A few of my favorite things

So many fine folks have been coming up to me at the Oregon Renaissance Festival this year asking about this and that thing I am wearing, or doing, or how to find what, that I am feeling compelled to make a list.  So here you go – some of my favorite things for belly dance as of Sept. 2014.  Enjoy!

1. Hermes Sandals – a MUST for performing outside.  I prefer to be dancing barefoot, but this is the next best thing.  I’ve tried lots of brands of these sandals, and the Oasis Sandal Company makes the best.  You can find similar sandals for half the price but don’t be fooled!  Nothing beats real, soft leather for comfort and straps that actually stay put.  My friend Jewels referred me to them and I lovelovelovelove them.  They come in lots of colors, if you are feeling sassy.

2. Big fat earrings.  The easiest place to get some statement earrings that are light and effective is from Dahal.com.  While I really love old silver that’s heavy and impressive, when it comes to my ears and the way that I dance, I really need my earrings to be light.  I also need them to stay out of my hair!  These come in silver or gold and work with just about any costume.  I usually wear them for more folkloric pieces.  They’re about $8 a pair after shipping.

3. Cane for Raqs Assaya (with crook).  When I do assaya, I like things on the earthier side.  There are a lot of sparkly, even sequined canes out there but it’s not really my thing.  I need a cane I can whack on the ground, spin around, balance on my head, and that looks good next to assuit.  This one fits the bill!  $12 from Artemis Imports.

4. Stick for Raqs Assaya (no crook).  I consider the straight stick and the cane two different props, although they are both used for raqs assaya.  I think of this one as more masculine, as it is more representative of the tahtib, and you can do different tricks with it.  This is the only supplier I’ve found online, although it is not authentic as it is not made from the same reed material as tahtib.  Buy hey, we’re not doing tahtib here, we’re dancing!  You could just as easily go to Home Depot and paint a wooden dowel.  I have two of these and they are not the exact same length, but they do the trick.

5. Shira.net – This website has been an indispensable resource for me for as long as I can remember.  From finding a class to finding the words to famous Arabic songs, it’s all here!