March 21, 2013

Overly Revealing Costumes: Pro or Con? Part I

Revealing Bellydance CostumesAs many of you know this Orlando belly dance artist has her own line of belly dance costumes as Bellydance By Jennifer Inc. There is much to explore in costuming but here is one aspect one must consider…Revealing Bellydance Costumes. Belly dance costuming comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes and is meant to enhance a performance whether it gives off a certain mood, is meant to pop for effect, raises eyebrows, or fits a cultural context.

How much skin to show is a matter of personal choice and what every belly dancer feels comfortable in bearing is his/her own preference. The question then is, just because one CAN, should they?

There was a time when it was enough for a belly dancer to wear a thobe and simply let her hair show in public, but over the decades naturally, the amount of skin that one can acceptably reveal per culture has grown in varying degrees.

So what is your side? Here are some Pro’s and Con’s and my two cents will come in Part II!

Pro Side Arguments:

  • •    “If I am an artist and am free to express myself then why not be able to express my sexuality freely”
  • •    “It is my body and I can do whatever I please”
  • •    “I am proud of my body, so why hide it”?
  • •    “ I do not want to blend in, I want to shock the audience with my costuming choices”
  • •    “There is no such thing as too much skin”

Con Side Arguments:

  • •    “In many countries and places showing the belly and wearing a costume bra is already showing enough skin”
  • •    “The focus should be on the DANCE, not on the dancers revealing costume”
  • •    “Less is not more! Too much skin, is too much skin and gives off the wrong message”
  • •    “If as a woman I am nervous about whether the dancers boobs will pop out or bottom will show, imagine the men”! It is uncomfortable to watch
  • •    “What message are we sending to children and aspiring belly dancers? There are just as many Beautiful dancers, who DO keep it in balance”

What are your thoughts on this? What are your rule of thumbs and how much skin do you feel comfortable showing? There is no wrong or right answers in this, it is all a matter of opinion. Share your thoughts below on Revealing Bellydance Costumes in my Orlando Belly Dance Comment box below and if you want to stay up to date subscribe to the Bellydance By Jennifer Inc. blog RSS feed 🙂

4 Comments on “Overly Revealing Costumes: Pro or Con? Part I

Amira Alexandra
March 22, 2013 at 9:18 pm

I always prefer to be a bit more covered up (a higher cut bra and a long skirt that’s not very sheer) for comfort reasons. If I think anything could possibly have a wardrobe malfunction, then I can’t perform to my peak. I would be too timid that my next move would cause a slip.
As far other dancers, certain revealing costumes (like butt cutouts or really low cut tops) make me nervous for the dancers in two ways: 1. I’m afraid she will be embarrassed if something slips out…2.I’m afraid for her safety because of some of the scuzzy men that will try to get a little “too close” to her if she is dancing with the audience at a party.

Other than that, people dancers should just use their best judgement depending on location, dance style, and audience type. 🙂

March 23, 2013 at 5:57 pm

This is bellydancing not stripping. Its a dance focused on your belly not your breasts or your legs. So your belly is the only thing that needs to show. This is a dance that comes from the middle east so we need to respect the people that come from there. Being middle eastnern I do not respect the women who need to show off their legs and their breasts. We do not typically like american dancers because they do not respect our dance and they change it into some sex tease. Its a dance about being a woman and the amazing thing about being a woman is that you can still cover up and be sexy. There is a fine line between being sexy and being a “slut” Many people in bellydance have passed that line. It is not authentic it is not bellydancing. Unfortunatley when I tell people Im a bellydancer they automatically think I am some type of stripper. I can thank the girls who do show alot of skin to males for that misconception.

March 24, 2013 at 4:56 am

Very valid point! I have had that moment in the past…where my skirt is semi sheer and I am totally obsessing about it and even doing different spin/hands maneuvers to make sure the back of my skirt is gathered as much as possible. You live and you learn. Totally made the performance so uncomfortable for me because in the back of my mind I kept worrying about it.

March 24, 2013 at 4:59 am

You go girl “this is belly dancing not stripping”! there is definitely a line between being sexy and a “slut” and it seems to be getting a little crazy sometimes. If one reads on the original costuming I feel simply showing the belly is enough. Why keep going to great proportions to find more ways of showing skin? There is a limit and I am sorry you feel that way, but thankfully writing about these things and educating will def sway a few minds.


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