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Belly Dance is a term that is quite slippery. Even among people who have been studying it for many years it can have different meanings. And the same person can also use it to mean different things at different times!
However, most would agree that belly dance must contain most (or all) of the following:
Primarily dances with the torso (hips, chest, shoulders) rather than the limbs (legs and arms)
Uses (appropriate) Middle Eastern music
Can use all or part of the music - rhythm, melody, voice, lyrics - and switches at will
Music is interpreted in an appropriate manner - attitude, pauses, expression etc. (Learning this is large part of the study of belly dance)
Uses isolation - so one part of the body can follow one part of the music while another does something different (which leads to layering in complex music)
Dance is linked to music rather than a narrative or religious observance.Channel: Belly Dance