So you have taken up belly dancing, you love it, you are getting fit, making new friends and all is good. You just need to buy some more belly dance products, i.e a new belly dance skirt or a new hip scarf. So where and how is the best place to buy belly dance items? There are a few options to buy belly dance items, and they are looked at below.
My friends bought several items via Ebay.co.uk from American sellers, and the items arrived fast and were well-priced and excellent quality. The items ended up costing half of what the dance teachers charge at the workshops, when items are for sale. We can only speak from our personal experience and our own experience was that this was a very effective way of buying items including full outfits. I myself bought a dance sword on eBay and a couple of skirts.
Ebay, however, for as convenient it may be, does not always have everything a dancer needs, especially in the way of designer costumes. For costumes that are more pricey but great quality, try Faridadance.com. They also have cheaper items that are good for wearing in classes. But if it is a professional costume you are after and you can afford it, they have great choices available. Another popular site is Aladdinscave.com, which is also UK based. If you run a Google search though, you will come up with a lot more sites.
Belly dance shops on a high street are rare. If you do have one near where you live then it is certainly worth popping in. The big advantage here is that you can try the items on before buying. This certainly helps. If you live in a main city such as NYC then I imagine that there must be 1 or 2 belly dance related shops.
At belly dance workshops, the teachers often try to make extra money by selling belly dance outfits and accessories. Prices can vary hence I would recommend checking eBay and being aware of the prices before buying. Sometimes the prices are decent and sometimes extortionate. Again, a benefit is that you can try items on before buying.
This may not be practical for everyone, but if you are already planning to take a holiday in a country such as Turkey, Egypt or Morocco for example, then you will be able to buy belly dance items far far cheaper, than in the UK or USA. You will be amazed at how cheap the items are. Of course, designer costumes are not cheap even if you buy them in Egypt or Turkey, but they are still at least a third cheaper than you would find them outside anywhere else. See my Egypt travel guide for information on where to buy in Cairo.
Now of course, the best place to buy authentic Arabic music is the Middle East, but short of going on an expensive holiday to the likes of Jordan and Egypt for a shopping trip, then your best option to buy traditional music is online or closer locales. In the UK, major cities such as Birmingham and London all have a large Middle Eastern population and there are many areas within them, where local markets and shops sell traditional products such as spices, clothing and even music. While you may not know where these shops are, a quick search in your local Yellow Pages may yield their location, so that you can go down and browse their selection of authentic, traditional music.
Alternatively, the easiest way is probably to buy online. Of course, unless you are familiar with the artists, you may not know what the music sounds like, but many websites such as Amazon have a ‘preview’ area where you can listen to certain tracks before you buy them. There are also specialist websites such as BuyArabic.com and Maqam.com that will have large numbers of local artists and albums, as well as knowledge of the latest styles and hits. For belly dancers. a site that I particularly recommend is Balaha records. They are based in Germany and have a great selection of belly dance music, as well as DVDs that are hard to find on Amazon and they are also cheaper than sellers based in the UK. If you are a fan of Arabic music or need it for a party or a belly dancing class, then there are multiple options to find the music that you need. You don’t have to go to the Middle East, unless of course you want to!