We’ve all had costume fails, but with adversity comes experience! Here are my top 5 tips every bellydancer needs to know about costuming & looking great on stage!
1. Hairspray goes a long way!
From stopping sneaky runs in body stockings/thin fabric to helping your headgear or sword stick better, hairspray is essential to the performer’s bag of tricks. Lightly spray your fingers then swipe your brows or apply directly to set them ready for stage. Loading your hair with hairspray provides grip for swords, stops headdresses from slipping and also helps to keep clip in hair extensions from falling out, especially if you have fine or just washed hair. Just remember to backcomb first to create texture!
2. Layer it up
Once you’re on stage, the bright lights strip away a lot of colour and depth to your outfit. Add lots of different textures to your costumes – experiment with chiffon, lace, velvet and satin to go with fancy sequinned spandex fabrics to add variety and interest to your outfit. More is more! Don’t forget that once you’ve layered on the fabric, your work is just beginning – you can turn a gaudy $5 sale necklace into a stunning feature for your bra or belt and stick on crystals, beads, coins and applique to really jazz it up – just remember to buy at least two so you can make a matching set!
3. Back to basics
Avoid the dreaded hip belt slip moment and ensure that your belt has non slip backing to ensure it doesn’t slide around during performance. Sew a strip of velvet or felt on the back of your belt and it won’t go anywhere – especially if you are wearing a velvet base skirt underneath. To be super safe you can also pin the belt to the skirt but be wary of the pinching that will happen if it gathers in one spot. Not an ideal look.
4. Have a wardrobe palette
You wouldn’t wear the same outfit all day everyday, and this goes for costuming too! Your costume wardrobe is just like your everyday wardrobe – there are always trends, seasonal colours and also classic looks that don’t date. Try to have a foundation of colours you can mix and match with for variety & also to suit unexpected situations. For example I unexpectedly changed a routine from fan veil to isis wings, and matched my pantaloons to my wings while keeping the bra and belt set as a contrast piece, which is now one of my favourite combos!
5. Safety first
NEVER, EVER leave the house without a pack of safety pins. These guys will come in handy for unexpected issues with closures, slippery belts, holding skirt splits, or just added support if a costume seems less than comfy. And if you think you won’t need them, chances are someone else backstage might, so be prepared to help a sister out in her time of need!
Do you have any costume tips or tricks? Comment below with your personal favourites!