Becoming A Belly Dancer: Kickstarter Premium Assiut Bras

Hello Gang!

Last fall, the team I worked with to produce our epic book, “Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage,” hosted a super-successful Kickstarter campaign to help us take the project from the document stage to the finished product.  We were thrilled with the outpouring of support from our community of friends, students, and fans.  Our team put together a selection of treats for various different levels from book bundles, to assiut hair ornaments, book bags to custom costumes.

Two Assiut Belly Dance Bras

Our “Top Tier” premium included a custom designed, made-to-measure assiut bra.  I had a gorgeous scrap of assiut that would make four spectacular belly dance bras.  When our month-long campaign closed, we had two dancers sponsor us at the top tier!

Poppy Maya Designed a Glam Assiut Bra

Poppy Maya, our cover girl, is a professional costume maker, so we decided to each do one of the bras.  As it turned out, we had one “Glam” style bra and one “ATS-Tribal” style bra.  I have a huge stash of tribal jewelry parts and pieces, so I took on the design and construction of the tribal style bra.  Poppy made this gorgeous geometric assiut bra for our very happy dancer.  Look at how lovely that modern assiut bra looks paired with faux assiut leggings designed by Melodia.

Tribal Assiut Bra

My tribal dancer, Inara from Oxnard, California sent me a simple design brief.  She wanted beautiful assiut bra, with metal and coin embellishments. Fantastic!  That’s exactly the kind of bra that I LOVE to make!  After a quick inventory of my assiut pieces, I did a couple of rough sketches.  Here is a quick snapshot of my rough drawing. I choose to add a lot of coins via a pair of removable coin and chain drapes so she would have loads of flexibility in her look.

To maximize the metal of the assiut, and without covering it with loads of coins, I decided to divide each cup with a verticle row of shield-shaped metal embellishments. While I know she loves the coins, I really wanted the jewelry components to frame the assiut.


Belly Dancer Inara wears a custom assiut bra by Studio Davina -


It took us a few months to arrange a photo shoot with my favorite photographer, Alisha Westerfeld, but when we finally were all together in the same room, the results are lovely.  Above, you can see the details of the assiut.  Below, we went for a totally different dark fusion look.

I’m very grateful for these two ladies who helped us take our dreams to the next level by supporting our Kickstarter campaign.  I’m so proud and happy of these two designs!

Happy Costuming and Delicious 
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 21, 2017


Belly Dancer Inara wears a custom assiut bra by Studio Davina paired with a skirt and head by Melodia |


I was Interviewed about Zills on the Belly Geek Podcast!

Davina with zills: Now and then

Last spring I had the fantastic opportunity to join Nadira in of the Belly Dance Geek for a fun interview about my latest book “Zills: Music on Your Fingertips.”   I had soo much fun geeking out about the ancient history of finger cymbals and their role in dance today.

Right:  Davina with Zills – Now & Then

Nadira’s podcasts are essential listening here for belly dancers of every style.  Since discovering her site, and joining the clubhouse, I’ve spent many a thoughtful hour listening to her interviews.  She selects some of the most well-respected dancers, instructors, and scholars working in our community today.  I was so pleased to be included in such an illustrious group!

Geeking Out about Finger Cymbals

To hear my interview about finger cymbals with Nadira, follow this link.

Geek Out with Dawn Devine

Zills: Music on Your Fingertips

In this day and age in the world of belly dance, our greater, global community is quite widespread.  There is no one single space for dancers to go to for quality information.  As an author, I’m always pleased to find out about new dancers and their projects.  In the more than 30 years that I’ve been involved in this world of belly dance, there has never been one single place where all dancers go for information.  I know there are hundreds of thoughtful dancers with interesting blogs, videos, podcasts, magazines and more.

Do you have a favorite belly dance resource?  Do you have a blog you think I should check out?  Let me know by dropping me a line at   I would love to see what dancers around the world are doing.

Have fun catching my podcast interview – and poking around Nadira’s website to listen and watch more!

Dance Well – Be Well – Costume Frequently,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 16, 2017



Is that Gloria Swanson wearing Assiut?

Hello gang!

Recently on the assiut discussion group over on FaceBook, several of us carefully analyzed the shawl worn by Gloria Swanson in the role of Norma Desmond in the seminal film, Sunset Boulevard.  In the scene where she dramatically descends the stairs “Alright Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.”

Although at first glance the shawl draped over her shoulder appears to be made from assiut, it’s most likely one of its close metal embroidery relatives.  It could be a Turkish, tel kirma style shawl, or it could possibly of Indian origin and is covered with badlah stitches.  But not matter what this shawl was made of, it’s strikingly beautiful and flashes with a myriad of metal stitches in the same manner of assiut or tulle bi telli from Egypt does.

The dressers at the famed wax museum, Madame Tussauds draped their version of Norma Desmond in a shawl of modern cream assiut that catches the light with the same metallic gleam.  You can find her today standing at the base of replica stairs, alone and poised with her claw-like hand and that classic mad expression forever fixed in her eyes.   Stop by for a visit next time you’re in Hollywood!

Now – I think I have to get ready for a close-up of my own!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
July 10, 2017