Styles & stars of “bellydance” video clips

by on Mar.07, 2012, under About Bellydance, Costumes, For Dancers, Information, Professionalism

You can find a one-stop video clip library of the best of Egyptian dance at Sahra Saeeda Kent’s YouTube channel.

A one-stop guide to get a clear and accurate picture of what this dance form should look like.  Get a very clear idea of what Nicola does and doesn’t teach or perform. Understand Egyptian dance, “bellydance” in its permutations, and see examples of regional dances as well as theatre folklore.

Hadia also has several articles on Egyptian dance with video clips inserted at her site (see Links).

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Looking the Part: General Costuming Guidelines for Performance of Middle Eastern Dance

by on Feb.05, 2012, under Costumes, Professionalism

Students of Middle Eastern dance find out very soon into their studies that this is a costly dance form, with a world of deliciously sparkly, beautiful choices of costuming, both homemadeheartandstroke and imported. The average student of the dance is in it as a hobby, and would be best advised to keep her spending modest and her costume basic. You can put together an affordable, lovely, flattering costume for use in class and recitals, by making it yourself, buying pieces new or second-hand, or purchasing a full costume ready-made. (continue reading…)

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Dance Costume Checklist for Performers

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers

  • Costume type should be appropriate to music, style of dance, and venue. Layer sheer fabrics for modesty and be careful of skirt slits in front, back or sides as too much may show when spinning, bending, jumping, doing floor-work, or if up high on a stage. Tight costumes may also impede movement, so check comfort and style to match the criteria above. (continue reading…)
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Pointers & Info for Students in Recitals

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers, Information

by Nicola, 2007, updated February 2010


This is a generalized checklist of reminders that I provide to all my students as we are entering into recital time. Other teachers are welcome to use it and adapt it, with credit. I have compiled these based on the protocols issued by various dance festivals and studios for participants of all ages and dance styles. These are expectations and suggestions, clearly stated, that lead to preparedness, may help prevent problems onstage and off, and cue students ahead of time for what is involved in successful performance, whatever their level of experience. (continue reading…)

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The Bellydance Problem Solver: A Compendium of Practical Advice

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, For Dancers

PROBLEM: Your hip belt or skirt begins to slide down while your are performing.

Possible Solutions:

  • Try to lift it up discretely. If it falls just step over it and move on. Hopefully you are wearing another layer of costuming!
  • While pulling it up distract with a dance movement.
  • Be careful not to step on the belt or skirt if they are sliding and you cannot fix this problem immediately. (continue reading…)
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Care Recommendations for Costuming

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes

The following information is based on my experience not only as a professional dancer who has sewn, repaired, and worn a wide variety of costuming, but also as someone who has worked with historic clothing and artifacts in the university and museum setting. I volunteered and worked in several settings, cleaning, labeling, and repairing costuming, as well as cataloguing artifacts and creating displays. (continue reading…)

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Q ~ What are the veils all about?

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, FAQs

The veil, in Orientale dance, is not worn as a garment, nor over the face.  It is not meant to imitate the niqab or hijab, or at least it shouldn’t.  Veiling in that sense has important religious and cultural connotations that most of us try to respect when we dance.

On occasion, you can find album cover art and other images that play into cultural stereotypes and fantasies about the Middle East, but these should be regarded as either tourist bait or simply cheesy.
(continue reading…)

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Q ~ Is fancy lingerie acceptable as costuming? I have a beautiful sequined bra.

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, FAQs

No, no and no. If it looks like lingerie, it is just that, and lingerie, no matter how pretty, is still underwear. It lacks sufficient reinforcement and decoration to be a proper costume piece. (continue reading…)

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Q ~ There is so much bellydance stuff on eBay and the Internet in general! What do I buy?

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, FAQs

Start slow, ask your teacher for some guidance (her favourite sites, what to watch out for, and so on). Check out my links–I don’t promote or sell crap. (continue reading…)

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Q ~ Do I have to show my navel?

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, FAQs

wellness expo (1)No!  Not at all, not ever if you don’t want to.   Nor do you have to show your cleavage. There are no costume must-do’s for beginners. You should feel quite accepted in class in a unitard or other leotard that covers the belly. Most students wear stretchy pants and a stretchy, snug t-shirt.

Most modern Egyptian dance costumes are dresses, or include body stockings.

Middle Eastern dance is friendly for many body types and shapes, so you also don’t have to be a certain body shape or size or age to participate in classes.

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Q ~ Do I have to buy a costume right away?

by on Feb.03, 2012, under Costumes, FAQs

NO! I generally recommend that students wear a shawl of some kind at the hips. It is helpful that it be a coin or bead  scarf made for bellydance, as these have movement and sound that helps focus, guide, and motivate. (continue reading…)

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Contact Nicola

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.