The holidays are upon us, and that includes picking out fabulous gifts for friends and family. What gifts should you give the belly dancer on your nice (or naughty) list?
Accessories or music would be my top picks. Stay away from actual costumes, bra/belt sets are better when planned and measured. Pricey props are also a gamble, due to differences in styles of belly dance dance can be hard to know exactly what the dancer in your life actually loves.
Here are a few helpful tips to navigate the the stores and online belly dance catalogs when filling the stockings with care.
Traditional veils are beautiful props that can be found inexpensively. Veils are either Circular or Rectangular. The general rule of thumb is that unless you are a petite dancer or doing double veil, stick with a rectangular veil. The main types of fabrics are silk or chiffon. There are pro’s and cons to either fabric, but most dancers start learning and dancing with chiffon veils.
Just like shoes, a dancer can never have too many hip scarves. Coins or fringe, solid or print, velvet or chiffon – the options are endless. A basic coin hip scarf will be made of a chiffon material with a crochet border of coins. These come in any color imaginable, and you can get them just about anywhere. $30 will get you a pretty nice hip scarf.
The influx of china vendors has made some of these sized for petites only, so make sure you check your sizing before ordering online.
Zills – Finger Cymbals
The metal cymbals belly dancers play while dancing can make a good gift. They are small enough to fit perfectly in a dancers stocking. The different sizes and shapes create different tones when you play them. If your dancer already has a pair, try to find some in a different color or shape. Most importantly remember you need 2 pairs of zills; i.e. 4 pieces. 2 for the thumbs, two on the fingers. Any place that sells you a pair, and there are only two inside is ripping you off.
Saroyan Zills are some of the most popular among the dancer community – they start at $20.
Music & Videos.
The Bellydance Superstars just released a new album, Vol. 11. Ad with all of the Superstars CDs, there will be a mix of Cabaret, Folk, and Tribal numbers. These songs are curated for performances, and will surely please any dancer you know.
With every CD that the Superstars release there will surely be a DVD of their performances.
If you are looking for a technique or teaching based video then visit CheekyGirlsProductions.com for a large variety of DVDs. Fantastic Fan Veils by Sedona Soulfire was released in September of last year, that would be a perfect combo gift with a set of silk fanveils.
A diamond is a girls best friend!
If your not ready to get down on one knee for your dancer, then hold off on the diamonds for now, and stick to the basics. Arm bands, bangles in her favorite color are great belly dance gifts. Just remember to get 2 or 3 times as many as she would wear during the day. On stage everything from makeup to jewelry needs to be bigger than streetwear. The traditional coin necklace and earring set is a staple in any dancer’s jewelry box. Try to find one in a color she doesn’t already have. If you want to step it up a notch then take a look at jewelry with gemstones . Beautiful evening wear costume jewelry is perfect for the cabaret dancer. Or, if you’re shopping for an ATS® girl, search for the tribal look – something with “kuchi” in the name.
Flowers & Fascinators.
Unless you have something to apologize for, stay away from live flowers and bouquets. Hair Flowers are a great accessory for any dancer looking for a pop of color. The flowers should be fairly large – at least the size of the palm of your hand. Fascinators are going to edge more to the realm of Fusion belly dance, but they can make a fun addition to any costume. Check your purchase to ensure there is an alligator clip on the back. Some will even come with a pin (like a brooch) though this is not necessary. Match some bangles with a hair flower and a hip scarf or veil for a cute gift basket.
If you have looked at the stores and still aren’t sure, you can always opt for a gift certificate to the local salon. Belly dancers need to sparkle from head to toe, so what better gift than a mani/pedi!