Belly Dance

10 Items for Performing in a Belly Dance Show

by Valeria Lo Iacono

Hafla friends

If you are performing for the first time or are relatively new to doing live shows, there are several items you might want to include on your list for things you could find very useful for the show. Below a look at 10 items to remember packing.

1. Make up and make up brushes

Make up and make up brushes – It is always useful to have these items with you when performing, even if you applied your make up before leaving your house, just in case you need to refresh your make up. Do not forget things such as blush, eyeliner, mascara, foundation, lipstick and glitter.

2. Costume and props

This may seem obvious, but make sure you do not forget your costume (including belt and bra set, skirt, baladi dress or whichever outfit you will be wearing) and props. If you are dancing with belly dance props, such as sagat, cane, veil, sword etc. it could be easy to forget them at home.

3. Items for the hair

These include hair spray, hair brush and comb, any bands or hairpins. Anything you may need to revamp your hair before going on stage.

4. Accessories

Including shoes, especially if you are dancing in a restaurant where you may need to protect your feet as the floor may be dirty; headpiece, if you have one; jewellery (rings, anklet, bracelets etc.). Last but not least, a cloak or a caftan or alabeya could be useful to hide your costume, if the place where you are dancing does not have a reserved area just for dancers behind the stage.

5. Music CD and spare copy

In some venues, such as restaurants, you may need to take your own music CD and it is also a good idea to take with you more than 1 copy, just in case one got scratched and did not play well. Even when you can send your music to the venue beforehand, I still like to take with me a couple of CDs with my music just in case. I also take my iPod, in case it can be used for the music.

6. A bottle of water

To drink before and soon after your performance. Some people think that this art form is not very active but you will find in fact that you can get as much or as little exercise as you want as hydrating as with any form or exercise, is important. Also, fruit juices can be a good idea. Usually, I find that I cannot really eat before performing or even a few hours before. Fruit juices are a good thing to drink to keep you hydrated, while also providing some sugar to keep your energy levels up.

7. Printed directions to the venue

A lot of shows take place in a wide variety of locations and venues and this can mean having to navigate to some interesting, unusual, distant and new places including church halls, dance centers and music halls. Do not forget to pre-print a copy of the venue address, telephone number of the organiser and if possible a Google or similar map of the local area.

8. Items for emergency adjustments to the costume

It can be useful to take with you some safety pins, to keep bits and pieces in place. Also, a travel sewing kit could be handy, just in case you need to make some emergency repair to your bellydance outfit.

9. Clean change of clothing

Also, if you are performing in a theatre with proper changing rooms and showers, you may want to take with you a towel, shampoo and soap to freshen up after performing (especially if you are performing to energetic music, such as a tabla solo).

10. More various items

Other things you may need are a spare pair of contact lenses, spectacles and a case to put them away; tissues; a couple of biscuits or nuts to nibble on (I find these particularly useful, as I do not like to eat much before the performance, but I do not like to perform when I am starving either ). Finally, you will of course need money, your mobile, house and car keys and all the things that you take with you when going out anyway.

Written by Valeria Lo Iacono

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Valeria is a dance researcher completing a PhD in dance and heritage. Valeria also teaches and performs as a belly dance but also enjoys learning ballet, jazz dance and other dance genres.

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One thought on “10 Items for Performing in a Belly Dance Show

  1. Alicia Tamayo

    All the tips shared in this post are effective for performing Belly dance live shows. I am learning belly dance from Melbourne Bellydance and this information really help me in future. Thanks for sharing.


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