What do I wear?
As with any exercise class, you need to be comfortable, and have ease of movement. If you are just beginning then you don’t need to spend a fortune on special clothing. T shirts (sleeveless or not) plus stretch track pants or leggings are ideal. Bare foot or ballet pumps only. Bearing your belly is a myth, it’s completely up to you, so if you wish to wear a crop top or choli (Indian blouse) or a full t shirt, it's fine.
JEANS, ORDINARY 'STREET' CLOTHES, TIGHTS,TRAINERS OR SHOES, WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO DANCE IN. NONE OF THESE ITEMS ALLOW THE BODY TO MOVE FREELY , AS THEY CAN RESTRICT YOUR FULL MOVEMENT SO POSSIBLY CAUSE INJURY .
If you decide that you want to progress with your dancing, then you may wish to wear clothing more specific to our dance style
There are specifically designed 'melodia pants' for class dance wear. They can be bought cheaply enough. They are worn on the hips, fit closely on the thigh some have a huge flare and split from the knee to ankle. Stretchy, comfy and versatile.
Big, tiered, gypsy style skirts can be worn for class, 10 -15 yards are more than ample to start with. Ideally the skirt should be ‘tucked up’ so I can check your foot placement and that your bodyweight is evenly balanced.
We dance barefoot or wear the very soft ballet pumps. You need to be able to connect feel the earth beneath your feet. You need to have the freedom and full range of movement in your feet to be able to dance with confidence
TRAINERS/STREET SHOES ARE NOT SUITABLE
UNLESS THEY ARE DANCE SHOES
Around the hip, we usually wear a scarf or hip belt, to accentuate the movements of the hips.
We will use ZILLS (Turkish for finger cymbals) worn on thumb and middle finger of each hand. Called ‘sagat’ in Arabic, they are played to simple rhythms to accompany the dance and enhance the beat of the music. I would advise that from the start, you buy as good a set as you can afford. They vary greatly in size, weight and craftsmanship.
Other props that we use varies from simple baskets, skirts, hand fans, veils, shawls, candles to sticks (assaya), daggers and for the daring - a sword(or 2) and more...
When we perform at haflas or events then the costuming is much more elaborate and layered. We have developed a particular 'look' and style within Topaz Tribal, and should you join the troupe (we are always on the look out for new dancers), then you will agree to wear the appropriate costuming decided for that event.
"Feel the rhythm, sway to the beat,
move your hips , move your feet,
feel it deep within your soul,
let your body take control"
'then move your hips & dance like the crazy wild woman you are'