The Accessories Every Traveling Belly Dancer Needs

One of the issues we’ve noticed while traveling the world to belly dancing seminars, conventions, and just spontaneous meet ups has been the lack of a proper place to keep our passports. We have special accessories for just about everything on our trips abroad: sunglass cases, wallets for cash and credit cards, but most of us don’t have anywhere to put our passports—the most important travel piece we actual carry with us.

So needless to say, we’ve been on the hunt for something suitable that can match our elaborate costumes and great fashion in and outside of the dancing halls. Of course, it has to be more than just practical. Although we definitely want something with practicality too, after all it’s about protecting our goods and staying organized. But finding something with practicality that’s also high fashion.

An accessory by any other name

Our biggest problem in finding a solution has been that we didn’t even know what to call what we were looking for. Turns out, it’s called a passport protector, so that was easy enough. If you think you don’t need one, think again.

Belly Dancing Must Haves

If you’re a belly dancer with any long term goals, you know you’ll be heading off to foreign countries at some point in your career if you haven’t already. So make sure you have your most valuable assets protected. Our pick? The pink passport holder in a lot of different varieties because what says belly dancing more than pink!? Right? Fret not, you can find plenty passport holders here.

Of course, we couldn’t forget about clothing accessories. And what belly dancer would be well-dressed without some beautiful ankle chains? Some make noise with small attached or woven in bells while others are silent but similarly flashy and elegant. It’s a must-have for any experienced dancer.

The must-have prop

Finally, there are so many props to choose from. How do we decide which on is an essential accessory? Well, we had a good long debate and finally decided that in order to really captivate your audience, you should at least have a quality cane to bring into your routine. There’s a virtually endless number of ways it can be used in dances both slow and fast paced. It can even be used to create thumping rhythm to back up the music playing while you sway.

On our travels, we’ve seen some really exotic canes made from all types of interesting wood and even some synthetic materials that will do the trick well. Historical belly dancing has always been about using multiple props.

Your three key dancing while traveling items to have

So let’s recap on the three key accessory points we touched on today. As dancers, we’re also likely to be travelers, so number one on our list is an accessory to protect your passport while abroad and keep travel documents organized.

You’ve also got to look great on the stage to make the impression you seek. An ankle chain to decorate and add some flare to your moves will be key to a happy audience.

Finally, every dancer needs at least one prop. If we had to choose just one? It’ll be your favorite color cane that matches your personality and specific poses and plays. Don’t forget, regional belly dancing norms can change depending where you’re at, so always do your research beforehand!

Belly Dancing from Persia to North America

We all know that belly dancing originated in the Middle East and is known as “Raqs Sharqi” or “Raqs Beledi” in Arabic, meaning Eastern Dancing or Folk Dancing, respectively. But now, belly dancing has spread AROUND THE WORLD. It’s everywhere. From Asia to Africa, North America to Europe, and even South and Central America have developed their own variety of dance.

Belly Dancer in Red Costume

There simply is no shortage of venues to dance at or to find belly dancers to watch them perform their routines. For us, that means it’s time to get busy traveling and seeing the world. We’d like to continue spreading this art of dance and music and love to every square mile of the globe.

One thing we always like to remind beginners of this wonderful and time honored art form is what a great exercise it can be as well. You might’ve noticed, there’s aren’t many skilled belly dancers who aren’t also in fantastic shape. Over the past decade or more, we’ve seen plenty of get-in-shape routines and classes spring up showcasing belly dancing as a torso manipulating calorie burner. And it works!

Besides being something beautiful and fun that you can move to music with and entertain friends and family or even strangers, it’ll help you tighten your abs and improve your coordination!

Costumes to wear while dancing can be anything from very simple to extremely elaborate and elegant. You’ve probably seen dancing girls donning veils, lace, and long silky dresses. Some are called beledi while others are called bedleh. But both are beautiful and designed to allow dancers to move freely to the music and vibes. There’s also the gallabiya, a type of robe that is less common but also a great choice.

It’s always possible to learn a little from simply observing the movements and trying them out for yourself, but to truly become an expert, you’ll want to get an instructor with plenty of experience to help you perfect all your positions and help you move with the fluidity of a real Middle Eastern belly dancer.

For music, you might hear drums, the dombec, or even tambourines being played. It can occasionally be fast paced music, but it can also be slow and sensual. Different types of music, of course, elicit different movements. Different regions have different flavors of music to dance to, and some can even be very modern, incorporating guitars or modern drum sets.

It really depends on your stylistic, cultural, and personal preferences to determine what type of costumes to wear or what kind of songs to dance to. We like to think of it as a limitless art, one that allows people of all different backgrounds to mold it to their own personalities and make it their own. That, we believe, is what makes it so universal and such an eye-catching even for men and women alike all over the world.

So, what will your style and flair be? We hope you’ll get started learning and moving your hips to the music wherever you’re from.