Top 5 Belly Dancing Accessories

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Belly dancing is the popular term for a whole group of Middle Eastern dances characterised by precise, sinuous movements of the torso and arms. Many people incorrectly consider belly dance to be some sort of striptease, but historically, these dances did not have anything to do with seduction. Belly dance was simply a form of folk dance. Modern belly dance is a performance art as well as a form of exercise especially popular among women. The bangles, scarves, veils, and other accessories belly dancers use are fun and attractive, but they are also important to the dance itself for directing attention, emphasising movement.
1 Hip Scarves
Hip Scarves

Hip scarves or coin sashes are gauzy wraps that have rows of coins or other bangles that jingle when the wearer shakes her hips. They look exotic and sexy, but hip scarves are not just decoration. Belly dancing involves a lot of hip movement, but not just any hip movements can do. Different forms of belly dance each hand their distinctive shimmies, so both students and instructors need to be able to focus on exactly what the hips are doing. Jingly hip scarves help draw attention where it needs to go. Hip scarves come in a rainbow of colours and a wide variety of materials and coin patterns. The coins themselves can be gold, silver, or other metals.


2 Veils

Veils, in a dance context, do not so much cover up as selectively reveal. Veils hide a dancer's outfit while she is waiting for her turn to perform, like a personal stage curtain. Dancers also use veils to draw and direct attention and to emphasise the sinuous, sensuous quality of the dancer's own movement. Because the way a veil moves through the air is so important, veil material matters. Silk veils are among the best. Belly dancing veils are large, almost three metres long and over a metre across. They come in almost any colour, in both solid colours and patterns. The veil does not have to be the same colour as the dancer's outfit, but it does have to match. Some dances call for multiple veils, a good reason for dancers to get more than one.


3 Finger Cymbals
Finger Cymbals

Finger cymbals, or zills, allow a dancer to provide her own rhythmic accompaniment. The tone and sound quality of a set of cymbals depends on its design and its composition. Which finger cymbals a dancer should use depends on what kind of belly dance she does and what the acoustics of her performance space are like. Some finger cymbals are easier to use than others. The dancer's preference and budget are considerations as well, of course. Finger cymbals have elastic straps to hold on to the dancer's finger or thumb.


4 Bracelets and Armbands
Bracelets and Armbands

People associate belly dance with several styles of bracelets and armbands, from heavy, wide wrist cuffs to delicate writhing serpents. Hand-flowers are strings or nets of coins or small bangles that cover the back of the hand, and anchor at the wrist and by one or more fingers. There are several approaches to belly dance jewellery. Some people are simply looking to create a fancy dress costume that resembles what belly dancers wear in the movies. Other people want jewellery that is authentic to the cultures where belly dancing originated. A middle ground is jewellery that is inspired by traditional styles. When in the market for authentic ethnic jewellery, buyers should decide whether to go for reproductions or only for antiques. Then, they should do some research to determine which styles belong with which ethnic group and how to spot a real antique. Buyers should be aware that even some beautiful authentic pieces contain low-quality metal that can react with sweat and discolour skin. The point is to know what something is before buying it.


5 Necklaces

Necklaces for belly dancers are typically large triangular collars of open metallic netting with coins, beads, or bangles. The glittery, jingly metal catches the eye and the ear when the dancer moves. Again, the buyer has to decide whether to look for authentic antiques only, reproductions, or modern costume jewellery.


How to Buy Belly Dancing Accessories

eBay has a good selection of belly dance accessories, including costumes and props. A good way to start looking is to search for belly dance accessories and browse around. Shoppers looking for something specific can try the Advanced Search feature. Use the seller's profile page to look up his or her feedback score and return policy and to ask any questions about a listing. Do not be shy about asking questions, especially about antiques. Since buying online makes an in-person inspection impossible, asking the seller detailed questions is the only way to make sure the item is genuine.
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