A belly dance costume is a great way to show the inner gypsy in you. Wearing such a stunning garment can make you the hit of your next Halloween party.
Belly dance is the name coined for a traditional Middle Eastern dance, thus, it can also be called Middle Eastern dance or Arabic dance. The Arabic name for it is raqs sharqi, which means “dance of the East/Orient”. Some call it Oriental Dance. The French who found the dance named it “dance du ventre”, or dance of the stomach. This type of dancing is so old that it is hard to determine when and where it originated.
Belly dancing does not mean moving only the belly; it involves every part of the body, including the head, hair, arms, shoulders, hands, chest, hips, bottoms, legs and feet. Belly dancing isn’t complete without the proper dance costume as it is the extension of the dancer’s personality and abilities.
The belly dance costume, is usually comprised of a fitted top or bra, a fitted hip belt, and a skirt or harem pants.
The bra, however, does not resemble lingerie. It refers to the costume garment that is usually made with a fringe of beads or coins. It can also be richly decorated with sequins, braid and embroidery. The bra usually matches the belt.
Belt or hip belt
The hip belt is a costume garment, which is a broad piece of fabric, that encircles the hips. It may be a separate piece worn low on the hips or it can be sewn into a skirt. It may have straight edge, or may be curved or angled.
Skirts may be flowing creations made of multiple layers of one color sheer fabric chiffon.
Harem pants are full and gathered at the ankle. Sometimes harem pants and a sheer skirt are worn together.
Other types of a belly dancer costumes are also used. An example of which is a one-piece belly dance costume consisting of a bra connected to the skirt with a lycra mesh. The lycra mesh is usually flesh colored, though it may be the color of the bra and skirt. Often, this type of dress does not have a hip belt.
Accessories can include headbands, necklaces, earrings, gauntlets, anklets, wrist cuffs, arm cuffs, unattached sleeves and veil. A veil is often used if the belly dancing clothes include a skirt with the belt attached to it.
For the footwear, you can use high-heeled shoes or none at all.
The belly dance dress has been an essential part of history and culture. Today, it has become a very popular costume. You can see children and women in belly dancing costumes at Halloween and costume parties.