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Hip Hop Belly Dancing Skirts

Jun 4, 2008
Belly Dancing Skirts and Costumes

Costumes for belly dancing vary as widely as the music used. Different regions use different types of costumes; however they all have certain aspects in common. While regional variations do occur, for the most part, all belly dancers wear certain costume pieces. While individual use of these varies by location, some possible accessories are headbands, sleeves, and veils. Specifically in America, pants are common, as are choli tops (from India) and vests.

Not all dancers utilize belts; some have embellishments sewn directly onto their skirts. The shapes of belts vary by region, with V-shaped belts more common in Turkey, while in Egypt the belts are rectangular in the front and rounded in the back to cup the buttocks. Depending on the region in question, the bra can be either very plain cut or have decorative edges like scallops. Decoration/Fringe: Most belly dancing costumes have some sort of embellishment. Minimalist costumes tend toward embroidery, where others include plenty of sequins and fringe. Sequin pattern and fringe design differ greatly with locale. Variations in Belly Dancing Skirts

In Turkey, the skirts tend to be sheer - generally a strong polyester/chiffon blend. Decoration truly depends on how expensive the skirt is, as well as whether or not a belt is used. For lower-end skirts with a belt, there is generally little or no decoration directly on the skirt.

If a belt is not used, however, low-end belly dancing skirts often have hip accents, including fringe, sewn right on the skirt. Expensive skirts however, commonly have extensive decoration on them designed to copy the patterns of the belt and bra. These skirts may be made of other fabrics as well; various types of velvet are common. They may also have cut-out sections or be designed for the purpose of showing off the legs.

Egyptian belly dancing skirts are rather different. Lower-end costumes use either pleated or 3-panel circle skirts made of polyester/chiffon blends. It is common for hip accents with a lot of fringe to be built into the skirt itself.

However, high-end costumes there either skip the skirt entirely in favor of a gown, or use a much sleeker, fitted skirt generally made from Lycra. These skirts are often extensively embroidered. While they can be decorated with sequins or beads, the expensive belly dancing skirts here do not utilize much, if any, fringe.

In America, skirts, like the dance itself, come from all over. While both circle and panel skirts of chiffon are used, they are generally utilized in layers. These belly dancing skirts are generally done in earth tones and have minimal embellishment. In fact, in the U.S. skirts are often replaced by harem pants.

If you are looking for a truly authentic belly dancing costume, you would be advised to look outside of the U.S. While costumes there may appear to be of middle eastern origin, when outfits direct from those regions are examined, it is clear that Americans have made their own, unique look; a look that, like their style of belly-dancing and like Americans themselves, comes from all over.
About the Author
Charlie Reese is an authentic belly dance instructor and ballerina. He also likes giving a psychic reading to as many psychics .
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