An ancient form of dance, originating in the Middle East and/or the African continent, of which American "tribal belly dance" and "fusion dance" are offshoots. True belly dance is far older than any modern dance (including ballet) and requires far more skill, artistry, and coordination than any so-called "industrial" or "gothic" dance (neither of which are formally recognized as authentic by any established institution). Belly dance has no relation to "strip tease" or "pole dancing;" its roots and heritage may extend as far back as the time of the Pharoahs, and as such it is one of the oldest forms of dance in the world.
True students of belly dance do NOT do it for the "titillation" of men, and as such they almost never perform at bachelor parties or strip clubs. The type of "dancing" performed at such events - while appearing similar to an ignorant individual - has nothing to do with authentic belly dance.
In the West, women who perform bellydance are often accused of being "sluts," "dirty," "cheap," or "trashy." This is due to two factors: 1) The ignorance of most of the Western world of any cultural phenomenon which is not part of their narrow sphere of understanding, and 2) The refusal of individuals (primarily men, but women as well) to take responsibility for their own opinions and reactions to the imagery of belly dancing and those who perform it.
"I love the art of belly dance
; it makes me feel good about myself, and about my body; it is beautiful and graceful; it keeps me in shape, and it's fun."