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  • Lori

Guest Post: Complete the Costume!

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

This month's post was written by former ABA Webmistress, Lori!

Getting to wear a beautiful costume is part of the fun of belly dancing. It conveys the movement, mood, and culture of the dance, so paying attention to overall appearance is important. The outfit is almost a prop (wait, it IS a prop if you're doing skirt work!).

Costumes can get expensive, so we all spend time finding cost-effective ways to create our look, through second-hand shopping, home sewing, etc. It takes time and effort, and sometimes it doesn't come together completely in time for the performance. What usually gets left out are the costume accessories: arm, wrist, ankle bands, head pieces.

Years ago, I made a simple baladi dress and belt and finished in time for the performance at the ABA show. After I danced, Bahaia said, "The dress is great, but finish the outfit. You need a folkloric head scarf. It brings the colors up to your face, makes a contrast between your hair and the back drop, and is more culturally correct." Oops! She was right! Studying Fifi Abdou for inspiration, she wore kerchiefs, knotted headbands, paletted headbands, and headbands with pompoms.

How do you get the look of some fun, fluffy mass that's light-weight and will come together quickly?

You can make fabric flowers by gathering strips of fabric, sewing a bead or button in the center, and clustering them on a stretchy headband.

Precision is NOT required; you'll never see it from the audience!

Now my costume is complete!

Thais here again. As always, see below for the playlist of the month. This weekend is the Migrations World Music and Dance Festival! If this post inspired you with baladi-style costuming, our very own ABA President Bahaia will be teaching a Fifi Abdou baladi-style workshop on Sunday. A few ABA board members will also be performing at the shows: Bahaia, ABA Vice-President Lily, and I are in tonight's gala, while Bahaia and I will also be performing at the Cocktail Soiree on Saturday night with the Kan Zaman Dancers. For more information, check out their website.

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