Finishing Touches to your Performance Costume

Finishing touches like hair, make-up and jewellery can make all the difference to your performance costume. Like the outfit itself, the finishing touches should ideally be matched to the style of the dance and the setting in which you're performing.


For a professional look, extra hair is a must. If your hair is short or you want a completely different style to go with a fab new costume, try wearing a wig. Wigs give you versatility, particularly if you have a couple to choose from, as well as saving you time when getting ready. Wigs can be pre-styled to save on the hours of styling your own hair before the show.

One drawback with full wigs is that they can be very hot to dance in. You can either choose a hairpiece that incorporates your own hair at the front, or if your hair is long enough already, go for clip-in hairpieces to add extra volume.

Remember that on a stage you have to emphasise everything so that the people at the back can see you, you have to be larger than life. A bit of help with your hair can make all the difference in creating a professional look for your performance.

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Even if you don't usually wear makeup, for performing it is essential for creating your stage persona. It can help to give you confidence, creating a character for you to play rather than going on stage as yourself and taking all the baggage of your life with you. When you're performing, your not a wife or a mother, you don't have to do the shopping when you get home or worry about whether you left the oven on. When you're on stage you're a bellydance queen and the makeup is an essential part of making that transition.

When applying your makeup, think first about the setting in which you're performing. Are you dancing on a stage or in a restaurant among the tables, or maybe outside at a school fete? Think about the distance that there will be between you and the audience.

If you're on stage, or being viewed from the other end of a school playing field (has been known!) your makeup will need to be strong to highlight your features to the distant audience. When you're applying it, don't think about how it looks in the mirror, because your audience won't be sitting opposite you like your reflection is. Make everything much stronger and bolder than you would think was necessary, because delicate makeup will be lost in the bright lights.

If you're dancing in a more intimate setting you can afford to tone it down slightly. It should still be stronger than your normal party-wear makeup so that you stand out from the crowd, but too strong and you will frighten away any tippers!

Lastly, don't forget the sun cream if you're dancing outside. Sun burn won't give you a professional look for your performance!


Your jewellery should follow the same principle as your make-up, for stage performances the bigger and more sparkly the better. For restaurant performances tone down slightly for the more intimate setting.

Jewellery should also complement your costume and the style of the dance. If you're performing a folk inspired dance, go for plain gold or silver, with plenty of coins. If you're dancing a elegant oriental number, diamante and swarzoski crystals can add a touch of glamour.

It's important that you wear any jewellery for your dress rehearsals to make sure you're not going to catch it on your costume or veils. If you don't have a chance for a dress rehearsal, minimise the jewellery on your arms, especially for veil dances and check it over for sharp edges before the performance.

Body stockings

Whatever your shape, a body stocking can really add to a performance outfit. If you're not confident about your tummy you can hold everything in place with a nude coloured power net stocking. Even if you are fine with flashing your belly, a black body stocking, or one that matches your costume can make a nice change for more conservative performances.

For stunning dancer's legs invest in a body stocking that goes to your ankles which avoids unsightly bulges from folding down the top of your tights.

If you don't want to cover up your legs, get one with low legs or shorts so that the leg holes don't creep up over the top of your belt when you lift your arms.

I have found that the best stockings are the one's designed to hook into your bra, although this means sewing hooks into all your costumes, which can be time consuming. The alternative is a stocking with straps, but I have found the straps always seem to fall in the wrong place.

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