Of Course Larger-Sized Women Can Bellydance!
Many ample women say they'd love to try bellydancing, but they hesitate because:
- They think they would look terrible in the skimpy bra/belt/skirt costumes.
- They think they'd look stupid being the only full-figured student in a class full of skinny bodies.
- They are intimidated by the notion of wearing exercise clothing.
Unfortunately, every one of the above reasons is silly - they are just not valid!
When people hear the term "bellydancer", they imagine a slender woman with volumptuous cleavage in a bra/belt/skirt set with slits in the skirt that show off the legs all the way up to the thigh. Although many dancers fit this image, it's certainly not true of everyone!
There are many costuming options for bellydancers, including elegant evening gowns, folkloric dresses, artfully draped scarves, tunics, jackets, and more. Some sparkle with beads and sequins. Others evoke the past with jingling coins, shiney mirrors, and swaying tassels. Whatever your own fashion preferences, you're sure to find something you like. See the photo galleries and costuming articles elsewhere on this site for inspiration.
The Class Environment
Bellydancing attracts students of all shapes and sizes, all ages, all races and national origins. In fact, there are even a few male bellydancers out there! Most bellydancing teachers are very inclusive. Most will welcome you regardless of your clothing size, and encourage you to explore the dancer within. You'll find that many of your classmates look just like you.
Admittedly, there are a few bellydancing teachers out there who welcome only students whose size and shape fit some sort of profile. If you run into one of these teachers, just remember that the majority of bellydance teachers are not like that! Go find a different teacher, one who appreciates all her students.
Bellydance students look very different from the women in aerobics classes at the gym. There's more variety in body type. And the clothing is very different! You'll rarely see a thong leotard or short-shorts in a bellydancing class! Instead, bellydancers usually wear exercise clothes that look good on more varied body shapes.
Beginning bellydancers often don't want to spend much on clothing, so they wear sweat pants or yoga pants with the top edge pulled down to the hip line, below the navel, to approximate pantaloons. On top, they may wear either a tank top, a snug T-shirt, a standard (not thong) leotard, a crop top, or a sports bra. They tie some sort of scarf around their hips to help draw their focus to their hip movements.
Once a student is ready to spend a little more on classroom garb, she might buy a skirt, a fancier hip scarf, a mesh body stocking to cover the midriff, a more fashionable pair of pants, or other accessories. Eventually, these pieces become the building blocks of a performance costume.
The contents of this page are copyrighted 2008 by Julie Anne Elliot. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is forbidden.