How to select bangle size when ordering dance jewelry online?

Bangles are traditional ornaments worn by women in their hands. They are usually circular in shape and made out of various metals such as gold, silver, copper, etc. In some countries, women even have the custom of wearing glass bangles for auspicious occasions and weddings. Owing to the materials they are made out of, bangles are usually inflexible. Bangles are very beautiful decorative ornaments and they add beauty and grace to any women who wears it. Therefore, they have become an inseparable part of the accessories used along with most of the Indian classical dance costumes.

One important aspect to consider when purchasing a bangle is the way it fits into your hands. Unlike bracelets which have open ends and can be easily worn around your wrists and clasped together with the safety loc; most bangles do not have any opening. So you will have to wear them by pushing your fingers and palms through the inside of the bangle. Therefore, you do not want it to be too tight so that it hurts your palm every time you try to wear or remove it or too loose so that it constantly keeps falling off your hands. Not getting the right bangle size could prove to be extremely annoying anytime you get to wear that set of bangles.

Therefore, if you have plans for ordering dance jewelry online, it is extremely important that you determine your bangle size correctly before you order one. Usually most websites that sell bangles online will provide the inner circumference or inner diameter of the bangle for size references. Here are some methods by which you can determine the right bangle size for you:

Method 1:
If you are already using a bangle that fits you well, you can take a measuring tape and measure the inner diameter of the bangle. You can calculate the inner circumference (i.e. the length around the inner circle of the bangle) by using the following formula:
c = d * π
Where ‘c’ is the circumference, ‘d’ is the diameter and the mathematical equivalent of π (pronounced as pi) is 22/7 or 3.14159

Method 2:
Hold your fingers in such a way that your thumb touches all the other four fingers (this is the position in which you usually hold your hands when you are trying to wear a bangle). Now using a measuring tape, thread or string, measure the largest circumference around your palm (usually around the knuckles). This will give you the inner circumference required for your bangle. You can obtain the diameter by reversing the formula given in method 1.
d = c/ π

After determining the appropriate diameter or circumference, as a precautionary measure, it is advisable to order a size that is slightly bigger than the one that matches your measurements while ordering dance jewelry online.

Turkish belly dance – an overview

Turkish belly dance a style of belly dancing that has evolved over the centuries. It is considered more flamboyant, bold and energetic than its Egyptian counterpart. While the Egyptian belly dance tends to be more conventional in its dance movements, the movements in the Turkish style of belly dancing are more pronounced and create a highly sensual atmosphere.

In this form of dancing, the dancers are quite adept with using props such as finger cymbals. In fact, the use of Zils (the Turkish name for finger cymbals) has become such an integral part of this style of belly dancing that it is even believed that a dancer who does not know to use the finger cymbals properly is not an expert in this form of dancing. The Turkish belly dance again can be further sub-classified into the Turkish Oriental style and the Turkish Romani style.

The music used for the Turkish style of belly dancing is also quite unique. There is this 9/8 beat rhythm called ‘karsilama’ which is unique to the Turkish form of belly dancing. This type of music is not used by its Egyptian counterpart.

Dance movements are quite prominent with wide pelvic and hip movements, undulations and shimmers. The footwork also covers a large area. Extensive floor work with a lot of sensual movements is also an important feature of this belly dancing style. The use of veils is also quite common. It serves to make the dancer more attractive to the viewer.

Costumes for the Turkish belly dance are the usual 2 piece bra-top and skirt with a complementing belt. However, the skirts used here may be much shorter than those used in the other belly dancing styles. There may be a number of slits in the skirt and top of these costumes as well. Usually, more of the body is revealed by these costumes in the Turkish style. All these costumes are also heavily decorated, just like the belly dance costumes for other styles. The dancers also use other matching jewelry such as bracelets, ankle bells, necklaces, head pieces, etc.

The overall emphasis in a Turkish belly dance with its fast tempo music, bold and showy bodily movements and revealing costume is on sexuality and the viewer gets a feel of the dancer being quite flirtatious.

Egyptian belly dance – an overview

Egypt is considered by many as the birthplace of belly dancing, although there is no solid evidence to confirm this belief. For that matter, the origin of belly dancing is still quite a mystery and no one really knows how and where belly dancing exactly originated, although there are quite a few theories associated with it. At the same time the earliest known images of this form of dancing were found in an ancient tomb in Egypt which gives rise to the popular belief that belly dancing originated from Egypt.

Although, by far, belly dancing is a type of dance that uses fluid, rhythmic and isolated movements of different parts of the body, the way in which the dance itself is performed varies from one region to another, thereby giving way to more than one form of this dance. Prominent forms of belly dancing are the Egyptian belly dance and the Turkish belly dance.

The Egyptian belly dance movements are more soft, subtle and conservative than the Turkish form. The movements are quite delicate and intimate, and they try to portray the emotions conveyed in the music played for the dance. There is almost no floor work done in this type of dancing. The music used for this form of belly dancing is usually the classical or modern music of Egypt with Arabian beats.

This form of belly dancing can be further classified into styles such as Raqs Baladi (the Egyptian folk dance) and Raqs Sharqi (this style is more popular in the West and is performed in restaurants and cabarets across the globe). Egyptian belly dancers generally do not use accessories such as finger cymbals, veils, etc. Veils, even if occasionally worn, are usually discarded later on after the initial introduction.

The Egyptian belly dance costumes are often a two-piece outfit such as a decorated bra-like top and a skirt with sheer body stocking to cover the mid-section, or a long one-piece dress or gown. Majority of these costumes have deep slits on the sides which exposes most part of the legs. Most of these costumes constitute vivid colors and elaborate decorations on fabric with beads, gem stones etc. The dancers also adorn themselves with matching ornamental accessories such as ear rings, necklaces, bracelets and ankle bells.

Importance of ankle bells in dance

Indian classical dance is a varied form of art and has numerous styles to boast of. The different styles of dancing broadly pertain to the different geographic regions in the country. Each one of them proudly presents its own style, rhythm, grace and costume. Irrespective of these differences, most Indian classical dances have one thing in common – the “Ghungroo” or the ankle bells that are tied around the ankle of the Indian dancers.

The ghungroo is considered very special and are regarded with great respect by the Indian classical dancers. It is regarded as an inseparable part of the Indian classical dancing tradition for many forms of Indian classical dance such as the Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi, Mohiniyattam, etc.

Although, today the custom of wearing ankle bells has become prevalent in many dances such as the belly dance and most Indian classical dances; and is blindly followed as a tradition by many Indian classical dancers; there is a definite reason behind why this practice came into existence.

The ghungroo or ankle bells are nothing but small metallic balls (usually made of brass) with a smaller metallic ball inside each one of them. They are strung together and tied to the ankle of a dancer. In modern days, for ease of use, these metallic balls are fixed on a leather or cloth strap that can be easily worn around the ankle of the dancer. Whenever the dancer moves his/her leg, the metallic balls in the ghungroo originate a sound that is in rhythm with the leg movements.

Swift and graceful movements of different parts of the body such as the eyes, head, hands and feet in tune with the music is what constitutes a dance in most of the Indian classical dance forms. For an observer it is easy to decipher the movement of the eyes, head and hand while it might not be so easy to distinguish and appreciate the leg movements. Most of these dances tend to use complex leg movements that serve to highlight the dancing skills of the individual. However all this will just go unnoticed if there is nothing to accentuate these movements. And that is the exact purpose why the practice of using ankle bells while performing a dance came into being.

Apart from emphasizing the complexity of the leg movements, the sound from the ankle bell also keeps the dancer in tune to the music and stay in rhythm, gives more life to the dancing and simply adds to the grandeur.

Belly dance costumes

Here are some pictures of belly dance costumes in our online store. These are different from other dance costumes you see in any other site. We have unique collection of dance costumes and jewelry.

If you would like to see more pictures, please go to our website.

belly danceBelly dance costumesbellydance costumeBellydance hip scarfbelly dance

We have many more models and colors. Please visit our online store for all the types we have.

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Classical Dance Costumes

Origin of Belly dance

Origin of Belly dance

Most of the dancers and dance lovers think Egypt is the origin of Belly dance. Though there is no written proof, or evidence,  many historians relate belly dance to “Gobek Dans” which is a Turkish dance form. Belly dance we now see and enjoy is developed over hundreds of years by the influence of many eastern cultures and religion and it still continues to develop and spread. The women in the middle eastern countries consider this dance as a sacred, classical social event performance only to be seen by women. In fact the name “belly dance” is the westernized name of the middle eastern social dance. Egyptian tomb paintings from the fourteenth century BC displays positions appear to be very similar to those used in belly dancing. Belly Dancing postures also has been seen in Persian miniature paintings from the 13th century.

Until the middle of 19th century, all the belly dance forms were only popular in the middle eastern countries and Africa. The Arab term Raqs Sharaque is used to refer the social dance in most of the middle eastern countries. Similar forms of social dances exists in Palestine and is known as Raqs Baladi. The belly dance known to westerners today is the combination of several such social, ethnic folk dances and  so finding the exact origin will be a difficult task. Even though in the middle eastern countries this was a social and classical dance, outside this region the dance started getting its popularity during 19th century and was gaining momentum during the Romantic movement. Dancers from this region traveled and out and drew attention and crowd in the western region.

 Belly dance movements

Belly dance is developed and practiced uniquely by females and it emphasizes on the movement of the hip, chest and abdominal muscles. There are various styles of belly dance namely Oriental (Egyptian), Turkish and Western tribal. Even though all these styles vary slightly, the common basis of the dance is smooth and sensual movements involving the chest and abdominal body. The music is very important to this and as in any classical dance form and the dancers job is to express the rhythm and feeling of the music to audience through the body movements.

 Belly dance costume styles

Most essential part of the belly dance costume includes a bra, belt and a pant. The bra and belt are decorated with sequins, stones and beads and can be very expensive depending upon the type of ornaments used for decoration. Depending upon the audience the top and pant can be more or less revealing. Common practice nowadays is to have full covering top, some times even with full sleeves, matching belts and pant or skirt. Depending upon the occasion the belly dance costume can be more or less glamorous.  Please visit our website to see pictures of some of the modern day belly dance costumes and jewelry.

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