The Birth of Belly Dancing Jewelry
Most people believe that belly dancing involves lots of flashy jewelry. The truth is quite the opposite. If you are like most westerners you no doubt have an image of a belly dancer adorned with a flashy jewel in her stomach and dangling ornaments around her waste.
The modern image of the belly dancer adorned with expensive belly dancing jewelry has lead to a common misconception. Belly dancers have been associated with fame and wealth. Some believe that belly dancing is the activity for the wealthy. The truth is that is is modern misconception and doesn’t accurately represent belly dancing around the world.
The popular belly dancing jewelry we are familiar with- the jewel in the belly button- was in fact a creation of Hollywood. It was merely a way to get around touchy censorship laws that required the navel to be covered. The use of jewelry provided an attractive way around this and still allowed hollywood to reveal much of the midriff.
It was the movie industry that began the association between belly dancing jewelry and belly dancing. The truth is that in the Middle East, belly dancers were often unadorned and only wore a full body dress that kept the dancer’s body modestly hidden away. If you are interested in traditional attire for belly dancing instead of western-influenced attire then you won’t need lots of jewelry.
Cloth is More Traditional
Instead of expensive belly dancing jewelry, most traditional belly dancers relied on simple yet beautiful fabric to use while dancing. Fabric was often used as a prop while dancing to compliment the rhythmic movement of the dancer’s body. Clothing and jewelry should not detract from the dance.
Clothing should be comfortable and should not hinder the movement of a dancer. This is important because belly dancing is all about the movement of the body and much less about the clothing and belly dancing jewelry. It is also not necessary to expose a large amount of your body, although depending on where you are in the world, this is often done.
Although the majority of belly dancing jewelry we are familiar with is a recent innovation, many people like the addition of jewelry to their outfit instead of more traditional attire. Whether you choose to stick to more modest clothing or decide to go the Hollywood route, the choice of attire is ultimately yours alone.