College of Communication Master of Arts Theses

Date of Award

Spring 6-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Organizational and Multicultural Communication

First Advisor

Dr. William Baglia

Second Advisor

Dr. Barbara Speicher


The study explores how Russian women’s socio-cultural experiences can be understood through belly dancing and transformed in belly dance classes. The study findings are based on the analysis of eleven interviews with Russian women of various ages and occupations, engaged in belly dancing for an extended period of time. Drawing on belly dancing as an embodied practice within the Russian context, the findings demonstrate that initial expectations of Russian women regarding belly dancing mutated over time, and new meanings were attached to this bodily practice. The emergent meanings are broadly conceptualized within the following dimensions: (1) remedial effects of belly dancing; (2) the bodily knowledge; and (3) the empowering effect of belly dancing. The study argues belly dancing has a powerful transformative effect on Russian women.

Included in

Communication Commons