The following entries (culled from my own experience, the medance list, and entries emailed to me) are movies, tv shows and music videos that have shown some snippet of middle eastern dance. Most snippets are fairly brief, but a few are more lengthy.
For more detail on specific movies, tv shows, try out the Internet Movie (and TV) Database (IMDb) at http://www.us.imdb.com.
"By the way one last thing the Bailey book describes the ideal showgirl of 1935 as being 5'4", 120 lbs, and 34-26-35." --Sadira
"There are two references to dancers in the cast listing from the Internet Movie database, but it's not clear if they're both in the segments referred to: 'Leila .... Dancer' and 'Lisa Guiraut .... Belly Dancer (uncredited)'." --ecb
"...to the best of my recollection, Lisa Guiraut .... Belly Dancer (uncredited) - she's the one who dances in costume at the camp. Leila, who was working in the London clubs at the time, is the one in the credits & over the titling.... Probably a result of Lisa not knowing that title credit isn't automatic & must be negotiated & specified in your contract: where, what size, when (before or after film, who,etc.)....." --Morocco
"From the Internet Movie Database... Franciszka Hedland was the Bellydancer. The IMDb doesn't have any more info about her; if you do, the IMDb provides a mechanism to add that info to their database. Videodrome is the only movie listed for her..." --ecb
"The music used comes from an old tape called 'Super Belly Dance'. I love this tape but don't think it's available any more. Mine is almost worn out from playing it so much." --Shadia
"In 1960, one of the women who also worked at the first club I ever danced Oriental in (such as I could at that time!) for a couple of weeks, was Lorraine Shalhoub, a Lebanese-American beauty, who used the name 'Little Egypt' & later had her name officially changed to Lorraine Egypt. You can see her photo (big safety pins in the costume & all!) on the cover of the 1963 Roulette Records album: 'How to Belly Dance For Your Husband' (!). Warning: DON'T listen to the music in the album - it'll produce extreme puking! (& is a prime indication as to what the American public thought b. dance was in the early '60s, if you didn't believe me before this....) She disappeared from the E. Coast area in the mid to late '60s. I heard she'd moved to the W. Coast, but I can't be sure. Liked her, hated him [her manager/boyfriend] for the way he treated her." --Morocco
"There is a dancer who actually changed her name to Little Egypt (born Lorraine Shaloub.) She also appeared in a broadcast of Chayefsky's GIDEON (and was thereupon profiled in a TV GUIDE piece about her 'ancient art'. I would assume that this is the same.)" --W. Linden
"Regarding the 'Little Egypt' sighting on the tv re-run Banacek, I can confirm Morocco's post that this was the dancer known as Little Lorraine Egypt, who often performed as 'Little Egypt', and that she moved to the West Coast. I believe that she is now divorced from her manager/husband. When I spoke with Lorraine several years ago regarding her career, she mentioned her tv appearances (also incl. Batman) but seemed most proud of her performances that benefited charities including St. Jude's Children's Hospital." --Donna Carlton
"Yes, it was a red outfit [that she wore], might have had some white as well. Also, it *was* a fast Turkish dance, with quite a few spins; it fact, it ended with a spin. Romero's Greek character shouts an enthusiastic 'Opa!' in approval. If I didn't know he was Cuban, I would have thought him Greek myself." --Paul Popowitz
"Yes, I remember her dancing on 'Batman', in an episode with Burgess Meredith as the 'Penguin' running for mayor of Gotham City. Sounds as if Ms. Shaloub's had an interesting career." --P. Popowitz
"Also, there are a number of Columbos that have just a minute or two of belly dancing as a background scene." --Barbara Kohler
"Did anyone else see Cybill Monday January 6? She was planning a stag party for her ex-husband, and auditioned a 'bellydancer' named Destiny. Although I didn't actually see anything, I have the feeling that Destiny would have failed the panty police (she actually said at one point 'make sure he brings lots of folding money. I want my g-string to look like a hedgehog'). She wore a gold coin bra and a white sheer skirt which appeared to be sewn to a white belt, and that covered her from her waist to her hip. Cybill didn't want to hire her because she felt that it was exploitation, but Maryann encouraged her because Destiny could 'pit an olive with her navel' and Maryann wanted to see that. Flipping coins I've heard, but pitting olives? Anyway, I think I'd have to classify this one in the same catagory as the episode of the Simpsons with a 'bellydancer.' Actually, Destiny didn't even dance." --Susan
"I saw the Cybill episode with a lady dressed as a belly dancer. This situation is REAL here in Los Angeles. Girls will put on a costume from Fredricks of Hollywood (like the one in the Cybill show) and sell themselves as belly dancers to perform at bachelor parties, etc., even though they will not belly dance, but exotic dance! These women would NEVER, EVER be seen in an Arabic, Greek, Armenian, Egyptian, etc. venues, only in the above mentioned situation, like the Destiny character on Cybill. She did not dance, she just looked pretty.
"Let's face it, we have been trying for decades to educate the masses on the ART of Oriental Dance. But it is still seen as exotic by the ignorant and uneducated. Unfortunately, we are not able to get prime air time on network tv to educate these people. Therefore, we must carry on our quest to educate those who are still ignorant and uneducated about ME dance, as we have been over the years." --Shahira
"One of my students saw the latest... [Segment on ME dance seen on the E! Channel, unclear from what show.] sounds just like this description... could it be a re-run? She said the ME info was respectfully presented, termed as sensual, not sexual, and that although sandwiched between other forms (stripping, etc.) it was NOT implied that they were the same thing. Also said they sent an actress (don't know who) to take classes and her report was that it was: fun, sensual, personally uplifting and an empowering experience for her... and that she went home and told her S.O. that she would be doing this for a loooong time. Wasn't there myself, but my student liked the way it was presented." --Aziza Sa'id
Kaos Man: She's going to go into a Dance of the Seven Veils. If she takes off one veil, it means Kubitschek is at table 1. If she takes off two veils, he's at table 2, and so on.However, she was shot before being able to finger him, leaving Smart to announce 'There's no Tamara.'" --Will Linden
Smart: What if he's at table 7?
Kaos Man: Then the cops come in and raid the joint.
"I was watching the TV Series Highlander the other night... (It was a re-run :( ) but it also had some un-historically costumed dancers in a 'Turkish' history scene. I almost cringed at the costumes, but the dancers weren't bad at all. Too bad they couldn't get the costuming closer." --Sannan
"Not only is there a dancer, It happens to be Peg Bundy [lead actress] moonlighting there for whatever reason. And, yes, they use the harem girl outfit because of *coverage*, note the face veil... it's plot device. No I don't condone it, just expaining it. Of course they could have used a cowgirl (with a bandana on her face) or any other number of ideas, but *harem girl* always seems to be the first, and last, idea the writers come up with....." --Mona N'wal
"It aired in my area last night. Same tacky plot we've all seen before; housewife disguises self (6" x 6" face veil) as belly-dancer/stripper to entice husband back into her bed. Big surprise when veil comes off. Just like Clark Kent's glasses make such a difference in his looks. How stoooopid. I only watched it to see what the hooha was about. Sorry I did." --Joya
Parent: what's going on?"I won't burden you with the idiotic plot of how the students ended up at the bachelor party in the first place (they were out to offend a lot of people). Anyway, the two dancers wore straight red skirts with gold threads woven through. The material was light weight but not totally sheer. They also had arm coverings (wrist to mid-arm) of the same material, plus gold bra and belt sets with egyptian fringe. They looked a lot alike (about the same height, same coloring, etc.) and they both had long dark curly hair which they wore down, so that covered most of their shoulders and chest area. You couldn't see a whole lot (except, of course, their stomachs). They did very basic stuff--shimmies and a few hip lifts. I saw zils on at least one of the dancers, but she didn't use them. The men tended to dance *with* the dancers--not touching them but standing very close. The man that escorted them to the party made some mention of how they normally danced in a club. I wasn't quite as offended as when I saw Destiny on Cybill; then again, I have higher expectations for Cybill than I do for Nick Freno. At the very least, the costumes looked better, and the women actually looked as if they could dance (I had the feeling they weren't supposed to distract too much from the so-called acting that was purportedly going on in the background)." --Susan Salpini
Nick: This is a bachelor party. These are bellydancers. Those are impressionable young children.
"The dancers described [above] are Nina and Vina (hope I spelled the names right), who are incidentally, twins. Both are accomplished dancers, trained in ME dance and East Indian dance (classical, folk and filmi styles). One of them (I believe Vina...) has **starred** as the Filmi dancer (a lead part) in East Indian films (the kind with all the flirting and singing and dancing....) I've seen both ME and Indian performances by these gracious and attractive dancers and they are quite good. It was very interesting to see them in this show, and it was VERY clear that they had been asked to limit their dancing... The costumes were simple, matching Egyptian style cabaret, the kind with sequined patterns appliquid onto the skirt and beaded hems.... and I'm relatively sure they were be-wigged.... If I recall correctly, they both have long, straight hair, not the curly masses seen on TV. One of the ladies actually had a speaking part (Gosh! The belly dancer Speaks!) and their overall acting (what limited amount was required) seemed natural and at ease. One nice thing, I didn't notice ANY references to stripping (Yeah! that at least is a win...) On the whole, I thought the presentation, while constrained and not spectacular, and certainly not what these dancers are capable of, was not particularly detrimental to our public image... For all that I'd never heard of Nick Freno before, he certainly did us a better turn than Cybill did." --Aziza Sa'id
"I am happy to report a Sighting of a dancer on television that was NOT scandalous!!! She appeared for a minute or two.. on an episode of NOVA entitled "This Old Pyramid" part of a four part series entitled "Secrets of Lost Empires" Which actually is about the building of ancient structures using traditional methods.
"In this show, a group of archeologists lead a team of Egyptian masons through the building process of a small 16 meter tall pyramid. At the end of the show, the builders celebrate with song and dance... a fire-breather, a cane dance and a middle eastern dancer who performs in what I can only describe as a mini-beladi dress of black and red lace... She performs outside on a large group of oriental rugs.. there is a nice over-head shot to show the layout of the musicians, rugs and dancer. Unfortunately, the shots are brief... What I liked best was the celebratory feeling generated by the crowd..." --Dawn Devine Brown
"On at least one show there was some interesting-looking group choreography done by the Amazon characters...it looked vaguely African dance style to me..." Also..."On the episode entitled 'Cradle of Hope', Xena poses as a dancer to sneak into a castle. She (and the other dancers) do lots of snake arms, spins, and 'drama' though not much else. Xena does do, at one point, a kneeling backbend to the floor with snake arms and she is wearing a harem-like outfit: red/gold bustier (so her midriff is covered), blue harem pants, and gold belt with long fringe in the front and back center (though there wasn't really any hip action going on). Oh, and yes, she was also wearing a brief, shear face veil which was supposed to disguise her. All in all, it was clearly ME dance and music that was going on, though not expert but then the character isn't supposed to be an expert in it. On the plus side I thought it added a nice bit of color and a bit more than usual (the backbend) for this sort of thing; dancers were 'dramatic'/vampish rather than being slutty. On the negative side, the dancers were dancing for men only, the leader of whom would pick one of the women to sleep with that night, so it was a bit of the old dancer as sex object/whore thing. One gets tired of that being the only way or context in which ME dance is shown." --Kim
"I am a good friend of U2 and I know the dancer that was in the video. ( if I am correct) Her name is Yasmina, she is French Algerian, she lived in Dublin, Ireland, when I knew her, and I think she did part of the tour..." -Hossam Ramzy