Belly Dance in Christchurch #2


  teacher and performer
Christchurch scene www.belly.co.nz
  performer and costume designer
Talking Costumes
- making circle skirts

Questions for Kashmir

What's a shimmy and how do you do one?
Do the movements mean anything? Do they tell a story?
Some dancers wear harem pants and some don't - is there any rule about it?

Further Information

Teachers & performers in Chch see Links
Gestures such as finger to the cheek Farrah, I (1997) 'Contemplations for the New Frontier', Arabesque, vol.22, no.2, p4

Back issues of Arabesque can be obtained from Discover Belly Dance

Kashmir's Hip Rock info www.raqs.co.nz/moves/hip_rock.html
Kashmir's Shimmy info www.raqs.co.nz/moves/shimmy.html
Circle Skirts
This are made from several half circles sewn together.
The result is a full skirt without bunching at the hip
These skirts move very well but as they are cut on the bias drop a lot.
Circle Skirt

Jane's skirt layout
Skirt hole is given by:
<number of half circles> x r1 x pi
For three half circles this is:
3 x 3.14 x r1
So r1 = hip measurement divided by 9
r2 is r1 plus the skirt length
(ankle bone to hip bone)

For 110cm hips and a skirt length of 86cm:
r1is at least 12cm
r2is at least 98cm

Jane's layout. Click to enlarge

If r1 = 12cm and r2 = 98cm
a skirt could be made with 5.2m of fabric with this layout

Kashmir's skirt layout
The fabric is three deep and a half circle is cut through all three layers.
As with Jane's version, ensure the small circle is big enough.
(20cm diameter = 10cm radius, which means it will fit up to 94cm hips - more if the front & back are separate)

For more detail click here

The skirt must be allowed to drop and stabilize before hemming.

Popular hemming methods include:
overlocking (fast but not always good close up),
rolled hem (requires patience and the right machine foot),
bias binding hem (in matching or contrasting colour).

Different hems

Hem Length The length of each half-cicle hem is r2 x pi
For 3 half-circles if r2 = 98cm, the hem = 9.2m
For 5 half-circles if r2 = 98cm, the hem = 15.4m


Gendi's choice Dalaa el Helween Dalaa el Helween teaching CD of Raqia Hassan
Intro & Outro Tears of Noura Oriental Belly Dance Bassem & Noura
Questions for Kashmir Kashmir No Quarter Jimmy Page & Robert Plant Unledded
Costume Talk Khatm al Nihaya Laura in Balady Movses Panossian, Hollywood Music Center

Return to
Return to www.raqs.co.nz