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[Cross-posted from New Books in Anthropology] When you think about research that contributes to understanding others (or maybe even yourself more), dance is not often the first thought that comes to mind. But the collection of essays in Belly Dance Around the World: New Communities, Performance and Identity (McFarland, 2013) bring the expression of self through dance to life. This collection, edited by Caitlin McDonald and Barbara Sellers-Young, contains research, and stories from dancers and researchers about the role of belly dance and the many forms that it takes. These chapters illuminate things such as the complex relationship of belly dance in conservative middle-eastern societies, to communities in Canada practicing belly dance, and even the role of belly dance in the cyber world of 2nd life. The evolution of belly dance and the role that it plays in the past, present and future represents the important and fluidity of identity, something every person aspires to attain. Caitlin McDonald is currently working in the private sector. Her collegue Barbara Sellers-Young has a recently publication Embodied Consciousness: Performance Technologies (Palgrave, 2013)

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