Around 9 years ago I went on holiday to Egypt and watched one of the shows put on for tourists and found myself thinking, “I could do that” as I watched the female belly dancer.
I did not think the same way watching the male Sufi dancer as he turned and turned and twirled and twirled….. How he did not move from his spot and fall into the pool mesmerised me but spinning like that, even as a way of meditating, was not what I was after.
When I got back to the UK I looked for a class and found one here in Reading and joined up straight away. From the first class I was hooked. It was difficult, challenging, fun and a new way of expressing myself. And to go back to the dancer I saaw in Egypt….I now understand that her easy, relaxed way of dancing was entirely down to years of dancing that way and making it look supremely easy. Let me assure you that it is not easy to emulate that.
Obviously there was an outlet for my love of sewing and constructing wearable items in the belly dance arena, but I can assure you that I will not be making a bedlah for anyone other than myself. A bedlah is the traditional bra and belt set worn by a dancer. They are time consuming and stand-alone works of art.
Once I began to learn tribal belly dance, a whole new arena, I realised that I could make the associated costume items more quickly and easily, and hence my business supplying dancers who cannot or do not want to make their own items grew.
My recent foray into the world of selling on Etsy has come from the realisation that my items can be worn by anyone. If you love to have unique accessories that compliment your personal definition of who you are at any given time, then I can supply you. I have made items for belly dancers, burlesque dancers, pole dancers and those who just want to display something as a work of art, or wear something that says something about who you are. Custom orders are my favourite thing to do, and even the items that are offered for sale are never repeated. That’s the joy of being an independent designer. I know that what you are getting is unique, and so do you.
I continue to learn and teach the art of belly dance, and of improvised tribal belly dance.
I dance publicly as a soloist and as a member of Covert Bling. Covert Bling? Because we all started as cabaret dancers who realised that we loved tribal belly dance too. The two costuming and dance styles are totally different, so we always add a little bit of Bling to our tribal costumes, even it it’s unseen……
And I’m proud and pleased that my original teacher for both cabaret and tribal belly dance is now my good friend and mentor, and that I have made other friendships that transcend our love of the dance.