My dance costume

Amine

Member
Hello everyone, I hope you are all doing very well. After so much waiting, I decided to show you in pictures my costume for belly dancing, it is composed of a skirt bought second-hand a few years ago on Ebay, at the top level, it is it's a sober black t-shirt, but I hesitate to put on a black vest or even add some jewelry. Sometimes I put a sarouel under the skirt. I try to play on sobriety and simplicity by bringing a little fantasy. Feel free to give your opinion ☺.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
I love the skirt - it is almost identical to one that I have. Mine also has two flounces like yours - purple and coral in my case.

Costuming is a VERY personal thing, and particularly so for a male Belly Dancer. *FOR MYSELF* I'd like to see more bling up top, but by all means you need to go with what you're comfortable with. I always advise wearing pants of one sort or another under a Belly Dance skirt - I have stories... ;)
 

Amine

Member
I love the skirt - it is almost identical to one that I have. Mine also has two flounces like yours - purple and coral in my case.

Costuming is a VERY personal thing, and particularly so for a male Belly Dancer. *FOR MYSELF* I'd like to see more bling up top, but by all means you need to go with what you're comfortable with. I always advise wearing pants of one sort or another under a Belly Dance skirt - I have stories... ;)
Thank you Zorba for your answer, mine is brand "We3bellydance", I don't know if anyone knows this brand here, but I know that their skirts are really beautiful, when you move, the fabric shines. Unfortunately I got to know them long after they stopped producing, there were a lot of great colors available, but I'm still happy. The floors in black are complemented by whimsical colors at the bottom. And yes, you're right, it's everyone's tastes and colors, anyway I just wanted to share 😊.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Thank you Zorba for your answer, mine is brand "We3bellydance", I don't know if anyone knows this brand here, but I know that their skirts are really beautiful, when you move, the fabric shines. Unfortunately I got to know them long after they stopped producing, there were a lot of great colors available, but I'm still happy. The floors in black are complemented by whimsical colors at the bottom. And yes, you're right, it's everyone's tastes and colors, anyway I just wanted to share 😊.
I am indeed familiar with We3 - haven't heard them mentioned in many years.

Don't be afraid of jewelry! :D
 

Amine

Member
I am indeed familiar with We3 - haven't heard them mentioned in many years.

Don't be afraid of jewelry! :D
That's not what scares me lol. Jewelry can be wonderful to match the top, but there are so many beautiful pieces of jewelry that it's hard to choose. 🙂
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I like it. I'm good with the plain top, especially if you use it to showcase a fabulous necklace. Adding something to emphasize the hips would appeal to me.
 

Amine

Member
I like it. I'm good with the plain top, especially if you use it to showcase a fabulous necklace. Adding something to emphasize the hips would appeal to me.
Thanks Shanazel,

to highlight my hips, I think of a belt or a veil of fabric, which I will put over the skirt. For the necklace, it can be a good idea.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Thanks Shanazel,

to highlight my hips, I think of a belt or a veil of fabric, which I will put over the skirt. For the necklace, it can be a good idea.
I'm a coin girl. If you could find a big ol' fancy coin necklace to go with an old fashioned coin belt, you'd be adorable. Okay, you're already adorable. You'd be adorable-er.
 

Amine

Member
I'm a coin girl. If you could find a big ol' fancy coin necklace to go with an old fashioned coin belt, you'd be adorable. Okay, you're already adorable. You'd be adorable-er.
I need to find a belt and a necklace that matches the rest of the costume, or why not dare various whimsical colors (I love fantasy 😁).
 

Amine

Member
As I have seen on Etsy, there are all prices, from $10 to more than $300, of course I will see according to my budget.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
That's a very pretty skirt! I like the flame colors at the hem. I do have a couple thoughts...

First, that's a lot of black. If you don't have high quality stage lighting, if you have a dark stage background, or if you are performing in a low visibility venue like a hookah lounge, most of the audience is not going to be able to see you well. As we learned in science class, black absorbs light and heat. Black clothes tend to "eat" your moves, even under the best lighting conditions.

To that end, I'd suggest if you really want to wear a black T-shirt, at a minimum, like Shanazel said, you should wear some kind of hip sash. If you don't want coins or beads, even a plain fabric sash in red, orange, or yellow would help delineate where your hips are and make it easier to see your dancing. You could also consider wearing a colored vest or a colored long-sleeve, unbuttoned dress shirt tucked in or tied at the waist (nothing too starched and office-ish, more like Latin ballroom style) over your T-shirt. If that's too much fabric, you could loop a colored scarf around your neck as an alternative to jewelry to draw attention upward and balance the brightness at the bottom with some color near your face.

There's also a cultural aspect of black clothing in Muslim countries that is worth mentioning. Black is their color of inconspicuousness. That's why black is the most common color of hijab, niqab, chador, and burqa. Roxxanne Shelaby once commented at a workshop that many Middle Easterners have the opposite opinion of Westerners when it comes to black and white. Where we are used to thinking of black as sexy and white as modest, Middle Easterners tend toward the reverse. White is their sexy, "Look at me!” color, and black is what you wear to be demure and not draw attention to yourself. (It is true that many brides over there wear white to get married, but sometimes they manage to combine our meaning of purity and innocence with their not very subtle subtext of "Guess who's going to get to have sex now!") And I'm sure somebody wrote a gender-studies term paper on the unbalanced tradition that men in the Gulf usually wear light colors, but women are expected (if not bound by law in some places) to cover themselves in black when they go out, almost as if someone realized you could weaponize the physics of black fabric to incentivize women to stay at home in a hot climate.

I only mention this as a side note. There isn't anything inherently wrong with black or white dance costumes. Many dancers (including native performers) own black costumes, and the main reason white costumes aren't more popular is they can be a challenge to keep clean.

But at the end of the day, we dance to be seen, and we work hard to master difficult, intricate movements. Don't hide yourself and your dancing in an optical black hole!

P.S. I haven't thought about We3 in ages. I never bought anything from them, but I remember looking at their merchandise when I was a beginner and they were just starting to sell on eBay.
 

Amine

Member
That's a very pretty skirt! I like the flame colors at the hem. I do have a couple thoughts...

First, that's a lot of black. If you don't have high quality stage lighting, if you have a dark stage background, or if you are performing in a low visibility venue like a hookah lounge, most of the audience is not going to be able to see you well. As we learned in science class, black absorbs light and heat. Black clothes tend to "eat" your moves, even under the best lighting conditions.

To that end, I'd suggest if you really want to wear a black T-shirt, at a minimum, like Shanazel said, you should wear some kind of hip sash. If you don't want coins or beads, even a plain fabric sash in red, orange, or yellow would help delineate where your hips are and make it easier to see your dancing. You could also consider wearing a colored vest or a colored long-sleeve, unbuttoned dress shirt tucked in or tied at the waist (nothing too starched and office-ish, more like Latin ballroom style) over your T-shirt. If that's too much fabric, you could loop a colored scarf around your neck as an alternative to jewelry to draw attention upward and balance the brightness at the bottom with some color near your face.

There's also a cultural aspect of black clothing in Muslim countries that is worth mentioning. Black is their color of inconspicuousness. That's why black is the most common color of hijab, niqab, chador, and burqa. Roxxanne Shelaby once commented at a workshop that many Middle Easterners have the opposite opinion of Westerners when it comes to black and white. Where we are used to thinking of black as sexy and white as modest, Middle Easterners tend toward the reverse. White is their sexy, "Look at me!” color, and black is what you wear to be demure and not draw attention to yourself. (It is true that many brides over there wear white to get married, but sometimes they manage to combine our meaning of purity and innocence with their not very subtle subtext of "Guess who's going to get to have sex now!") And I'm sure somebody wrote a gender-studies term paper on the unbalanced tradition that men in the Gulf usually wear light colors, but women are expected (if not bound by law in some places) to cover themselves in black when they go out, almost as if someone realized you could weaponize the physics of black fabric to incentivize women to stay at home in a hot climate.

I only mention this as a side note. There isn't anything inherently wrong with black or white dance costumes. Many dancers (including native performers) own black costumes, and the main reason white costumes aren't more popular is they can be a challenge to keep clean.

But at the end of the day, we dance to be seen, and we work hard to master difficult, intricate movements. Don't hide yourself and your dancing in an optical black hole!

P.S. I haven't thought about We3 in ages. I never bought anything from them, but I remember looking at their merchandise when I was a beginner and they were just starting to sell on eBay.
Thank you very much for your answer, in the first place, you were right, this is precisely the reason why I took this skirt, the colors at the bottom give a flame aspect of the most beautiful effect, moreover, the skirt that I I chose a black that reflects the light and is shiny during my dance movements, to tell you the truth, I do not hide from you that for a time I all bet on this one, forgetting the rest (I based on the fact that when I was little I had attended a belly dancing show, the dancers had beautiful colored skirts). Regarding the top, you were probably right, I have long thought and continue to think about the advisability of keeping a black t-shirt, but I will probably buy a new colored top or a cardigan, possibly with a necklace and various jewelry, I find the black t-shirt a little too classic, I need more colors.

Absolutely, being Muslim myself, when I go on vacation to Morocco, all women's clothes (burqa, hijab) and some men's clothes are black.

Yes, I knew about We3 after they were gone, too bad, it's one of my favorite brands.
 

Tourbeau

Active member
Amine, I apologize if I came across as trying to explain your own culture to you. My posts tend to be unnecessarily long and thorough explanations of everything I've been taught, and I don't mean to talk down to anyone who already knows what I'm rambling about.

When I started building my own costume collection, I started with a lot of black myself, even though I don't wear much black in real life. Many new performers feel insecure in their skills and I think gravitating toward black can be subconscious. I know I personally had some "imposter syndrome" going on, and I was a couple of hafla videotapes in before it finally dawned on me that black just doesn't film well most of the time. Black satin and black sequins show up better than black velvet, but they all show up worse than colors (although a really bad videographer can turn white or very light colors into glowing blobs, which is the opposite problem of too much reflectivity).

I hope you are able to find a combination of costume upgrades that work for you. The good news is you can experiment with colored T-shirts fairly inexpensively. 🙂
 
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