Newbie question

Tracey77

New member
Hi everybody. Total newbie here so apologies for the vague and most likely ill-informed questions. I am new to the belly dancing scene and have only had a few lessons so far. But I have taken to it like a duck to water and now really want to immerse myself in the whole culture. To that end, I was asking my instructor about costumes and the best places to source them from. She suggested that there is really no need to go buying costumes at this stage (i.e. 2 lessons in) but that if I was really that keen to do so I could take a look on auction and classified ads websites or even approach a specialist tailor if I wanted to spend a little more money. So I was just interested to know where other forum members get their belly dancing costumes from. Can anybody offer any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any info!

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Daimona

Moderator
We've all been newbies so don't worry about that. In general I agree with your teachers that costumes isn't necessary at this point, but everyone is allowed to dream. And wherever we are in our dance journeys, we're all most likely still drooling on costume beauties every now and then.


1. What kind of dance costumes are you interested in? Is your current main goal to dress up for class?
Is it for student performances or do you look for professional performance costumes?


2. What dance style are you currently learning? Different dance styles yields for different costumes.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
I always made my own costumes. You could just spend some time cruising the internet and seeing what is available in terms of costumes. https://www.dahlal.com/ always has fun stuff to look at and if you sew yourself (or would like to do so) check out Dina Lydia's site http://costumegoddess.com/

If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture (which to me means history and background of the dance stemming from its Middle Eastern origins) check out some of the threads and information on this forum or http://www.shira.net/ Shira's site is one of the oldest and best belly dance sites on line. Yay, Shira!

PS Welcome to OD. :)
 

Tracey77

New member
Hi everybody. Total newbie here so apologies for the vague and most likely ill-informed questions. I am new to the belly dancing scene and have only had a few lessons so far. But I have taken to it like a duck to water and now really want to immerse myself in the whole culture. To that end, I was asking my instructor about costumes and the best places to source them from. She suggested that there is really no need to go buying costumes at this stage (i.e. 2 lessons in) but that if I was really that keen to do so I could take a look on auction and classified ads websites like http://www.for-sale.co.uk/belly-dance-costume or even approach a specialist tailor if I wanted to spend a little more money. So I was just interested to know where other forum members get their belly dancing costumes from. Can anybody offer any suggestions? Thanks in advance for any info!


We've all been newbies so don't worry about that. In general I agree with your teachers that costumes isn't necessary at this point, but everyone is allowed to dream. And wherever we are in our dance journeys, we're all most likely still drooling on costume beauties every now and then.


1. What kind of dance costumes are you interested in? Is your current main goal to dress up for class?
Is it for student performances or do you look for professional performance costumes?


2. What dance style are you currently learning? Different dance styles yields for different costumes.
Thanks for your input Daimona. I'm not sure which dance style I am learning to be honest. I've been having so much fun dancing that important details such as what style I am actually learning have passed me by. I'll have to ask my instructor. For now, I'd just like a costume for class to add to the experience. No particular style of costume in mind as yet.

I always made my own costumes. You could just spend some time cruising the internet and seeing what is available in terms of costumes. https://www.dahlal.com/ always has fun stuff to look at and if you sew yourself (or would like to do so) check out Dina Lydia's site http://costumegoddess.com/

If you really want to immerse yourself in the culture (which to me means history and background of the dance stemming from its Middle Eastern origins) check out some of the threads and information on this forum or http://www.shira.net/ Shira's site is one of the oldest and best belly dance sites on line. Yay, Shira!

PS Welcome to OD. :)
Good call Shanazel, I'll be making the most of the info on this forum and the other that you recommended. Thanks costume links also!
 
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Kashmir

New member
If you don't know what style - and at two classes in I'm not surprised! - any money spent on costume is almost sure to be a waste. Further, many teachers have fixed costumes for their student recitals - which will be where you are performing for the next few years. It can be heart breaking to buy (and love) a costume then not to be able to use it.
For instance, my students first dance always uses a circle skirt (must be red, one and a half circles in satin) with a fitted bra and belt. No other colours or fabrics. No coin or tie around belts. Often we have sewing afternoons or students onsell their old costume skirts.
My own costumes I buy when in Egypt. (Except for the folk ones - those I make myself)
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
What a good idea to have standard beginning student costumes that can be handed down to incoming students! Figures I would read this idea less than a week after I officially retire. (Slap to the forehead.)
 

Ariadne

Well-known member
Thanks for your input Daimona. I'm not sure which dance style I am learning to be honest. I've been having so much fun dancing that important details such as what style I am actually learning have passed me by. I'll have to ask my instructor. For now, I'd just like a costume for class to add to the experience. No particular style of costume in mind as yet.
I'm going to back up everyone else here. Check out Shira's site. Look around at different costume sites but don't buy a performance outfit until you actually need one. Your ideas about costuming will change as you learn more about the dance. Don't waste your money.

Now with that said, if you are looking for something to wear in class then L. Rose Designs is your friend. They have all the basics you could want and they can customize it to your taste.
http://www.lrosedesigns.com/products/0-catalog.html
Check out their pants and tops options keeping in mind your teacher needs to be able to see your movement in order to instruct you correctly. I recommend the Jazz Pants & Bellbottoms, they're very popular with dancers for good reason. If you want more options you can also do a web search using key words like "Jazz Pants", "Dance Bellbottoms", "Dance tops", and "Choli tops".

Good luck. :D
 

Bellydance Oz

New member
I agree that it's a waste of money to buy a costume. If you want to splash out just for the pleasure of owning something, go ahead - but be aware that you may never wear it for a performance!

It's likely to be many years before you're good enough to perform solo. Instead you'll be performing in a student troupe, and very few teachers will allow troupes to wear anything they want. So the chances of you buying a costume now that will be the right colour or style are remote.

Some teachers will specify an exact costume. Some will specify a style and allow you to buy whatever colour you want. Others will specify a colour and let you pick the style. Some schools will expect you to buy different costumes for every major performance. The best advice is wait and see.

If you really want to buy something, look at http://faridadance.com/
 
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Shanazel

Super Moderator
If it will feed your heart, get a nice student costume in which to practice at home. A few sparkles are just more fun than yoga pants and a tee shirt even if the cat is your only audience.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Hip scarves are so much fun to wear for class, and for practice at home! :D Before buying a hip scarf, check with your teacher to make sure coin/beaded hip scarves are allowed. Sometimes coin scarves will shed, and any coins and/or glass beads can be very painful if stepped on. Also, some teachers don't allow coin scarves in class because they're too noisy. There are some beautiful alternatives available online and in Facebook bellydance costume groups. You can find silk, velvet, and even assuit hip scarves! :D

That being said, you can always wear a coin hip scarf for home practice. :)
 
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