Choosing a Belly Dance Costume

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(image with Attribution License) | Source

Belly dance is an ancient and performance art. Not surprisingly, belly dance is also known for its alluring and colorful costumes. Choosing the right dance dress is very important because it allows the dancer to showcase the dance moves properly and with confidence. Not only this, a belly dance outfit also indicates the specific type of belly dance one performs.

Belly dance costumes therefore come in varying styles, cuts, beadings and materials. It is easy to get heady when presented with an array of options. To make this task easier, here are the basic things to keep in mind.

1. Body Type of the dancer

A belly dancer's specific body type is number one consideration in choosing a belly dance costume. Body types can be categorized into average, long and short. Since the focal point of belly dance is often the belly area, it is important to be guided and remember that not all body types can wear just any kind of costume. If a dancer possesses a curvy body with the right proportions, she can get away with most costume designs.

Belly dancers with the pear-shape or curvy body type need not worry because this is often the ideal body type for this kind of dance. This however calls for style of skirt that will make it easy for the dancer to move her lower body. On the other hand, dancers with narrower hips can make heavy accents in the lower skirt especially the hip area to give the illusion of fuller hips to enable them to highlight hip movements.

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image with Attribution license | Source
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image with Attribution license | Source
With a scarf (image with Attribution license)
With a scarf (image with Attribution license) | Source

Having an average body will give a belly dancer wider choices in costumes because it is easier to dress this body type without much modification in the belly dance dress. In this body type, the length of the torso is very proportional and characterized by a smaller waist sitting in the middle portion of the bust and the hip line.

A person with a longer torso means that there is relatively a wider space in between the bust and the hips. This is often common in slimmer and thinner women. A little trick with the style of costuming can correct this problem. Heavy accents and beading in both the upper garment and the hips area can often draw the eye away from a longer torso.

A short-waisted or short body means that there is a small distance between the bust line and the hips. If a belly dancer has got a fuller midsection may still look like she has a shorter torso than actual. This however can be corrected with the proper belly dance costume that draws the eye down or up to create an illusion of a longer torso.

2. Color

Belly dance costume often come in a wide plethora of rich and beautiful colors in different materials. Costs can run from a few hundred dollars to a thousand depending on the intricacy of the design and accessorizing involved. Choosing the perfect color that suits the dancer is one strategy the a belly dancer or costume designer has to master to achieve that impact on stage.

Make sure the no matter how colorful a costume is, it is important that there is some sort of a common theme running. The skirt, belt, bra and veil should come in complimentary colors. Contrasting colors can be played with but should this should be done carefully. Never distract a performance with an eye-straining combination of clashing colors.

It would be great as well if the colors used complement the skin tone of the belly dancer. Some color combinations help accentuate a person's skin color. Learn to use guides to achieve perfect custome color combinations. If color combinations are a gray area, take advice from color experts in the person of an artsy friend or a good tailor or designer to make it easier.

3. Right cloth material

There are endless cloth materials out there when it comes to belly dance costumes but make sure to choose one that is light and airy and allow free movement of the body while performing. In choosing the material, the time or season can also be taken into consideration since some materials can absorb more heat during summer performances. Confidence will definitely come into play when performing while one is sweating profusely due to poor choice of clothing material.

4. Age-appropriate

The costume must be appropriate to the age of the dancer. Although belly dance is an art and free flowing form, it would be more appropriate to wear costumes that showcase the body in a proper light. For more mature dancers, a costume that would not emphasize parts you want to hide would be great.

5. Other accessories

Any simple belly dance costume can become exceptional with the addition of exquisite hip scarves, hip belt, a headdress, headband, veils and jewelries. You may also incorporate Isis wings, fans, swords, and other accessories.

Veil or wrap

A veil or wrap around may be used to add drama to any belly dance performance but make sure that the material used is very light and airy to prevent bulk. It would be advisable to use material that is almost sheer. Steer clear from thick and bulky veils or wraps as it would not only be hard to incorporate them in your moves but it also interferes with body movements while performing.

Hip belt or scarf

An exquisite hip belt can provide a great interesting element to a dance. Hip belts can be as simple as one embellished with coins or fringes to the more extravagant variety with stones and other crafted materials.

Headdress or head band

A beautiful headdress can be worn as long as it is fitted securely and won't fly off during the performance. It will be a great addition to the overall look. There is no limit as to what a belly dancer can accessories the head with, as long as it complements the theme of the performance.

Wrist and arm cuffs

It would be great to add accessories with wrist or arm cuffs. Bangles and other arm accessories placed in the upper arms will also add that exotique look. Never underestimate the power of these accessories.. Accessories can be piled on depending on the kind of look you want to achieve.

Bellydance costumes sources

Beautiful belly dance costume can be made by a costume or tailor specifically for the performer. Belly dance outfit may also be bought online from Amazon, Ebay and belly dance sites. If you know how to make one, it would be much better but do take note of the factors mentioned. To ensure you get the fit suitable to your frame, it is best to know the real sizes of these ready-made belly dance costumes, otherwise you will have to make adjustments.

Great costumes worn by Ju Marconato

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