Your Guide to Belly Dancing Accessories

Belly dancing is a long-standing tradition in the Middle East that is becoming more and more popular in the Western world, especially since the emergence of pop star Shakira and her hip shaking action. Patrons flock to nightclubs, to stage shows, and to restaurants to see belly dancing performances. It is even becoming a popular hobby, a form of exercise, and a unique way to spice up an intimate relationship. If you are looking to learn about this art form, or learn how to dance yourself, let this be your guide to the essential belly dancing accessories.

The Bedlah: This is the costume or “suit” worn by most belly dancers is the costume of today. The bedlah is actually not the traditional costume of Middle Eastern belly dancers. Traditionally, belly dancers wear a kaftan. The bedlah was adopted because Westerners expected to see belly dancers look like the images that they had seen in Hollywood burlesque shows, when they visited nightclubs in the Middle East. Bedlahs typically consist of a bra, belt, and skirt. They are usually colorful and beautifully embellished.

Hip scarves: Another accessory commonly found in belly dancing is the hip scarf. Belly dancing is all about the waist and hips, so what better way to draw attention to it than by wearing a beautiful scarf. Hip scarves accentuate a woman’s curves. They are usually found in an array of colors, and are adorned with beads and discs. These embellishments shake and shimmy with the movement of the hips to heighten dance movements.

Wings: Many professional belly dancers use wings, often called Isis wings, in their belly dancing routines. These wings add to the sensuality and mystery of the dance, in that they make you look like a beautiful, mythical creature. You can purchase wings in practically any color or pattern to match your bedlah. If you incorporate wings into your belly dancing routine you are sure to look like a pro.

Jewelry: If bedlahs and scarves are beautifully decorated with jewels and beads, naturally, the rest of you must be embellished as well. Long, beaded earrings, or earrings made from patterns of discs are very popular options. Wearing necklaces, anklets, bracelets, belly chains, and bindis are also other beautiful ways to adorn your body. By wearing these accessories you can completely immerse yourself in the belly dancing experience.

Fun extras: If you already have the perfect bedlah, hip scarf, wings, and jewelry, there are still ways to further accessorize your belly dancing ensemble. Fans and veils are ways to hide the face, and play up the mystery of the dance. In addition, henna tattooing on your hands and feet can add drama to your look and make your dance feel even more authentic.

Belly dancing is a Middle Eastern tradition that has become increasingly popular in the Western world. Nightclubs, restaurants, theaters, and other performance houses have caught onto the trend, and feature regular belly dancing performances. Belly dancing has also become a popular hobby, a popular form of exercise, and a popular seduction technique. While everyone may not be able to shake their hips like Shakira, following this guide to the essential belly dancing accessories will put you well on your way to becoming the best belly dancer you can be!


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