Male Dancer Costume

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Suits? Neckties? OHHHHHH. you mean strait jackets and nooses, right?

I threw out every suit, straight skirt, pair of pantyhose, and set of heels when I retired from being a legal assistant. I wouldn't have lasted as long as I did if I'd had to wear the same for more than court.
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
To my mind, there is nothing more dehumanizing than a #$$%&*% suit and tie. Anyone who forces anyone to wear such an uncomfortable and humiliating thing is unethical as H,E, double hockey sticks. We won't even discuss the horrid un-comfortableness, not to mention the energy wasted in cooling bills because of this nonsense.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
We could only wear blue jeans on Friday so I invested in some very nice black denim Wranglers.
 

Roshanna

New member
My feeling about male student dancers wearing skirts to perform is this:

I hope we all acknowledge here that for a lot of students, the stereotype that bellydance means you *must* bare your belly or wear a two-piece costume is an offputting factor - and it's something a lot of teachers do their best to reassure students about to avoid scaring them off from coming to classes.

Similarly, I think that giving the impression that you *must* wear a skirt to bellydance (for clarity - I'm not saying anyone on this thread has implied that, but that that's the impression an audience may come away with), i.e. as a man you must dress in a way that will read as 'cross dressing' for many audience members, is going to both put off some potential students, and also reinforce the idea that this is somehow an inherently feminine or women-only dance which men can only do if they are able/willing to present as feminine.

I also believe teachers should think about all of this when planning class dances for their students - not only for male students, but also for students who may not feel comfortable in the 'standard' costume for whatever reason, or who find it difficult to get certain costume pieces to fit. Class costuming needs to work for everyone in the group without any dancer feeling like the 'odd one out' or feeling self-conscious.

That's not to say that I don't think skirts are sometimes a good option - but they are just that. An option, for dancers who have thought it through and decided that is actually what they are happiest with doing and how they are most comfortable presenting themselves. On the UK scene we have male dancers who wear sparkly trousers, and others who wear lycra skirts, and both work with the individual dancer's style and presentation but they come across very differently.

Let's not forget that baladi (i.e. the root of bellydance) is a social dance, and both men and women in the Middle East dance baladi/shaabi in their normal clothes. So from a cultural point of view, it makes sense for your costume to be a stagey version of what you'd wear to dance at a party, rather than something you'd literally never wear otherwise.

Of course there are also historic cultural precedents for cross-dressing male dancers, Koceks in Turkey and Khawals in Egypt, but that really is deliberate "men dressing as women" and all a bit culturally complicated because of things like changing attitudes to gender and sexuality.
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Good post, Roshanna.

Just to be clear, I don't cross dress as a skirt is a unisex garment not based on biological differences. I'm just a guy in a skirt; no more and no less. I draw the line at the bra - although there are certainly men who could use one, and women who don't need one. I understand that some may consider what I do, "cross dressing". Not my problem. I'm told that my dancing transcends gender - which is exactly my intent.
 

Roshanna

New member
Good post, Roshanna.

Just to be clear, I don't cross dress as a skirt is a unisex garment not based on biological differences. I'm just a guy in a skirt; no more and no less. I draw the line at the bra - although there are certainly men who could use one, and women who don't need one. I understand that some may consider what I do, "cross dressing". Not my problem. I'm told that my dancing transcends gender - which is exactly my intent.
Zorba, since you also wear skirts as your normal day-to-day clothes, I'd consider your bellydance skirts to come under the category of "a stagey version of what you'd wear to dance at a party" :)
 

Swirlicious

New member
I like the discussion which is on here. It's all very supportive I feel. I finally decided to go with a crop top and flared pants. Both with a lot of embellishments :)
 

Kashmir

New member
I threw out every suit, straight skirt, pair of pantyhose, and set of heels when I retired from being a legal assistant. I wouldn't have lasted as long as I did if I'd had to wear the same for more than court.
I once had a job that had a uniform :-( that included not only ties for the men but scarves/cravats for the women - and High Heels. Luckily we only had to wear them if an "important client" was in the building - and due to the preference for bare feet or sandals with T-shirts and shorts they always warned us. The uniforms mostly hung behind people's doors. I don't understand how anyone could wear high heels every day - let alone want to!
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Had a friend who wore three inch heels to work every single day. High school English teacher. Never wore pantyhose because they "ruined the line" of her dresses. That meant she'd dash through a blizzard in three inch heels and bare legs on a regular basis. Remarkable.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I like the discussion which is on here. It's all very supportive I feel. I finally decided to go with a crop top and flared pants. Both with a lot of embellishments :)
That totally works. I have a couple of costumes with flared (velvet) pants myself. Wear lots of "stuff" at the hips!
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Had a friend who wore three inch heels to work every single day. High school English teacher. Never wore pantyhose because they "ruined the line" of her dresses. That meant she'd dash through a blizzard in three inch heels and bare legs on a regular basis. Remarkable.
I can top that. I know a gal who wears fives and sixes every single day. I don't see how she does it. I have a set of 3 inchers for my "Brolita" costume (non-dance). Although I'm perfectly fine in 3 inch heels *now*, it was comical learning to walk in them - I should have videographed it. Wobbling and tottering all over the place. Its actually easier to dance in them than it is to walk. They're fun, blah, blah - but I wouldn't want to do it every day. Hurt like Hell too - although I managed to get somewhat used to them so it wasn't quite so bad.
 

Roshanna

New member
I can top that. I know a gal who wears fives and sixes every single day. I don't see how she does it. I have a set of 3 inchers for my "Brolita" costume (non-dance). Although I'm perfectly fine in 3 inch heels *now*, it was comical learning to walk in them - I should have videographed it. Wobbling and tottering all over the place. Its actually easier to dance in them than it is to walk. They're fun, blah, blah - but I wouldn't want to do it every day. Hurt like Hell too - although I managed to get somewhat used to them so it wasn't quite so bad.
Eek! I struggle to walk in even 2 inch heels - not because I *can't* as such, but because the feeling of restriction annoys me so much & I'm habitually a very fast walker. But I mostly gave up on any kind of heel or platform quite a few years ago after a painful incident where I hit my head on the ceiling of a nightclub by walking at a brisk pace into a low beam in my platform goth boots... (tall people problems!)

These days I just wear flat-soled Dr Martens style boots for every occasion, even black tie events, and pretend it's some kind of deliberate daring style choice rather than that I actually don't own any other footwear... ;)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Platform shoes were popular when I was in college. People fell off of them and got hurt. I borrowed a pair to wear once when I didn't have time to shorten a formal dress. Made me six feet tall, a couple of inches taller than my escort. Bugged him to no end. I kinda liked the view. ;)
 

Roshanna

New member
How about this for an innovative costume? :D

[video]https://www.facebook.com/ozgen.bellydance/videos/10155624311652576/[/video]
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Went to his website as it had been quite a long time since I'd been there. Not my style at all, but it does work well for him. Too "modern and chic" and I don't like the bare chested look - but that's just me. That's why we have choices!!

Unfortunately, the pictures of Raffa appear to be gone from the 'net permanently. Very unique style, here's my interpretation:



011908c.jpg
 
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