Today, male dancers working as belly dancers are called Zenne. Zenne is the name given to men in traditional nomadic Turkish traditions who traditionally dance in a feminine way in women’s clothing at festivities or weddings for fun.
Zenne means woman in Ottoman Turkish and is a word of Persian origin. Since it was considered a sin for Muslim Turkish women to appear on the stage in the pre-republican era, male actors played female roles in all theater performances. Today, male belly dancers are also called zenne too.