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A Great Belly Dancing Dress

Jun 5, 2008
What is Authentic Belly Dancing Dress?

We have all seen the elaborate and exotic costumes of belly dancers in music videos and in pictures. Yet as with anything that becomes a staple of popular culture there are sure to be variations from the original art form. Belly dancing is no exception, so what is authentic belly dancing dress?

The answer is that there really is no modern belly dancing dress that is authentic. The belly dancing costumes you see today were adopted by Egyptian dancers according to the images and costumes of 1930's and 40's Hollywood. Eventually these costumes became accepted as belly dancing dress and are used all over the world.

Egyptian Dancers

Egyptian dancers usually have a full mermaid style skirt of any color with a fitted bra top. The top has a fringe of beads or coins and sometimes a scarf is incorporated into the routine. This costume is very popular overseas and is usually the image associated with belly dancing. As mentioned before this is not authentic belly dancing dress.

Traditionally dancers wore costumes that covered the whole body and did not show much flesh. Only a scarf or belt tied around the hips was used to highlight the movements of the dancer's body. It takes great skill to perform in such costumes. An amateur would do better to perform in the costumes that are commonly associated with belly dancing.

Folk dances and routines known as baladi are performed in full beaded dresses. These types of costumes are restricted to folk dances rather than the typical belly dancers that are more commonly performed in nightclubs and as entertainment. Some Western dancers will don these dresses when performing such folk routines though they may not restrict themselves to using the costumes to folk routines.

Turkish Costumes

Turkish belly dancing dress is a lot more revealing than the costumes worn in Egypt. Turkish dancers often wear skirts with very high slits that expose the whole leg. Waist belts are also worn high on the waist to emphasize movement and the contours of the body. This type of costume can be very alluring, though it must be noted that the use of veils is usually not practiced, this is a Western idea.

Mix and Match

Now that you know the different types of belly dancing dress and their origins you can choose the type of costume that you would like to wear. As a performer you should feel free to mix and match a little. There is no harm in veering away from what is considered traditional if you think it enhances your performance and looks good.
About the Author
Charlie Reese enjoys belly dancing and dance lessons. He also likes to give a good psychic reading to other psychics .
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