Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giving Your Costumes a Make-over

If you just bought a used costume, or you've begun to notice the wear and tear on your costume there are still ways to make it look new again.

1. Remove damaged beads and replace with new beads. Keep to the same color scheme or change it entirely. Swap the old trim or appliques for something new.

2. Sometimes you can dye your veils and skirts to give them a new lease on life. Figure out what kind of fabric they are made from, and be sure you get the right kind of dye for your fabric.

3. Add or move the push-up pads inside your bra to give yourself a lift.

4. Put fringe above the crest of your breasts. If you put it below that fall line, it tends to make you look dumpy/saggy. Not a good thing.

5. Experiment with the bra straps until you find a way that supports you the best. Add multiple straps if you have to. Neck straps work fine if you are under endowed. If you are over endowed they'll give you the worst neck ache ever.

6. Raid the lingerie department for stretch lace to cover your navel, arms or any other part where you don't want to be overexposed.

7. Make sure all your straps play well together. It can get a bit tricky with bra straps, vest holes, sleeves, and layered garments. Try moving the layers around until it looks right then take a photo so you don't forget how you did it when you are rushing to get dressed.

8. Make sure your head wraps, turbans, dreads, braids, and shells play well together. No sense getting the perfect big hair and then ruining it when you have to pull your caftan over it.

9. Shoes: Change the look of your shoes by dyeing them, adding beads, buckles or bows.

10. Check out some of the cross-over fusion styles of steampunk or burlesque. Update your look with a bustle, bloomers, camo, or something else that's cutting edge. Change it up. If you are getting bored with your look, chances are your audience is too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Velvet Cloak DIY

To preserve the mystery of the costume when you are not performing, you are going to need some cover ups. Here is a tutorial for a velvet cape with a satin lining. A bit hot for southern CA but I'm sure some of you dancers in colder climates will enjoy this.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'd Rather Be Belly Dancing

Wish I was out bellydancing tonight. It's a Sat. night. And here I sit on the computer. I may have to start joining Meet-up groups again before I go stir crazy. Meet up used to be free. When they started charging I left. But now, years later I realize I'm not going to meet people with the same interests that I have just wandering around the neighborhood. And meet up is actually cheaper than joining MECDA or some other dance organization again. It's not a perfect solution but it does improve the odds.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Making space

Today started out raining again. S. Calif. doesn't typically get this many days of continuos rain. So today I need to concentrate on shifting all the boxes in the living room to make indoor dance space. It is rather hopeless because the minute I clear space my boyfriend takes the opportunity to pile stuff into it in spite of me telling him time and time again I need the space to exercise. He doesn't care. When he needs exercise he hops on his bike and rides half the day. (So yes, half the time I have bikes in various states of destruction in my living room). At least he doesn't own a motorcycle. My friend said her hubby had a motorcycle in her living room for six months. And a stack of tires. Come on guys, give us a break.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Belly Dancing Nurses

Well, I'll be darned. There is a forum for belly dancing nurses.

Are you a Belly Dancing Librarian?

I'm met quite a few and love this site devoted to that topic. I ran across it years ago and I'm happy it's still up there. So I'm glad to share it with all of you.

There are also a lot of belly dancing nurses. Perhaps there's a website somewhere for that as well.


I must admit I'm a little nervous to see that one of the people checking out my blog is If she's sending people over here to get costume tips that's great. But if she's sending people here to laugh at me and make fun of me, that makes me a bit queasy. I couldn't find any reference to this blog on her blog, but then again I didn't glean through it with a fine tooth comb. I am glad to see on my list of visitors as I used to be a member of that site and think highly of it.

One of the turn offs in the belly dancing world is the high level of criticism and even cruelty that I've run across from time to time. I try not to let it get me down.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Walking for Fitness

Walked for an hour and a half at the archery range today. I was huffing & puffing but my friend wasn't breathing hard at all. Just shows I need to do more cardio. She's been going to a gym and chasing her two little boys. But I feel that if I keep walking an hour a day I'll soon be able to keep up with her. We live far apart so we can't normally walk together. She used to belly dance to. I keep trying to talk her into taking it up again. We'll see.

Cardio Belly Dancing For Core Strength

A few things recently have inspired me to do a more cardio version of belly dancing. Namely the people from So You Think You Can Dance doing an infomercial on 'core strength' featuring Latin Dance Moves. Now you and I both know that belly dancing has those very same moves in it like figure 8's with your hips and hip lifts and rib cage slides. In other words we already have the steps in our dance vocabulary to get fitter abs and better buns and strong arms and shoulders. Every time I see that infomercial I get more determined to use belly dance moves in the very same way, namely 30 minutes of cardio a day. Most of us have all the tools to get fit, we just don't use them often enough and consistantly enough. Focus on the moves that target above the knees up to the torso and put on your fast music (after a proper warm up of course). Set a timer for 30 minutes and don't stop. No sitting on the couch or chatting with friends or getting distracted because the cats want petted. Let me know how it goes for you.