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Belly Dance Shop

HISTORY OF BELLY DANCE COSTUMES

In Arab countries and Turkey it is believed that tipping the Belly Dancer around her belly will bring fertility, marital happiness and prosperity. That is one of the reasons why we get invited to weddings and parties.

Before Islam and Christianity Belly Dancers used to live in temples. There was an understanding of sexual energy in those old days. Dancers were revered as sexual goddesses who could bring fertility. People would come to temple to enjoy the dancing and bring the Belly Dancers gifts.

When churches and mosques replaced the temples Belly Dancers lost their homes. They went to the market place and danced for the public. The audience threw silver or gold coins in appreciation of their dance. Because many girls were poor and did not have homes they had no safe place to keep their money. They bought jewellery (anklets, necklaces, rings, bracelets), things which they could carry on themselves. Five thousand years ago Greek girls started to sew the coins to their hip belts as decoration, having nowhere quite as safe to keep them. As the dancers moved the jingling coins added shine, charm and magical sound to their performance. Those Greek girls invented the belly dancing costume! Women in Greek mountain villages still follow the old tradition.

The tradition of buying jewellery with tips is still popular and today's Belly Dancer continues to wear a lot of gold and silver on her costume.

Nowadays tips come in the form of banknotes and some people tip belly dancers around their chest. If she is a real Belly Dancer she would politely smile, remove the money, make a little sign with her index finger and place the money around her belly with gratitude.

Real Belly Dancers never ask for tips but if offered never say no. If she drops the tip during the dancing, a real Belly Dancer would never pick it up. She would do it only when she finishes dancing or ask the waiter to do it for her and give him/her some money too.

Black Velvet And Gold Coins Costume

I designed this costume using Ann Summers push up bra, size 34B.

The gold fishnet skirt has red velvet with gold coins detail.

I wore this costume and I felt like a mermaid dancing in it!

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SOLD

Velvet And Gold Coins Hip Scarves In Different Colours

The art of velvet-weaving probably originated in ancient Kashmir. Earliest references to it are from the beginning of the 14th century. The most magnificent textiles of medieval times were Italian velvets. In those old days velvet was very expensive and was considered a luxury good just like silk.

I have seen the antique belly dancing hip scarves made of velvet with real gold, silver coins in the museum in Azerbaijan. My grandmother cut off the gold coins from her costume during The World War II to buy food for her children.

I only dance in velvet hip scarves because they are heavier, stronger, last longer, softer, and more breathable and stretchable than nylon ones.

I fold my hip scarf with coins inside and keep it in a bag which is something like a little pillowcase. The bag is breathable and allows the water/sweat to evaporate. This is important because the coins are made of metal and can corrode with time.

Check out my strong hip scarves which you may one day pass to your daughters! Yes, they do last and remain good!

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PRICE: £35

AVAILABLE COLOURS: BLACK, RED, BLUE, PURPLE, TURQUOISE, PINK, ORANGE

Conical Bra

I always wanted to have Madonna's black satin "Blonde Ambition" conical bra, by Jean-Paul Gaultier. That one was sold in 2001 at Christie's for a triple-estimate £14100!

I made one using Agent Provocateur sequined leather pasties and other decorations from Liberty Store, Regent Street.

SOLD

Belly Trousers

Extremely comfortable made in a soft black stretch fabric.

PRICE: £53

Veils

Ready for the dance of the seven veils?!

The best veils are made of fabrics which are light and soft, such as chiffon or silk.

The average size is approximately 2,5m long and 1m wide. The size may vary according to your height. The best veils float beautifully with the dancer and catch the air.

The veils come in both rectangular and semi-circular shapes.

APPROXIMATE VEIL PRICES: From £20 TO £50

MERCHANDISE IS AVAILABLE IN CLASSES. PLEASE, EMAIL OR TEXT YOUR REQUESTS (QUANTITY, SIZE, COLOR) BEFOREHAND.