The exotic and beautifully ornate belly dancing clothes can be a big attraction for someone discovering this flamboyant artistic dance, and these days there are plenty to choose from. It doesn’t have to be too costly for a beginner either, a few inexpensive pieces can be enough to make you feel and look the part.
Sure, you don’t have to buy any special clothing at all if you don’t want to, although choosing them can be fun, and actually wearing them will certainly get you in the mood for dancing even if you are justpractising at home.
In the West the most common belly dancing costume would be the fitted top or bra, hip belt, and skirt or harem type pants. This is known as “bedlah” which is Arabic for suit, although Turkish and American dancers also wear this style.
The top and hip belt are decorated with fringes of coins, beads, sequins, or jewels, the coins being the most traditional items which began way back when dancers were given coins for their performances. The hip belt is a wide piece of fabric which is worn separately or sewn onto the skirt, and low on the hip to accentuate the hip movements.
The skirts and pants are richly colourful lightweight, sheer chiffon fabrics making them ideal for freedom of movement when dancing. The pants are full and gathered at the ankle, and the skirts sometimes split revealing the full length of the leg.
Veils and scarves are also used to further enhance the overall effect, and props such as zils (finger cymbals), swords, and sometimes snakes (usually boa constrictors or pythons).
Although belly dancing (oriental dance) originates from the ancient cultures of the Middle East, N. Africa, India, and the Mediterranean, modern dancers today draw on different elements of costume from around the world. This can be particularly good fun for someone putting together different items of belly dancing clothes and developing their own unique style.
Turkish belly dancing is usually the most revealing of costume, the skirts may be split to reveal both legs, the bras plunging, and some dancers wear high heels, which all reflects the playful, sexy, and flirty style of Turkish belly dancing.American belly dancing clothes can be similar to the Turkish style, or a mix and match from different countries, with the Egyptian costume being far more demure and not so revealing.
As belly dancing continues to grow in popularity costumes which in the past have been difficult to get hold of are now becoming more available through online stockists to satisfy the demand. Whether it’s dancing for health or for fun, belly dancing clothes needn’t be expensive and can play a big part in your belly dancing experience!