakira’s work in supporting children and her role as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador is detailed in this article.

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Controversies and Criticisms

Despite her global fame and influence, Shakira has not been immune to controversies and criticisms. Her Arab roots and her link to Israel have been a subject of debate and controversy. Here are some key points:

  • Shakira’s performance in Israel in 2011 was met with criticism from the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, which advocates for various forms of boycott against Israel.
  • Despite the criticism, Shakira has maintained a neutral stance, emphasizing her belief in education and social justice.

You can read more about the controversies Shakira has faced in this article.


From her early introduction to belly dance to her global fame, Shakira’s journey with belly dance is truly inspiring. Her unique fusion of Arab and Latin dancing has not only entertained millions worldwide but also brought a greater appreciation for belly dance. Despite the controversies, Shakira continues to influence the world with her music, dance, and goodwill.

In the end, Shakira’s story is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the courage to be unique. As we continue to enjoy her music and dance, we also look forward to seeing how she will continue to shape and influence the world of belly dance.

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