What Are We Learning & Wearing at Bellydance Conferences?

Today’s dance stars are offering a lot of great workshops, cruises and occasions to hang out and learn a lot. Most of these events are in their hometowns or close by. Sponsorship of stars is still at a high and the regions from which people are sending invites include the United States, China, Europe and South America to Egypt, Lebanon and Diaspora stars living in the United States. The number of people attending workshops is still steady but one thing we’ve noticed is that people want dances from the regions where the art originated more than anything. Members of our team and dance circle travel to different events and make note on what is trending. For 2+ years, ethnic dance has been ruling over the commercial versions of raqs sharqi meaning a drop in the rush to go to a bellydance conference just because it’s the biggest or most known. Dancers are demanding without a word that they want regional raqs.

How do you prepare for a regional raqs class? What do you wear? Aren’t regional classes usually teaching the history and traditional garments of the area? Where do we get that? According to our raqs archivist who spends a lot of time on forums, is from an international community herself and has been writing about these topics for years, feels that a nice comfortable pair of dance pantaloons or pants works fine along with a long shirt. “There’s nothing wrong with wearing cholis and short crop tops to dance. But it’s true that in most regions, longer shirts and dresses are worn and many want to get the feel of that. That’s not something a bedluh can provides.” So, as you go to learn Kawliya, Maghreb Chickat and dances of the people feel free to wear loose garments. Yes, many actually have on necklaces, bracelets and jewelry when you see their community events, festivals and more – they are decked to the nines. It’s great to own that jewelry and wear it at the event, but for the dance class, just the garments themselves will be fine.

What are you seeing today as trends in raqs and bellydance conferences? We’d love to hear from you. Leave your reply in the comments section her or on our Facebook page.