Belly Dancing arrived in the United States in 1893, at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. There was a public sensation surrounding the dancers performing in the Midway Plaisance at the Exposition, and belly dancing has unfortunately been the subject of derision ever since. To strict Victorian-era audiences of the 19th century, it seemed scandalous for the dancers to perform onstage, even while wearing very modest costuming.
Professional dancers may perform with props, such as cane, veil, sword, finger cymbals, candles, candelabrum, basket, pitcher, or tray. This is done to showcase the dexterity and skill of the dancer. Dancers may perform to a wide variety of musical rhythms including beledi, chiftitelli, 9/8-time, or masmoudi.