The Goddess Dances
      Spirituality and American Women’s Interpretation of
      Middle Eastern Dance
           by Janice C. Crosby
        Janice Crosby is an Assistant Professor of English at Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.  She was nominated for the 1998 Kathleen Gregory Klein Award for excellence in feminism and popular culture, awarded by the Women's Caucus of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.  Her publications include "Spirituality" in Feminist Literary Theory: A Dictionary  (Garland, 1997),  and "Difference and Dialogue: Identity in the College Classroom" in the Louisiana English Journal.  She received her doctorate at LSU, where she held the Alumni Federation Fellowship.  She is also a teacher of Middle Eastern dance.

        Crosby’s chapter is a study of American bellydancers and an exploration of the healing of that which separates the human from the Divine.  Her on-line and in-class research portrays the dance as a form of spiritual expression grounded in Goddess imagery.  In a culture where women are disconnected and alienated from their own bodies, the dancers report bellydance has a healing power which provides the dancer with a sense of connection with the Numinous.  Coming from a perspective that weaves together English and women’s studies, Crosby  proposes that when Goddess Spirituality and bellydance interact, they create a space where the art form is transformed into spiritual expression, and sensuality and play are understood to be meaningful attributes of the Divine.

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