Belly dance post cards

Being hooked on belly dance, I often try find pretty post cards that I can send to other dancers or use as a gift tag or thank you note. I collected a couple of places where you can order your belly dance themed post cards. Perfect as a gift for the dancer in your life or as a gift to yourself ūüôā

bd-postcards-silhouetteBelly dance silhouette postcards

This cafepress site also has other items adorned with bellydancer silhouettes.

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Lacy Chenault

This artist has been drawing belly dancers for over a decade. You can buy her colorful designs in her zazzle store.

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Tribal fusion postcards by Myka Jelina

Myka draws beautiful art work and her tribal fusion dancers have a bit of pixie, steampunk and gothic. Sassy!

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Marta – bellydance greeting cards

This Australian designer made a beautiful set of greeting cards especially for you! Contact her directly for shipping charges outside Australia.

 

Bellydance Resources is created by Kyria¬†to bundle information for her students, friends and fellow dancers. Navigating the internet can be overwhelming, that’s why we create blogs and articles about belly dance that point you towards high quality sources of information. If you like to receive an update in your mail every other month, sign up here.

Turkish Cabaret Style

Turkish belly dance is also known as Turkish Oriental or Tansi Oryental. It’s a very upbeat style that includes fast turns,¬†pelvic shimmies, floorwork and fluid and creative arms. Some famous Turkish dancers from the past are Princess Banu, Nelja Ates, Nesrin Topkapi¬†¬†and Tulay Karaca. Modern Turkish bellydancers are Didem and Asena.

Costuming

Turkish costumes are decorated within an inch of their live. Beautiful flourishes, rhinestones,¬†multicolor fringe in different lengths, drapes, cut-outs, ruffles, patterned fabric, flounces and flourishes. It’s a costuming style that matches the dance style. As Turkish dance is more flirtatious and sexy, the costumes can be quite revealing with high slits, plunging necklines and strategic cut-outs that¬†keeps the audience guessing on how the dancer pulls of moving without showing anything. Dancers typically wear high heels during performances.

The most famous designer of Turkish belly dance costumes is Bella, located in Istanbul. She has a second store located in Ghent, Belgium.

More affordable is Legend Costumes, a business completely run by women.

Folklore and the famous 9/8

Turkish belly dance is related to various Turkish folk dances. One of the most commonly¬†known folk style is the Turkish Romani style. This is the dance style of the Turkish gypsy people. It contains complex foot patterns, expressive pelvic moves and often live music. The music often contains complex rhythmic patterns, like the 9/8 rhythm that is sometimes referred to as Karsilama. The ‘spoon dance’ is also a typical Turkish folk dance, where the dancers hold wooden spoons in their hands that they play during the dance.

DVD resources for Turkish Bellydance

Totally Turkish with Ruby

Raw Roman with Reyhan

Turkish Romani Dance with Elisabeth Strong

Read more about Turkish Oriental dance at the following links

Learn Bellydance Styles: Turkish Oriental – Bellydance University by Lauren Zehara

 

Travel guides to Istanbul or Turkey for bellydancers 

Istanbul for belly dancers– Shimmy

 

About belly dance

There are many resources available that discuss the origins of belly dance. Most dancers agree that belly dance has been around for centuries in countries in the Middle-East. How belly dance got it’s current name is subject of speculation and backed up by research that points toward the Victorian Era, when a French reporter wrote about Algerian dancers on the World Fair in Paris and used the term danse du ventre.That got translated into belly dance and as the term is easy to use, it is now one of the most common terms.

In Arabic belly dance is called Raqs Sharqi, which translates to ‘dance of the East’. This can create confusion, as ‘the East’ could also be seen as the far East, like China and other Asian countries. In Arabic countries this is obviously not an issue, but Western audiences might have a hard time remembering and recognizing raqs sharqi.

What is bellydance and what should we really call it? – by Atea

History and origins of belly dance – World Belly Dance

Naming Bellydance – bellydancing.org

Movement vocabulary

There is no universal chart or scheme for belly dance movements. This can create confusion when names of moves vary from teacher to teacher. Some dancers and dance schools have developed their own methods and scheme’s, but none of these is universally recognized. I have developed my own movement vocabulary for my classes. It utilizes the English names for belly dance moves as I find the English terms easy to use and remember for my students.

Belly dance terms: a glossary – by Shira

Glossary of bellydance terms – Wikipedia

Belly dance is an isolation dance, the dancer being able to move one body part in relative isolation. For example by moving the hips while the rest of the body remains still. I have one issue with this definition: our bodies are not a random collection of body parts. Creating a movement with one body part will always impact other parts of the body and the more you advance in belly dance, the more fluid and connected the dancer will become. So for beginners, we break down the moves into seperated  isolated moves. For intermediate and advanced dancers we work on combining different moves (called layering), creating fluid transitions and letting energy flow through the body.

The subtle art: isolation, integration and layering – online class by Datura (only available to paid members)

Styles of belly dance

As belly dance originated as a folk dance, there are a lot of different flavors and styles that you can explore. I made an extensive style chart that I send to my students in the form of a mind map. Melilah has an excellent example of a belly dance mindmap on her website. I challenge you to make your own mind map and add to it as you grow as a dancer.

The problem with dividing belly dance into styles is that most dancers consciously or unconsciously combine elements from styles into their own dancing. It is rare to find a belly dancer that is a pure bred *insert style here* dancer. Even dancers born in Egypt incorporate moves and concepts from other dance forms and styles. It is good to recognize and know the variations and cultural background of different bellydance styles. Structuring belly dance this helps us understand the roots of belly dance and nurtures cultural sensitivity. It is when we start to chastice others for not being ‘true to a style’, that the strucutre becomes our cage.

 


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Starting Bellydance Resources

trance02witI’ve always been interested in the proces of learning and I am one of those belly dance teachers that creates extensive hand-outs and link collections for her students. I figured that as I’d been doing the work, I might as well publish it on this website so I can easily refer students to¬†the information they need.¬†I collect links, video’s and other material on this website that I value as a resource. This means that I pick and choose what resources are valuable for my students based on my decades of experience as a belly dancer.¬†I started out taking belly dance classes when I went to University and after six years started teaching and performing as a professional belly dancer. I am located in Utrecht, The Netherlands and I’m still going strong, teaching weekly classes, workshops and creating performances. My Dutch website promoting my belly dance business is over here. ¬†I have also been¬†making my own belly dance costumes for quite some time and dedicated an English blog to the subject. It’s called Kyria’s Costumes and you can find it over here. It gives¬†more insight in my personal life and the costuming projects I’m working on.

I’ll be adding stuff to this website when I find the time and hope that it’ll be a solid resource to help students, teachers and performers find resources to continue to grow and learn. Are you a producer and would you like a review of your product? Please contact me through facebook and we can talk about the options.¬†Keep in mind that I will write a review of your product from my point of view. I will let you read the review before posting it so you can react and add nuance.

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