How to dress like a belly dancer

Belly Dancer costume : 10 elements you may need to DIY your own belly dancing outfit

Updated on October 18, 2022 by Sarina Tariq

Let me turn fortune teller for you – I see in my cards that you have just started learning belly dancing after being inspired by Shakira’s gorgeous hips don’t lie sways. Am I wrong? Fine! Then maybe you just want to dress as a belly dancer for the fun of it, without wanting to do anything with the dancing moves.

Funning aside, What do the real Belly dancers wear ? What do you wear if you want to look like a belly dancer ?

To look like a belly dancer, you have to have all the paraphernalia of the part. Nothing less, nothing more.

You have a choice of buying the total costume for belly dancing called the Bedleh – this will have the usual beaded bra top, hip belt, long skirt/pants or You can DIY and assemble all the parts yourself. It is not so difficult, considering many people do that. 

  • Belly Dance Outfit -Main elements
  • 1. Belly Dance pants
  • 2. Belly dance Skirts
  • 4. Scarves
  • 6. Beledi Dress /  Kaftans
  • 8. Headbands or turbans
  • 9. Shoes
  • 10. Other Embellishments

1. Belly Dance pants

These are loose pants – usually tightened and gathered at the ankle with elastic or drawstring.Other names for harem pants are Chalwar (Iran), libas (Egypt), Shaksheer (Turkey), Dimije ( Bulgaria)

You can find a sewing pattern to make belly dance pants here.

2. Belly dance Skirts

The long belly dance skirts will be made of a flowy fabric and will usually have a long slit from the middle of the thigh which aids in dancing. They will be colorful and adorned with beads/sequins. Usually it is a circle skirt construction. Mermaid skirts are also used.

Or just take some chiffon fabric and make an elastic waist skirt with it, with a number of long slits. You can wear leggings under the skirt for modesty.

3. Tops/Bralettes

Crop tops or choli blouse (Sari blouse) or glittery bralettes are worn as the top for the pants/skirts for belly dancing.

You can change your bra into a belly dance top by attaching sequins or beads.You can buy a push-up bra and cover it in matching fabric and then attach beads/sequins and such glittery embellishments.

A net fabric sleeve added to the bralette/choli can turn  it into a show stopper.Some use a Ghawazee vest over the bralette.

4. Scarves

Hip scarf/Sarongs are tied over the belly dance pants /skirts. The hip scarf will be shorter than a sarong. They will usually have fringes on the edges that swing as you dance and will be made of glittery flowy (and usually  lightweight) fabric.They are fastened at the front or at the side with a brooch.

5. Hip Belts

Coin belts are favorites as hip belts – Trims with metallic coins are attached on the edges of the hip belt. If not, the hip belts will be adorned with beads/beaded fringes, tassels.

6. Beledi Dress /  Kaftans

Sometimes a one piece costumes are used for belly dancing. Beledi is a one piece costume used so. Kaftan are also used by some for belly dancing.

7. Jewelry

Jewelry forms a very important part of a belly dancing outfit. They compliment the costume. But it is better not to overdo with lots of unnecessary jewelry to remain classy and not garish.

Necklaces, pendant earrings, toe rings, giant finger rings, all in ethnic fashion are used as jewelry other than the hip belt. Rings, bracelets with danglers can adorn the arms. Anklets can be worn on the foot – they have jingles which chime when you dance.

Belly button rings are added for additional fun. Jeweled pins are used as fasteners, functional and decorative. Arm bands decorated with chains, coins or pendants also give you that distinctive belly dancer look.

8. Headbands or turbans

Hair is often covered in either a headband or a turban. Headbands keep the hair away from the face. Either a  simple or elaborate headband or headpiece can be used depending on the dance/costume. It is the tribal belly dancers who use turbans instead of headbands.

9. Shoes

Some prefer to dance without shoes. But when shoes are worn they are usually in a metallic shade (gold or silver) matching the beads in the costume. The regular belly dance shoes are Turkish slippers with the toe curled upwards, embellished with tassels and embroidery. 

Whatever shoes you wear, Turkish slippers or simple ballet shoes or plumps with heels, you need to have some glitter on them to  make them festive enough for belly dancing. You can embellish your shoes with glitter, sequins or glittery beads. 

10. Other Embellishments

Coins and chains are one of the most frequently used embellishment on belly dancer costumes. Beaded patches with glittery beads can be added to the belly dance costume. Small mirrors (Shisha ), trims embellished with rhinestones, brocade ribbons etc are added to the costume to make it more exotic than it already is.

Temporary tattoos, bindis are attached on the body to further enhance the belly dance costume. Head pieces or braids or even wigs are added to make the hair long and suitable for a belly dancer.

Related posts : How to attach mirrors on fabric; Make a sari Blouse. ; How to dress like a hippie

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What to Wear to Your Belly Dance Class – The Inner Dancer

I often get this question, mostly from new students, and it’s what do I wear to a belly dancing class. If you’re trying an in-studio class or a free live class with us, you’ll want to be dressed for dancing success! The first thing that comes to mind for me is to wear something you are comfortable in. Your clothing shouldn’t be constraining. It shouldn’t hinder your movement or fight your body. You don’t want to be fidgety and having to pull at it when you are trying to dance. So just make sure it’s comfortable for you.  


I typically say that if you have yoga pants that will work. Make sure you wear a sports bra just in case the class is more cardiovascular. You just want to be secure and comfortable in what you wear. 


Don’t Choose Super Baggy Clothes


You will not want to pick something that is super baggy. Why? Super baggy clothes won’t allow the instructor to see the way you’re moving your body and give you accurate feedback. You’ll also want to see the movement on your body while you dance. If you wear something super baggy and are swimming in your clothes, your clothes will be shadowing your moves and it will be hard to get the most value out of your class. 


You don’t have to wear anything skin-tight but you want to wear something form-fitting enough to let the instructor see how you’re moving. 


If you were wearing a very loose clothing shirt and trying to refine very tiny movements, they would be lost underneath it all. Wearing something that highlights your movements will allow the instructor to see your muscles work and to see if you’re doing the correct motion.  


Wear Something Around Your Hip


Something else to consider when taking an oriental dance class is wearing something around your hip. Does it have to be an actual hip scarf? No, it does not. You could take a scarf that you typically wear about your neck and tie it around your waist. 


The point of wrapping something around your hips is to create something fitting to sit around that part of your body so you and your teacher can see the movement clearly when you’re dancing. Often times these scarves have fringe, pallets, or coins and it helps echo your movement when you dance. 


If you twist, then you’ll be able to see the twisting pattern in the tassels of the scarf. If you were practicing a move and not doing it right, it could be apparent in the way the scarf was moving since it’s reflecting your movement. So you can use your clothing to see if you’re doing the technique correctly because it is transferring that energy from your hip through the body to your scarf.  


To make it really easy to see, be sure to consider the color of your scarf compared to what you are wearing. If you’re wearing a black pair of pants and a black hip scarf, it will be hard to see the movement of the scarf. Contrasting colors to your outfit works well and even contrasting colors to your skin tone look really nice and then it won’t blend into your body. You’ll see a nice distinction between your hips and your abs.


Pants or No Pants…


Many people like to wear pants to their dance classes but you can wear other bottoms as well. Capris, dance shorts, a skirt or assymetric shorts all work as long as your movement is not restricted and you can see the movement in your body. 


The most important thing is wearing what makes you feel good. And that’s whether you’re working out from home, doing online classes or showing up to a dance class. If long pants don’t make you feel good, don’t wear long pants. As long as you’re covering the appropriate areas you should be fine.  


Should I Wear Footwear to Class


The short answer to this is to do whatever you need to do to move appropriately across the floor.  I love to dance barefoot, but I also have a lot of calluses I have built up over the years so dancing on the floor that way isn’t painful to me. I also have bunions so dancing directly on the floor, depending on the move can be painful. Certain moves have me dragging my bone across the floor but I have trained to work through the pain. I wouldn’t recommend it but you’ll train as you see fit and how you want to perform. 


One type of shoe I wear is a full cover shoe. You can also use dance footies so when you turn it gives you less traction when you go across the floor. You can wear socks but I suggest only using the ones with stickies across the bottom. If you just wear regular socks you could go slipping across the floor if you are not aware of how to alter the force and momentum behind the movements. 


Another great type of footwear to train in are ballroom shoes. A lot of people train in ballroom shoes, especially if you are an entertainer or regularly gig because that’s what they would wear in a performance.  You can pick what makes you most comfortable for class. It could be barefoot, full coverage shoes, dance socks, or ballroom shoes. Jazz shoes are also an option. 


Do You Have to Wear Your Hair Up? 


Sometimes I wear my hair up for class. If a class is going to be cardiovascular, whether I’m a teacher or a student, I will wear my hair up. I’ll also throw on a headband that catches my sweat. 


If you want to wear your hair down you can just bring a hair tie so you have the option to put your hair up later if you want. I would also have a headband if you sweat a lot so that it can keep it from dripping onto your face. Just being prepared helps if you have a really sweaty class!


I hope these tips were helpful for you and allow you to be confident in wearing something that works for you to class! Let me know if you have any additional suggestions in the comments. I love to hear from you guys. 


If you are interested in online classes you can take your first live class with us for FREE with our beginner Belly Dance class! You can pick a time that works for you and dance with me for 60 minutes!

how to learn to dance Belly Dance at home

Mysterious, bewitching belly dance always attracts the attention of the audience. Guria the dancer leads them to an unknown land of unearthly beauty and heavenly delights. Every woman dreams of becoming the same charming for her man. This can be easily learned. After all, there is nothing complicated here - naturalness, emancipation, femininity and a little charm.

Material content:

  • 1 History and origin of the direction
  • 2 What is the belly dance
  • 3 types of Belly Dance
    • 3.1 Arabic
    • 3.2 Turkish
    • 3.3 Egyptian
  • 4 Lessons for beginners
  • 5 Where to purchase
History and origin of the direction of

Belly dance is as ancient as our human world itself, dance art. He came to us from the temple mysteries of India and Egypt, dedicated to the feminine energies of the universe. In the East, it was customary to perform this dance of life at weddings, but only in the female half of the house. nine0003

Today this bright, graceful and sensual dance is not only a colorful stage performance, but also one of the types of fitness.

Here are some interesting facts from its history:

  1. Belly dance can be not only female, but also male. This variety of it was already known in the Ottoman Empire. It still exists in both Turkey and Egypt.
  2. Stage belly dance appeared at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, when oriental dancers began to demonstrate their art on the stages of Europe and the USA. nine0008
  3. In the middle of the last century, Hollywood drew attention to belly dance, but its interpretation was seriously different from the original. However, professional dancers from the countries of the East supported the idea and included elements of the Western style in their arsenal.

Benefits of belly dancing

Belly dancing has a beneficial effect on the female body. Hip movements, especially shaking, help to relax tight muscles and tone the internal organs.

In fact, this is a kind of massage of the internal organs, which increases blood circulation in the pelvic area.

Watch this video on YouTube

And besides:

  • This is a wonderful prevention of female diseases, elimination of adhesions, good preparation for childbirth.
  • Belly dancing promotes the development of a beautiful and correct posture, prevents diseases of the spine.
  • Dance promotes weight loss, helps in the fight against cellulite. The figure will become slimmer, more feminine, unwanted fat folds on the hips will gradually disappear. Since muscle tension in belly dance is combined with relaxation, excessive physical exertion is excluded. They do not always lead to weight loss, they only provoke a stressful state of the body, which can cause exacerbation of chronic diseases. nine0008
  • Like any dance, this one makes the dancer breathe more actively, enriching the blood with oxygen. This trains the cardiovascular system and respiratory system.
  • Pleasant smooth movements, the pleasure that the dancer receives from her creativity, enhance the mood. Gradually, psychological stress, insomnia disappear, the woman begins to feel calm, balanced. Self-confidence and own charm come.
  • A woman acquires a flying gait, beautiful and precise gestures, grace. And not only on stage, but also in real life. The body begins to obey better and becomes flexible. nine0008

All this allows you to reveal your inner potential, to feel your feminine energy, to learn how to manage it.

However, belly dancing has its own contraindications:

  • pregnancy;
  • cholecystitis, especially if there are stones in the bile ducts;
  • tumor processes;
  • inflammation of the ovaries, cysts, fibroids;
  • serious diseases of the spine, such as herniated discs, fissures of the vertebrae; nine0008
  • chronic bronchitis;
  • tuberculosis;
  • serious kidney disease and urolithiasis;

If you have varicose veins and chronic heart disease, you should consult your doctor before starting exercise.

Types of Belly dance

Any dance direction is divided into certain types or styles. Belly dance is no exception, which has two main currents - classical dance and folk. nine0003

The classic style, in turn, is divided into different types, there are more than fifty of them. In total, there are 8 main schools of belly dance, not counting the smaller ones: Egyptian, Turkish, Jordanian, Pakistani, Aden, Thai, Bhutanese and Botswana.

The belly dance, which is most widespread all over the world, is the work of the Turkish and Egyptian schools.

However, each dancer brings something individual and unique to her art. Even within the framework of some of the traditional schools, she can fantasize from the heart, supplement it. Usually dancers do not adhere to strict stylistic frameworks. The main thing is to express your own feelings in dance movements and get a vivid audience response. nine0003


The classic Arabic style can showcase the kind of dance performed by the women of Saudi Arabia. However, the art of professional dancers is prohibited in this country. Sharia law does not allow such liberties. Therefore, women have fun expressing themselves in dance exclusively in their own half of the house. Arabic belly dance can only be performed for female guests and members of the household. This is, in general, a bright mixture of oriental dance techniques with a characteristic movement of the arms and hips. It is complemented by beautiful waves of long hair. nine0003

Among other schools that can be attributed to the Arabic style, one can single out the Persian-Iranian direction. It is seriously different from the traditional belly dance of the women of Arabia. Here the dancers demonstrate a sliding step, characteristic movements of the hips and chest. Also coordinated waving of arms and head with flying long hair. In general, the dance is performed very feminine and neat.


A variety of Turkish belly dance, it is bright, cheerful and lively. Here the emphasis is on the smooth movement of the arms and a special technique performed by the hips, which is called the “deep drop”. nine0003

Accompaniment is very important in Turkish belly dance as the musicians work with the dancer in pairs. The main musical instrument in this case is a special kind of drums.


This is a colorful dance where the emphasis is on the movement of the hips. It is performed in a relaxed way, the dancer seems to be floating on the stage, demonstrating confidence in her own female irresistibility. The musical accompaniment is orchestral, using a bright rhythm of drums. This style is characterized by a very clear setting of the hands, simple combinations of their movements. Shaking and beautiful penetrations are also used. nine0003

Lessons for beginners

You can try to start at home. Take advantage of video tutorials that are easy to find on the Internet. Before the start of the lesson, you should let go of the problems of today, forget about worries for a while, and devote the next half hour or hour only to yourself.

This dance is like meditation, you need to tune in to it, focus on pleasant sensations. Feel your whole body, communicate with it, merge your soul with a beautiful melody. nine0003

Here is a small step-by-step instruction:

  1. First you need to remember and reproduce the simplest movements, which are basic. Music for belly dancing should be slow. Try to get on the beat. Only the legs, hips and arms should be involved. All other parts of the body must be kept static, motionless.
  2. Easy to master hip movements. It is necessary to put the hands on the belt and spread the elbows. Put your feet shoulder width apart. Slightly bend your knees. Then try to raise and lower each hip in turn, while you can not move your shoulders. They must stay in line. Feet should also not be raised, the soles should constantly touch the floor. At first, the movements are performed very slowly, then their frequency is gradually increased, leading to shaking. After mastering this simple movement, you can proceed to a more complex one - try the rotation of the hips, “draw” a figure eight in the air. The combination of two mastered movements already gives rise to a beautiful dance. nine0008
  3. Hands should be involved in the dance only after the movement of the hips is well mastered. They can be lifted and spread apart. The main thing is to learn how to act in concert with both hands and the lower body. To do this, remember the rule - when the right thigh rises, then the hands should move to the left and vice versa. At the same time, the hands perform beautiful circular movements.

Belly dancing for beginners is not too difficult. The main thing here is to master the basics so well that you can easily build a clear drawing from them. Only after that you can move on and take on more complex ligaments and movements. nine0003

Where to buy oriental dance costumes

Belly dance clothes should emphasize every movement of the dancer. She draws the attention of the audience to the dance gesture, either wrapping around her body, or flying apart like wings.

A good suit is 50% of success, because it highlights all the advantages of the figure and hides the flaws.

  • Skirts come in a variety of styles - straight, with slits or a "fish" silhouette. Wide, flared "sun" or "semi-sun". The waist can be either high or low. nine0008
  • Wide harem pants, usually low-rise, can be with slits on the sides and must be gathered at the ankles.
  • Bodice - open, fitted, embroidered with shiny accessories - beads, sequins, sequins, rhinestones. It should fit very tightly to the body, form a beautiful bust shape. Fringe is also used, both short and long, sometimes hiding the belly.
  • Shoes are not required, the belly dance is usually performed barefoot. However, its modern versions, at times, can be decorated with beautiful high-heeled shoes. nine0008

Traditionally, the abdomen remains free, open. There are such types of dance in which this part of the body is covered with a veil. Sometimes the whole dress is also sewn.

One of the important elements of the costume is a scarf or belt embroidered with sparkling coins, sometimes with a long fringe. The scarf is tied tightly, and the belt is sewn on the basis of an elastic band so that it sits on the hips without moving out. The scarf is triangular or rectangular, more like a scarf. The movement of the hips causes the jingle of coins. They crumble, sparkle and draw attention to one or another dance technique. nine0003

The fabrics from which the suit is sewn should be light, bright, and flying. They complement the pattern of the dance, visually enhance the range of movements of the dancer. Therefore, they must be chosen very carefully.

Various attributes are also used during the performance - canes, candelabra, numerous bracelets assembled in a cascade, fans, saber. All these items give special significance to the dance being performed. The saber, for example, is a symbol of a woman's rebelliousness.

A novice dancer does not need a luxurious costume to practice. She needs tight-fitting leggings so that you can clearly see the movement of the hips and knees. You will need a comfortable bodice, a bra that does not restrict movement, does not interfere with proper breathing. If the floor in the rehearsal room is covered with a carpet, then you can dance just in socks. When a special coating is not provided, you need to purchase lightweight soft shoes with non-slip soles. nine0003

A scarf or belt with coins is not necessary during training. You can do without it.

Oriental dance stage costume can be purchased online by visiting well-known Chinese online stores. Specialized ateliers also sew belly dance clothes to order. Almost every such studio has its own representation on the World Wide Web.

Of course, you can try to sew a costume for belly dance yourself, but only if you have good patterns and patterns. Otherwise, you can only spoil the fabric, because it is not easy to create a stage costume on your own. Even if the dance is beautiful and the skill of the performer is at its best, a bad costume can spoil the impression. nine0003

Dancing as a lifestyleOriental dancewearOriental dancewear

Typical oriental dancewear is a skirt of light and flowing fabrics, a bodice and belt, or a headscarf. Moreover, all the details of clothing are usually richly decorated with beads, rhinestones, sparkles.

Clothing sets can be modified depending on what the woman wants to highlight. Let's consider the types of clothing for dancing in more detail:

1. Bodice. This piece of clothing is designed to emphasize the chest, visually improve its shape, lift and highlight. It is to decorate the bodice that monisto, sequins, beads and rhinestones are used. nine0194 2. Skirt. Oriental dance skirts are made from translucent and very light fabrics. The skirt in the dance flows and scatters, its length can be both knee-length and floor-length. There may be a cut, but this is an optional element. The skirt gives the dance a special chic and mystery.
3. Scarf. A scarf with coins can be tied over a skirt and give a special charm to the dance.
4. Accessories. Accessories in dancewear are given a considerable place and for good reason. Arabs are very fond of gold, so Eastern women adorn themselves with gold earrings, bracelets, pendants, rings, weave gold threads into their hair. Bracelets can be present not only on the wrists, but also on the hips and ankles, and in great abundance. In the East, it is customary to wear a lot of jewelry at once, and dancers are no exception. nine0003

In addition to the skirt, the dancer can also wear a dress. A feature of a dress for dancing is that a part of the body, usually the waist, must be ajar. Dresses are used by women who, for some reason, have not tidied up their bodies, so they want to focus on the movements, and not on the hips or chest.

Harem pants can also be used instead of a skirt. They are worn instead of a skirt, in cases where the skirt cannot be used for any reason. Very often bloomers look no less impressive than a skirt. You can also tie a belt over the bloomers. Moreover, there is a simple and affordable way to make bloomers for dancing with your own hands. It is only necessary to take two pareos and tie them together in a special way. This option is the fastest in creating a mysterious image of a dancer, but no less chic. nine0003

It is the oriental outfits that create that indescribable note of seduction in the dance, attractive dances would never look so tempting if not for the outfits.
There are many combinations of outfits, just like there are more than 50 variations of oriental dance. Remember that the outfit should be moderately frank. Every detail of clothing is designed to help reveal the image, not a single thing is superfluous.
An interesting fact about accessories. Most of them are designed not to decorate the female body, but, oddly enough, to hide it, because Eastern women were still forbidden to be naked in public.

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