There has been a lot of talk on the Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter recently about what not to do when belly dancing. What is considered acceptable and what is not? For most of us, these are things that we learned from our very first instructor or perhaps from other teachers and dancers along the way. There are also those things that we may personally choose not to do. The list can encompass your on and off stage routines.

Since the no-no’s are subjective, I won’t lay down the “rules” as though I am some overarching bellydance authority. I can however, give you my personal list of belly dance no-nos.

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Here is my top 4:

1.Do NOT wear a sheer skirt with only undergarments- One would think that this would be an obvious one but it is not. It is compounded when the undergarments chosen are fluorescent in color and the skirt is dark. Always take into account lighting as your skirt may not seem sheer from the front but when the stage lights hit it, it does. This can also happen with back lighting from a band.

2. Do NOT do a backbend/Turkish drop with your front towards the audience- Again this seems self-explanatory but sadly, it is not. There may be some instances where the audience is all around you and it isn’t possible to not face them. In that case, try to choose the area of the audience where you would least offend. You can’t account for every angle or every costuming malfunction. You may THINK you are covered but there is always that chance that you are not. Think of it this way, would you want that in your face?

3. Do NOT go commando-  I know that a lot of Egyptian costumes are coming out with underwear built in and that’s great. BUT think of the resale scenario- would you want a costume that someone wore that way? Also, if the skirt should happen to fall while you are performing, everyone is going to see what you don’t want them to see. There is nothing helping to hold the skirt up AND nothing left behind (pardon the pun) when it falls down. I do not apply this rule to the matching boy shorts- those are more stable and can be removed and washed independent of the costume.

4. Do NOT walk around without a cover-up on-  Why are you taking away the specialness of your costume? If you walk around with your full costume on without covering it up then you are showing the audience your full look before you get on stage. Not wearing a cover-up takes away the surprise, shock and awe factor. To me, it also decreases the art form in relation to others. I have never seen a prima ballerina walking around before or after a show in her full costume. Perhaps thinking of it that way will help comprehension.

I hope that these tips have helped you and perhaps made you laugh! Feel free to comment with your own tips and bellydance no-nos. I look forward to hearing (reading) what you think- please share!