I have two beautiful dancers to be our voluptuous role models. Both DC area dancers, Suzana and Miasia always look and dance beautifully! If you have been lucky enough to see them dance you know what I mean.
Miasia's costuming tip:
Research, research, research: Try on as many costumes as you can to find out what colors and design elements look good on you. Don't settle for a costume you don't like just because it's the only one in stock which will fit you. Figure out your dream costume and have that made for you. Or if you find a costume which you love, but doesn't fit just right, find (or become) a good seamstress and have it tailored to your body.
Don't wear a tent! The worst thing a plus size dancer (or any dancer) can do is hide under a baggy dress or a pile of fringe and fifty skirts.
Avoid costumes that create horizontal lines. This is why I am rarely a fan of bedlahs on voluptuous ladies, a basic belt with fringe creates a unflattering band that makes the biggest part of your body look even bigger. It also cuts you in half, breaking the long feminine curvy lines that your body has.
Dont wear bras that dont fit. Finding bras for plus size busts can be hard and frustrating but its much better to spend time, energy, and money on something that is the right size than to try to make sometime tiny work for you. Having a bra that really fits not only looks better but will be more secure and give you lots of confidence. We are lucky to have a lot of custom costume designers in the US that make custom plus size costumes. Links to them are below.
Wear costumes that highlight your assets and minimize the parts you are self conscious about.
Find costumes that create an interesting and flattering shape. Things like mermaid skirts, unique sleeves, fabric or beading with slender vertical designs, and embellishment focused around the bra and hips help to create and accentuate a beautiful hourglass figure.
If you like two piece costumes go for a more form fitting skirt with sleek embellishment on the hips and bra. If you like belly covers try getting one that matches the darkest color that appears on your costume. This will again help to create an hourglass shape. For example, if you have a costume that is bright pink with black accents wear a black belly cover. Its also a very cool retro-style throw back.
If you feel self-conscious about your arms or upper body incorporate a matching tie on gypsy top into your ensemble.
And as always, be confident in our own skin. Its easier said than done but its important to remember that there is unique beauty in each body and how it moves. Belly dance is so interesting to watch on different people because every move looks different on each body, its like watching a new dance every time. Find those movements and costumes that make you feel incredible and your body will turn into a work of art.
Our beautiful models:
A few great designers/companies that cater to plus size dancers: