Supplies for Nicola’s Classes


Please wear:

-comfortable, stretchy yoga pants or leggings

-sleeveless or short sleeve close-fitting stretch top

-long-sleeve top or hoodie as over layer (until warm up is done)

-bare feet, or dance slippers– jazz  or half-slipper

-optional  hip scarf or shawl to tie at your hips.   Please make sure your hip scarf is in good condition and not leaking beads or coins.   IF your scarf leaks in class, you will be asked to remove it.

(Beads and coins on the floor cause foot injuries.) 


  • All students participating in recitals/shows and Amar troupe members are expected to purchase and wear costuming. The specifics will be decided by Nicola, with some input from class, based on the type of dance being learned and the budget decided with you.
  • Generally, these items are worn again in subsequent shows/seasons, and we typically sew or order separates so they can be re-combined.  Many students and troupe members are willing to loan out, re-sell, or rent pieces.
  • Nicola  *may* loan out or rent costuming and props in certain circumstances.
  • Please don’t wear costuming to class unless it has been requested (hip scarves, in good repair, are always welcome).

Props and other…

You are responsible for having your own props for classes and shows.


  • All students need 1– home-made or retail-bought.  Expect to pay $20 or more.
  • It is recommended that you don’t buy or make a veil that is decorated/trimmed, unless a decorated veil has been suggested in class.
  • Nicola recommends 1 silk veil in any colour, rectangular in shape. Silks may be purchased from: Silk & Bamboo Studio, Ak’ai, Shibori Borealis, Fairy Cove, Dahlal Internationale, or Turquoise International (see LINKS).  Or from Nicola in class, in some sessions.
  • Nicola will hem yours for a $10 fee (you supply the fabric).
  • For students 5’7″ and under, you need 2.5 metres of bridal or other soft, light-weight chiffon. For taller students, your veil should be 2.8 -to 3 m long.  Petite students may want a veil 2.3-2.5 m–BUT GET BE FITTED IN CLASS FIRST.  Fabric can always be trimmed but not added!
  • Sarongs and Indian sari veils are not suitable for adult bellydance veils.   They are the wrong dimensions and fabrics.

FINGER CYMBALS (zills, sagats)

Finger cymbals are traditionally used by the dancer to accompany her/his own dance and the music being danced to.

  • ALL continuing students must have one set of Saroyan (Nicola’s fave), Zildjian, or Turquoise brand zills (any style, any size, any design).
  • Nicola no longer places a group order, because there is no discount for a group purchase.  You can order directly from the cymbal manufacturers or their affiliates.
  • Buy a set for the sound, rather than the look of the zills–Saroyan’s website has sound clips.  You need to enjoy the sound of your cymbals–music is experienced in the emotional centre of the brain so if you don’t find it pleasing, you will not want to play them!  I have been telling students this for YEARS!
  • PLEASE, don’t buy so-called “student” or “starter” zills — they are poor in tone and quality, will dent, lose their clarity, and may be high in lead or cadmium content.   Smaller sets from the above makers may be labelled “student”–that’s fine.
  • Do not buy zills that have holes instead of slots –you want slots for flat elastics.
  • Beware of any zills sold for less than $15 dollars.   They are usually junk metal often containing lead, cadmium or other heavy metals.


Canes are used for assaya dancing, a regional dance from the Saïd  in upper Egypt.  The cane is a tool used by women and men to tend flocks of poultry, foul, and to herd goats, sheep, and cattle.   Longer staves are used for horse training.   Men’s sticks for tahtib are heavier and used for a martial art that has become part of the theatre folklore repertoire.

  • All intermediate (Level 2+) dancers and Amar members need to buy one gold or silver plastic dance cane with a crook.  A limited number of canes will be available for purchase.   Canes may be ordered in either fall or late winter at the class order times, and must be prepaid to get the at-cost price of $15-20.
  • Male students may want to order a men’s tahtib style stick.
  • The cane should reach somewhere between the centre of the hip joint and top of the hip bones/pelvis.  Too short is comical, too long will get in the way.
  • Nicola will repair/retape your cane for $10.  You may also repair it yourself, for free, in class using the repair tape.  (Gold or silver only.)
  •  Horus and Isis Company carries good canes at a very reasonable price.   Pending demand, there may be a class order.


  • 1 exercise band or old pair of stockings
  • yoga mat or beach towel for stretches and floor-based work
  • dance “footies” or slippers—if you need more cushioning or slip/grip
  • hip scarf or shawl– please ensure any embellishments are in good condition

Please do not wear costuming to class unless it has been requested (hip scarves always welcome).

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