How to choose a Belly Dance Chain Belt?

By Bellydanceplanner - September 09, 2019

The most popular item of Belly Dancing. Also known for its derivations: hip scarf or hip belts is the most basic item that every belly dancer should have. They help beginners to check if the movements of their hips are correct, and they enhance the hips’ movements during performances. There are different types: coin belts, chain belts, hip scarfs and hip belts with coins, beads, and fringes.
The choice will depend on the style of belly dance (and the teacher’s instructions) and your taste. Hip scarfs are soft and tied to the side of the front, while hip belts are more rigid. The coin and chain belts are more “simple” since they do not involve the use of fabrics and are more combinable. It is always good to have more than one type, with coins, without coins, with beads and so on because some performances won’t require the noise of the coins.
Types
-Ornaments. Some hip belts are used only as an ornament for the suit. They usually are made of rhinestones and they don’t have coins (or something that makes noise) and if they have them, they are very light and spare. They are elaborate and striking designs.

-Cabaret, tribal and tribal fusion. They are metal belts that can combine coins and chains. They are worn either on skirts, beladi dresses or harem pants. Although they mostly used for those 3 styles, they also work for many others.
-Mixed. Scarfs and belts that have coins, embeds and beads.


-Long. They are mostly used to enhance shimmies during performances. They can have fringes, coins, sequins and so on. They come as scarfs or belts.


Selecting a hip scarf/belt
There are some aspects that you should take into account when buying it:

  • The coins should be thick and somewhat heavy. Make sure they are not thin as aluminum foil. Also, they ought to be plentiful and dense in order to produce a beautiful sound.
  • The seams should be edged twice and the treads holding the coins have to be thick and doubled, to prevent the coins from falling off early on. 
  • Check the fabrics and read about them. Velvet stretches out, that’s why chiffon is one of the most used fabrics, as it tends to last longer.
  • The color is either your choice (if you are buying it to practice) or the teacher’s if it’s for performance. Still, try to buy an interesting color as black or white can get boring after a while.
  • The shape is also of your choice, but rectangular scarfs make hips look curvier.
  • Always check the brooches and joints of coin/chain belts. Make sure they are thick and of a good material to prevent them from breaking prematurely.
  • There are some key points to keep them in good condition for a longer time:
  • Never sit on them during warm-ups and floor work.
  • Don’t cut loose threads. Weave them back with a needle.
  • You can also re-sew coins as they fall (yes, pick them up!).
  • Don’t try to wash it. You can use anti-bacterial fabric spray and hang it dry.



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