Hello & Welcome!

Davina Through The AgesI’m Dawn Devine aka Davina, and welcome to my digital world where I share my passions for designing and making costumes. I’m also an author, and you may have heard about my books on how to design and build belly dance costumes.  It’s a unique job in a niche full of glitter, rhinestones, coins, chains, and lots of other sparkling bits and bobs. I’ve been a lifelong dancer, from the time I was a wee girl there was tap, jazz, modern, and a tiny bit of ballet too. I discovered belly dancing as a teenager and was completely hooked. In belly dance, I’ve taken the stage at every level from beginner to pro, student to teacher, star-struck newbie to information guru.

I’m always writing some DIY something or other, from a new book to a blog post.  I also write articles for magazines and newsletters in both electronic and print.

I also yammer quite a bit over on Facebook. My life mission is to help people make beautiful, well-designed, perfectly fitting costumes.  I have a passion for collecting facts, and enjoy spending quality time searching the historical archive for details on the origins and evolution of fashion, costumes, and textiles.

Recent Publications

  • Zills: Music On Your Fingertips c. 2017 – a collaboration with photographer Alisha Westerfeld and illustrator George Goncalves
  • Becoming a Belly Dancer: From Student to Stage c. 2016 a collaboration with author Sara Shrapnell, professional dancer Poppy Maya, and photographer Alisha Westerfeld
  • The Cloth of Egypt: All About Assiut c. 2014. With photographer Alisha Westerfeld.Dawn Devine - Author - Belly Dancer - Costumer - Historian

Ongoing Research Projects

  • The Visual History of Belly Dance in America: The First 50 Years 1875 – 1925 – Over the past 30 years I’ve been conducting original research on the belly dance diaspora through World Fairs first in Europe, and then America.
  • Salomania: The First Dance Craze of the 20th Century – This project seeks out primary source material on the emergence of this pop-cultural phenomenon.  From high-brow opera singers to side-show dancing girls, the role of Salome was everywhere from 1905 to 1920 and beyond.
  • Dancers at the Fair: From the Mediterranean to the World – This is a subset of the overarching “Visual History” project that focuses on dancers who appeared at World’s Fairs – but expands beyond the boundaries of the US to Britain, Paris, and beyond.

Books & Publications

The complete listings of my current products and publications are available on my Shop page.  Click through to see what’s currently available.

Studio Davina: Custom Costumes

Since the global pause of 2020, I’ve closed the customer costuming side of my business.  I’ve switched focusses to working on smaller-scale projects like costume accessories that I’m sharing on my Etsy store.  Newsletter subscribers always get “Etsy Drop” updates and alerts first.


Videos, Podcasts, Articles, and more

Over the past 30 years, I’ve written hundreds of articles for print and digital magazines. If you are interested in checking out some of my

The Website:
A Brief Visual History

My website is celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2025!  It amazes me, that what began as an experiment, has grown into one of the oldest websites in the belly dance space.  I continue to post regularly to my blog, so I hope you join the “Studio Davina: Belly Dance Mini-Magazine” for alerts when new articles are available.

History of Costumer's Notes - Evolution of a website.
History of Costumer’s Notes – Evolution of a website.