Monday, 21 January 2013

8 Belly Dance Gig Bag Essentials

I confess to being a secret fan of Gilded Serpent's online Gig Bag Check videos.  I so love nosing through the belongings of belly dance royalty and wannabes.  
Gig Bag Essentials
In the absence of a touring Lynette Serpent, I thought it might be interesting to share some of the things that I like to have with me when I'm performing.  So here is my pick of 8 gig bag essentials:
  1. Nude ballet shoes.  Although I generally prefer dancing barefoot whenever possible I carry these with me everywhere I go as dodgy floors can appear in all sorts of venue, whether carpeted stages, nightclub dance floors, or uneven concrete...   
  2. Mirror.  A small freestanding mirror is brilliant if there isn't a handy one at the venue or for occassions when there are other performers vying for the only one there.  Mine is an aluminium foldaway from Muji - it's big enough to see my whole face and with a bit of fidgeting, I can even check to see if all the bits of costume are where they should be. 
  3. Leg warmers.  I'm very attached to mine as I like to keep heat in my muscles just before running on stage - essential when performing in a Scottish winter.  However this does mean I have a bad habit of leaving an unsightly heap of discarded belongings in the most convenient back stage area (next door bar, ladies loos, DJ booth...)
  4. Cover up.  Essential for keeping your costume hidden, and generally keeping warm (do you see a theme emerging here..?) My favourite is a galabeya I bought in Egypt that my dressmaker Wendy converted to front fastening by sewing on a line of duvet poppers.  It's so simple and great for a quick change without risk of disturbing hair and makeup.  
  5. Flip flops.  More footwear essentials, these are great for pottering round back stage and pretty silver sandals looks so much nicer poking out the bottom of your costume than clumpy boots or trainers.  And no chance of leaving any sock marks either... 
  6. Eyelashes.  An artist from another performance style once commented how surprised she was when she saw a dancer performing at a party who just wore ordinary every day make up along with her professional costume.  Once you get the hang of them, I definitely think that falsies make a huge difference to your overall impression. 
  7. Assorted pouches and bags.  I always use a variety of these to keep all the bits together.  There are ones that are see-through for jewellery and accessories and I love those canvas/jute reusable shopping bags are fantastic for keeping each entire outfit together - I avoid storing dance costumes in plastic and this also a good system to deploy for costume changes. 
  8. Business cards.  I have these close to hand, especially if I have just come off stage, important for generating new leads and leaving a more lasting impression.  
Safely stowed shinies
What are your must have gig bag essentials?

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