'the only restrictions any of us have in life are those we place on ourselves'

There is no ‘uniform’ costume for Belly Dancing – in Australia. Follow your own inclination. You understand your figure perfections and imperfections better than anyone. Many older women have beautiful legs and delicate ankles – design your costume to display this perfection in you. You may, in the beginning, have a thickened torso. Don’t worry, this will soon diminish, much to your joy. In the meantime, design your costume to minimise the torso. This can be achieved in many ways with soft draping or decorative beads and fringes. You know best.
Costumes need not be expensive. Raid the ‘op’ shops and buy pre-loved ball gowns and chop them up to your heart’s content. Combine two or more gowns to achieve the effect you wish. You may even find beading or fringing in these shops (sometimes attached to dresses, which you can discard... the dress, not the decoration). If not, Christmas decorations are usually very pretty and some are strong enough to withstand the demands of dancing.
For your first costume, plan it just for the classes. This way you will learn what adjustments you need to make in order to have a serviceable, but comfortable, costume. Also, your dancing in class will be enhanced when you are dressed in context. You will slip easily into your dancing persona. Leave your everyday self at the door. Enjoy yourself.

For a costume, my personal preference is for a fitted top which covers the whole torso (no bare belly). I make this out of stretch fabric, with the stretch going sideways, so I do not need any zips or buttons. If you use the stuff they make aerobics gear out of, it stands up well to sweat and washing.

The skirt I make as a full circle and attach to the top at hip level, so there is no risk of the skirt ‘falling off’ as many dancers fear.

Here is a diagram on how to make the costume. I like satin-back crepe for the skirt, using it with the shiny side out. It does not need to be hemmed as it does not fray – if you have used pinking shears to cut out the skirt.

I have added butterfly sleeves, but found them a nuisance and so have modified them to fit closer to my arms.... they get in the way of the veil when doing veil moves.

A good site to visit for Sewing Hints:



This item contributed by

Patricia Corbell, BSN, MA

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Master of Arts, Philosophy and Religion

* (American spelling)

Color has a tremendous effect on all living beings.

White light from the sun is divided into a spectrum of colors, which influence all areas of our lives.

Since ancient times, it has been known that colors influence our state of mind, our mood and even our personality. Students of color know that everyone needs exposure to each color in the spectrum to experience optimum health.

From early childhood, we develop preference for certain colors and dislike for others. Color psychology tests reveal that color preferences can be associated with personality types.

RED is the color of energy, vibrancy, and action. A person who loves RED, may lean towards leadership, may enjoy physical activity and may take excessive risks.

ORANGE is the color of optimism, self-confidence and joy. One who favors ORANGE tends to have good self-esteem and loves being around people.

YELLOW is the color of optimism and happiness. It is associated with the mind, and one who loves YELLOW tends to be innovative and to accept different points of view.

GREEN is the color of healing, and of harmony with nature. It is a calming, peaceful color, and those who love GREEN tend to be conservative in their views.

BLUE is a cool, calming color, and is associated with one's higher aspirations; as when one looks at the sky. One who favors BLUE tends to be idealistic and spiritual.

PURPLE is the color of intuition, creativity and mysticism. PURPLE transmutes impurities from the body and mind. Those who favor PURPLE may be reserved, artistic and dramatic.

PINK is the color of unconditional love. It is emotionally calming, and those who love PINK may be considered nurturers.

As human beings, color influences every area of our lives, from the physical body to the spirit. Those who study color can enhance their lives greatly, and can improve their health and spiritual awareness.

The knowledge is there for the taking. I invite you to look more deeply into this exciting field.

'My sincere thanks to Patricia for her gift of time and information'.



A little three year old girl saw me taking my costume out to my car after a performance.

She said to me "Is that yours‌ It's pretty".

"Sure is!" I replied meaning both it was mine and that it was pretty.

"Why did you let the lady wear it‌", she asked.

Made my day.... she had not connected me with the dancer.


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