As a Professional Belly Dancer and designer in Orlando with Bellydance By Jennifer Inc., the subject of costuming is huge when it comes to performance.
After a few headaches, I decided it would be nice to create this Costuming Checklist for Belly Dancers.
There are some common costuming mistakes that occur more often than it should and the resulting mishaps are not worth it. So this blog is to inform other belly dancers out there on the steps to go through before performing to ensure your belly dance costume is held sturdily in place and is appropriate for any venue.
1. Before you ever buy or decide on a costume there is one HUGE question you should ask yourself….”what kind of environment will I be performing in”?
Is it a raised stage? Outside? At eye level? Floor level? What type of floor?
If on a raised stage you will want to ensure you wear the proper undergarments (shorts, spanks, tights) in matching or skin tone colors so that audience members below do not see an inappropriate display (so embarrassing). This is especially important when wearing circle skirts or high slit fitted skirts.
If outside make sure you wear something more form fitting to prevent a “Marilyn Monroe moment”.
2. Are all my bra clasps, zippers, straps and belly clasps sewn well?
The top reason for costume mishaps is laziness, and other excuses for not hand sewing ones clasps down well lol! If you have rusty clasp or hooks, replace them! Then proceed to double reinforce them with sturdy thread so they last.
For the OCD dancers out there, once all is sewn down, THEN pin.
3. How should I place my bra straps?
The best strap configuration for support and safety is the crisis cross strap configuration (you hit the nail on the head Ameera)!. It is sewn down and a hook is placed in the center back for a snug fit. Feel confident that your bra will not pop off even if the rib cage snap fails
4. Any other Must-do’s?
-Yes, please use your best judgment! See-through materials and fabrics need to be given extra thought and attention so they are not distracting or indecent.
– keep cleavage to a sophisticated extent please. We are representing another culture
– If one must wear string or itty bitty undergarments due to hip cut outs and etc… please try to not have high slit skirts or use altered leg positions
– The nature of floor work will mean having knees apart for some movements. Please think of a skirt option where there is no chance the audience can see naughty bits from below
Ok hope that clears up a few questions and concerns and as always if you have any questions or comments for Professional Belly Dancer Jennifer in Orlando of Bellydance By Jennifer Inc. then please leave it below or email me. Please click on the link to view my past designs, or to view my monster crystal covered belly dance costumes, click here. Hope you enjoyed this Costuming Checklist for Belly Dancers.
P.S. top photo by Carrie Mullins LLc and bottom photograph by Bradley Marshall