CREATING YOUR COSTUME
'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:
CHOOSING A COLOUR
This item contributed by
Patricia Corbell, BSN, MA
of Science in Nursing
of Arts, Philosophy and Religion
* (American spelling)
THE INFLUENCE OF COLOR
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
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
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'.
are the essence.
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".
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.
are the essence.
Visit The Costume Goddess