What is Belly Dance?
Many experts say belly dancing is the oldest form of dance, having roots in all ancient cultures from the orient to India to the mid-East. Probably the greatest misconception about belly dancing is that it is intended to entertain men.
Throughout history, this ritualized expression has usually been performed for other women, generally during fertility rites or parties preparing a young woman for marriage. In most cases, the presence of men is not permitted.
Belly dancing is natural to a woman's bone and muscle structure with movements emanating from the torso rather than in the legs and feet. The dance often focuses upon isolating different parts of the body, moving them independently in sensuous patterns, weaving together the entire feminine form. Belly dancing is generally performed barefoot, thought by many to emphasize the intimate physical connection between the dancer, her expression, and Mother Earth.
Belly dancing costumes are often colorful, flowing garments, accented with flowing scarves and veils. Finger cymbals (made of brass and known as zills) are common, dating back to 200 B. C. as well as exotic jewelry, including intricate belts made of coins that, in earlier days, comprised the family's wealth so that it might be portable in the event the woman needed to move quickly or flee. Other interesting accessories used during the dance are swords, snakes, large vessels, and even huge candelabras, complete with flaming candles.
In America, belly dancing enjoyed its first significant renown when the famous dancer Little Egypt performed at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Americans found themselves fascinated by the exotic body rhythms and music, eventually including them in many silent films made just a few years later. Costumes and dancing styles were given a distinctive Hollywood flare and, in turn influenced dancers in the Middle East, thus evolving the art form to a new level. For example, belly dancing with flowing veils hadn't been documented before the 1900s but is now quite popular throughout the world.
Since the turn of the century, belly dancing has grown enormously in popularity across the U. S. and worldwide. Belly dance festivals, workshops, and seminars take place constantly, attracting large audiences of interested, involved men and women. Many dancers now study the art form intensively, traveling to the mid-East and elsewhere to experience it where it originated.
How to take a good care of your Silk Veil.
When your veil or other silk item becomes soiled, you can either hand wash it, or you can wash it on the delicate cycle of your washing machine in cold water with a mild soap (like Ivory liquid). Put a little liquid fabric softener in the rinse water, dry it on the lowest dryer setting or hang it up to dry. Please do not use dryer sheets to soften your veil and cut down on static cling. The dryer sheets leave residue on your veil that will ruin it. I strongly recommend against using commercial washing machines and dryers, because they are much too harsh on delicate silk.
There is no comparison to the beauty and feeling of sensuous silk flowing around you. If you have never danced with silk, you owe it to yourself to buy one of these diaphanous veils and give it a spin. After all, you deserve the best!