Susan's Blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gently Used, Con Brio

They say you have to feed your soul. I have no problem with that; sometimes I feel like I have to put my soul on a diet, it has become so gluttonous. Aside from hanging out with my boyz and my man, my friends, my sister, my laptop, and my fleurs, the thing that I love love love to do is bellydance, which you must know by now if you’ve been reading this blog with even half an eye.

But like any hobby, it is sometimes a challenge to keep bellydance fresh and exciting. I have learned all the basics by now, the moves, choreography, performance points, props. I have been collecting a lot of music, (put on your sound loud for a real treat when you click this) but I always need more. I have a good teacher and a good bellydance gang.

But what keeps it fascinating and fun, in a visceral way? Costumes. I belong to an amazing website that has a costume swap meet as well as all the bellydance conversation you can eat. Every day some diva lists a costume she is selling, and it goes something like this: “hot pink, all sparkles, circle skirt, gauntlets, made in Cairo…” If it is my size, I am in trouble. When I first joined Bhuz, I bought one pale pink costume. A second, a pale green, I swapped immediately because it was not flattering, and I bought my hot pink and coral Hanan with that money. Then I ordered my Safti, custom-tailored.

I was happy with those for awhile, and still I love them and I rotate each one when I perform (Ned and Nat are my audience. Nat is an unabashed fan; the other two boys stay far away.). But variety is the spice of life, n’est-ce pas? And yet, guilt is the meat of life, or perhaps the vegetables, the conscience. So I kept telling myself, “You can’t buy anymore costumes because you are not a real performer.”

Then I realized that that was as stupid as when I used to say to myself, “You’re not a real writer because you are not published;” or “because you don’t get paid.” Why do we set ourselves up for undermining?

I have an audience of two. I perform seriously for them. Right now, that is the best I can do. But why not treat myself to a new cossie every now and then?

So I satisfied my voracious hunger for new colors and beads and I bought this turquoise number that is totally over-the-top (and yet fits perfectly on-the-top). It has long fringe and tons of chunky beadwork. A long, trumpet-shaped crocheted and sequined turquoise overskirt and frothy blue chiffon circle skirt underneath. Turquoise crocheted gauntlets (sleeves). It is a vintage Dahlal, the very best costume designer. Only I did not pay Dahlal prices, because this cossie is gently used. But aren’t we all, in one way or another?


I had to ban myself from the costume swap pages! After getting a new costume from Anatolia Imports (gorgeous, long skirt with two front slits, the top is like a bra built into a long-sleeved shirt with cutouts – it’s so hot) I told myself no more costumes for the year.

I say we can have our costumes because a) there are plenty to go around and we can afford them b) they make us happy c) we keep the companies in business who make them.

I think I practice better in a good costume (though I try not to practice too much in them, I do take them for test drives to make sure they won’t have a “costume malfunction” and I think I do my best dancing witha costume on.)

Yay cossie addiction!

— added by Shannon Brooke Davis on Friday, June 29, 2007 at 9:56 pm


But it would be so much more so, were you in it. 🙂

— added by Julia on Wednesday, July 4, 2007 at 10:02 pm

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