Updates: Becoming a Belly Dancer & Vlogging Challenge

Hello Gang!

I’m pausing to take a quick breath!  I’ve been working harder than ever in my entire life.  I’m part of the team putting together the upcoming book “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.”  This is 402 page text book tackles the art of stagecraft.  I’m in charge of the book layout and I’ve been working on it daily.  The end is near!  Here’s a few of the most recent finished layouts.

3 spreads

I’m still working on the #31daybellydancemakeup vlogging challenge.  I’ve been learning how to shoot vlog-style videos and editing them all on my cell phone.  Although this has been quite a challenge, and more time consuming than I would have expected, I am managing to work on the channel.  Keeping up with the editing and uploading has been the biggest hurdle.  Putting on makeup and filming the footage takes about an hour.  Editing, however, can take hours!   Some of the videos show the struggle of learning, but they are getting better!  Here’s my favorite so far.

Since several people have requested demos on how I build up my turbans, moving forward from here, I will be incorporating those techniques into my vlogs.

Keep your eyes open for the upcoming Kickstarter campaign, to help us raise the funds for our upcoming first print run.

Happy Costuming!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July, 20, 2016


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Vlogging Challenge: 31 Days of Belly Dance Makeup

Hello and WELCOME to a #31DayBellyDanceMakeup Vlogging Challenge!

Over the past few months,  I’ve been very very busy working on the upcoming book, “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.”  I have been very focussed on the image creation, text, layout, and editing and so forth. Unfortunately, in the press to get the book done, I have let my blog languish.  Now that we’re in the final stages of the book development process, I’m eager to get back to the basics and start sharing more content here.

I’ve been thinking about how to dive back into weekly blogging, and I thought to myself, why not spend the month of July putting the tips and tricks about belly dance makeup that we present in chapter 3, Personal Appearance.  Performance makeup is one of the most important, and often overlooked part of the complete visual package.  So each day during the month of July 2016, I’ll be putting on a new and different belly dance look!  As a bonus, I’m going to stick to using only affordable makeup products in these demos.

Folks who have taken my costuming classes or workshops, have heard me break down visual appearance into these five layers:

1 – The body – This is your intrinsic condition, muscle tone, health, energy, tone, and all the other  aspects of the physical body.

2 – Grooming – This is how you care and prepare your skin and hair.  This includes all of your beauty regimens, hairstyle, makeup, and perfume.

3 – Costuming – This layer is my favorite, and includes the garments that you wear to perform in.

4 – Accessories – This layer includes all of the accessories that finish your look.  Jewelry, hair accessories, and made-to-match pieces that are made out of the same materials as the costume.

5 – Props – Many dancers don’t think about their props as having an impact on their overall look, but the veil, wings, swords, trays and other balance props all have an impact on your overall look.
I have never done any vlogging before so this is a totally new and exciting project!  Now that I’ve got a week of vlogs posted over on YouTube, I felt it was high-time to share this project here.

Over the course of the next three weeks, I’ll be learning a lot about the nuts and bolts of making and editing videos while I share with you my top tips for creating a belly dance performance face.  If you have any questions or comments – please don’t hesitate to email me at davina@davina.us or message me via social media.

July 9, 2016
Dawn Devine ~ Davina

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From Sashes to Bedlah – Quick and Easy Bra and Belt Part 1


Taking a moment from the production of my new collaborative book project, Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage.  I’m going to be performing at a show on April 10, and am thinking of whipping up a quick bra and belt set and considered using some assiut.  However, I should be working on items that can appear in the upcoming book, so I’ve switched gears and am making a simple bra and hip belt out of a trio of affordable coin belts which just arrived in the mail.  This hip sashes transformed into bedlah set is of the easiest “first costume” projects.  I’ll be taking photos of this project for the new book, and we will be including directions in chapter 10 of the upcoming book. We’ve already made Sara Shrapnell’s version, which she has affectionately dubbed her “Treasure Chest” costume and with luck, each of us authors will have a version of this costume by the time this book project is finished!Sara-HipWrap-BW-WEB

Quick and Easy Bra and Belt Set

Materials Needed:

2-4 hip sashes for the outer covering
1 lingerie bra to use as a base for the finished costume bra
1 yard buckram for belt base
1/2 yard of fleece for belt base
5 yards of grosgrain ribbon to reinforce belt base and make straps
Fabric Glue to prep the embellishment for cutting into pieces
Thread to match the color of the hip sashes
Hooks and eyes for closures
Sewing Kit – Scissors, hand sewing needles, thread conditioner, pins, thimble, dark and light marking pencils
Sewing equipment – Sewing machine, ironing board

Step One – Find Inspiration & Do Research
When you decide that you are going to make this style of costume, your first step is to research your options, in other words, go shopping.  Find a point of inspiration.  For me, I’ve already been working on putting together a purple, black and silver costume.  I have two, fluffy and full tiered dancing skirts one in purple and one in black with purple stitching.  These two existing skirts are underutilized in my wardrobe, so I searched for three matching hip sashes to craft a bedlah.  The internet is a vast, vast place.  Shop your favorite belly dance vendors, at your local mall, and digital outlets like ebay, etsy or even Amazon.com.

Step Two – Assemble the Materials
Once you have a design in mind, and have sourced the materials and supplies, it’s time to make a shopping list.  Be sure to “shop your stash” for things you may have in your collection already.  If you are working under a tight budget, be sure to keep your bottom line in mind!  As a professional costumer, I buy grosgrain ribbon, buckram, and closures in wholesale quantities and prices, so I’ve always got these items around. But if you’re picking things up at your local fabric store, try as much as possible, to capitalize on sales and special offers.

Next week, I will continue working on this project,
Until then ~ Happy Costuming and Dance,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
April 1, 2016

PS – Be sure to visit Sara’s website for more details about our upcoming book!




Cover_Design_2015 WEBComing Soon!


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