Belly Dance Clothes

The right Belly dance clothes and shoes will bring your moves to life and give your dancing huge impact.

Because, let's face it, belly dancing without the hip jewelry is a bit like tap dancing without the shoes.

But don't worry about having to have a full authentic outfit for your first lesson.

It's perfectly possible to wear clothes you already have and improvise a little.

And here’s something we need to clear up straight away - you don’t have to show your belly (unless you want to of course).

Best advice to start off with - leggings or yoga pants and a t-shirt are just fine.

If you prefer you could try wearing a long skirt (ideal if you are particularly body-conscious). Try to choose a skirt in a fine, flowing fabric - it adds to the overall look and gives you plenty of room to move freely.

I just want to mention though that it’s important when you’re starting off to maintain a slightly ‘soft’ knee position, that is, not really bent, but not locked straight either.  It helps your posture and puts you in the right stance for dancing the moves.  Under a long skirt, it’ll be difficult for me to tell if your knees are in the correct position, so it’s better for you and your teacher if they can see the shape of your legs.  But if you really can’t bear form-fitting leggings or yoga pants, then I’m sure your teacher will be happy for you to try your first lessons in a skirt.

TOP TIP
Tie something, anything, around your waist.  A large scarf will do, or a couple of yards of fabric.  An old curtain if necessary.  Just something that will focus your feeling around your waist and hips.  It'll make a huge difference to your dancing (even if it isn't covered in silver coins or charms).

But, of course, if you love your belly dancing class (which we're sure you will), invest in some authentic belly dance clothes if you possibly can.

Even just a hip scarf with the charms attached will make a huge difference.

The flowing gauzy skirts, veils and jewelry will really bring your dancing to life.

Bright colors seem the most popular – think vibrant purple, shimmering peacock green or lemon drop yellow.

Often, teachers bring belly dance clothes and accessory samples with them for the pupils to try, or can order hip scarves, veils and jewelry for their students.

This is so useful. All you need to do is show up to the class and all the component parts will be brought to you.

Helen Santa Maria. Photo credit Oakmist Photography

Belly Dancing Shoes

So what should go on your feet?

We generally dance in bare feet – the easiest and cheapest of any footwear!
It’s best to avoid socks, and you won’t be able to do this in ordinary formal or ‘outdoor’ shoes, or anything with a heel.

If you don’t fancy the bare feet approach, you could wear foot thongs if you have them. 

A great deal of the technique of these dances is to push very firmly through your feet on the floor.

You need to feel that connection with the floor.  You're going to push down into it firmly but also draw energy up from it, so that connection is vital.

However, as your dancing progresses you might want to explore having a pair of ballet slippers.  And the great thing about them is that they come in a whole rainbow of colors, so you can get a pair to match the color of your costume exactly.

You'll feel ten times the effect and pleasure when dancing these classes if you've got at least some authentic belly dance clothes or accessories on.

It's very inspiring to see someone in the full gear.  It does look and sound stunning.

Follow the link to read more on Belly dance teachers...

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