So you are new to the world of Belly Dance... here is what we recommend for you!
Most teachers have an idea of what you will be doing in your first couple of months of classes and will tell you what they prefer you to have for their class, so if you haven't asked yet, you can begin there. From our experience, usually a teacher asks you to have comfortable pants, a fitted top, something for your hips and zills. Please read below to learn more about each of these items...
Let's start with zills! These are finger cymbals, played by the dancer as she dances. You may hear them referred to as zagat, sagat, zils, zills, cymbals and maybe even castanets. Either way, you'll need them! These are sold in sets of four. Two for the thumbs and two for middle fingers. These are real instruments and are made of solid brass. You will need to cut the elastic, included in the package, into four equal parts if we haven't done that already for you. You will fasten the elastic on the inside or underneath of the zill, by sewing them or using a small safety pin. They are placed on your finger tips, at the base of the nail bed. These must be tight and should not fall off when you wave your hand around. Click here to browse our zills. Shira.net also offers a great on line tutorial for zills as well, so once you have your zills, get a jump start on class!
Now you need something for your hips! It is very important to get into character when you start dancing. This is most likely going to be foreign to you, so wearing something on your hips really helps you notice when you are moving your hips in time. Most students like coin scarves so they can hear their hips moving as well. Some students just want something quiet, but something that still shows movement. Either option is fine. It doesn't matter if the scarf is Turkish, Egyptian or Pakistani, etc. as long as it makes you feel like dancing! Some things to consider are: velvet or chiffon base, rectangular or V shaped, silver, gold or brass coins, price, size and color. All of these are personal preferences, so express yourself and find something that shows who you are! Here are some links that may help you as well; size chart, color chart and hip scarves.
For your legs, you can wear yoga pants or you may try some of our specialty harem or dance flare pants. You may want to wear a full skirt, but ask your teacher first as sometimes they may wish to see your knees in a beginner level class.
Your top, needs to be non restrictive above all. We have a lot of tops in stock for you to browse, fitted tops, gypsy sleeve tops, mesh middle tops, etc. Any top will work - even a sports bra just so long as you can see the move easily. Some dancers perfer unitards, these are pants, tops and a mesh middle all in one. We have four styles for you to choose from!
Now you are dressed and ready for class! If you would like more practice at home consider a CD or DVD. Here is a link that recommends these are other beginner items! Have fun!
Thank you and if browsing leads to purchasing, don't forget to e-mail us a photo of you in your new costume so we can add you to our photo album!