Mad About Maud – My Contribution to the Bellydance Bundle 2020

It’s Bellydance Bundle Season!

Great News!  The organizers of the Bellydance Bundle 2020 invited me to participate!  This year, the Bundle is bigger than ever. It’s the best belly dance festival right – but without having to choose during that 11 am time slot!   I love going to festivals.  But in this year, with social distancing rules in place, I haven’t attended a single in-person event.  I’m really looking fowrad to enjoying these classes and workshops too!

New eBook and it’s FREE!

The folks over at the Bellydance Bundle HQ have put together a new ebook, “How to Get the Most Out of Online Classes.”  This publication includes the top tips on how to study in the digital age from the contributors of the Bellydance Bundle 2020. It includes a fantastic assortment of tips and techniques for taking notes, learning choreography, communicating via zoom, and many-more ideas.

This booklet is FREE even if you decide not to by the Bundle, be sure to click through to sign up and get this eBook.

There will be more freebies and give-aways so signing up for this free eBook will bring more content and opportunities to win prizes (like Saroyan Finger Cymbals) right to your inbox.

“Mad About Maud: Salomania & The Birth of Bedlah”

This year, I’ll be presenting a 60-minute slide lecture about dancer Maud Allan, the most famous of the Salomé dancers from the first decade of the 19th century.  In this talk, I’ll be giving an overview of the Salomnia “moment” in history and the impact that Maud had on the look and style of costuming.  Our modern professional belly dance bedlah has its roots in this era, and we will look at how this style coalesced into its iconic style.

This talk will include an informative .pdf including the “Salomé Timeline” that traces the transformation from a historical figure to a theatrical femme fatale.  Also included are a biographical overview and select readings for further research.

Two Tracks of Workshops?
Bring it on!

This year, the bundle is broken into two tracks for focussed learning.  I’m happy to be included in the Lecture Bundle with other dance thought leaders, scholars, and historians.  So you can tailor your learning experience to your taste and needs.  This splitting of the content is new for 2020 and I look forward to learning more about how this will progress.

I’m quite excited to find out what’s in the Bellydance Bundle 2020 along with my own talk!  I’ll be sure to add some more posts when more details and specific information available.

In the meantime – Stay Safe – Stay Healthy and Keep Dancing!
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
Sept. 22, 2020



Have fun with the #socialshimmy challenge on Instagram

Throughout September I’m participating in a fun monthly challenge over on Instagram.  Hosted by Minneapolis based dancer Katie Sahar, this series of prompts has been a heck of a lot of fun!  We’re up to week three, and this is for the first post of week three, “Favorite Dance Quote.”  If you would like to follow me over on Instagram and see more posts from this fun challenge.  If you’re ready to discover some new dancers to follow and enjoy, check out #socialshimmy to see posts from all the participants around the world.   See ya there!  ~ Dawn


Design Process: Sourcing Supplies for a Tangerine Bedlah

Over the past month, I’ve been working on this tangerine bedlah set. I’ve been sharing tons of in-progress photos over in my Studio Davina Facebook Group.  If you want to see more details about the construction of that costume, come join the group and do a search on “Tangerine” to see all the posts.

The Design Brief

My client, Shalimar, provided me with a simple design brief, “Professional Quality, Orange, Sparkly, and Expensive-Looking.”  When you are making a costume for yourself, a design brief will include a list of features that you want or need.  Starting with a design brief helps designers keep on track as they work through each step in the design process.

Design is a Process

In a nutshell, design is a process.  Design is the act of making choices that narrow down your options from everything possible to exact details. When I am teaching costume design classes and workshops, I focus on breaking down the process of design into several large phases, and then in each phase, smaller easy to accomplish steps.

Research Phase

In the world of belly dance costuming, the second phase is research. During this phase you will focus on gathering information in these three areas:

  • Cultural or historic research to find out what elements are necessary to complete the goals of the design brief.
  • Gathering images for the mood or concept board to inspire and inform your costume design.
  • Sourcing Materials to locate all the fabrics and embellishments needed to complete the costume.

Design Resources

As a designer, I keep a list of reliable dealers, sources, stores, and shops that I know and trust and can refer to time and again. Back in the day, this was a three-ring binder full of flyers, handwritten notes, swatches, and business cards. In the digital age, this has become a note on my computer where I park all the websites and email addresses of my favorite dealers.

For instance, whenever I need to buy Egyptian Fringe, I go to this Google document and click through to my absolute favorite source for Egyptian Fringe is Scheherezade Imports. Don’t let the vintage vibes of the website fool you.  They have a ton of stuff stored in their warehouse so if you know what you need, Lucy the proprietress will check her stock for you. Lucy offers a full-service custom shopping experience.

Other places where I regularly purchase products include the venerable JoAnn Fabrics  A local mill-end store called “Fabrics R Us” with no website, and Mood Fabrics in Los Angeles. There are many many more entries in my design book. Professional designers consider their book of sources part of their business assets and keep the entries a secret so they can access elements that are completely unique to their designs.

Use the Power of Search

No matter what website I’m using, I like to harness the power of the search bar to find exactly what I’m looking for.   When I first started hunting for affordable acrylic and resin rhinestones and embellishments, I went to the Amazon search bar and simply typed exactly what I wanted.   My search was for “Orange sew-on rhinestones” and I found several assortments to choose from.  You can see the four sets I selected below.

Get this Look

Like fashion, sewing supplies, fabric colors, and embellishments change with the seasons.  The materials that were available in July 2020 might not be available when you are ready to go shopping.  Over time, this link list is going to stop functioning as products go out of stock. This is especially true of

If you live in an area that doesn’t have great options for a wide variety of beads, baubles, and stones, the internet will be your best option. Also, if you already have an Amazon Prime account, it’s a good place to stop and check out the options.  When I was working on this costume, it was the best choice during a locked-down, and then socially distanced time.  As you know, I sell my books on All the links below are affiliate links.  Using these links helps support this blog and my ongoing research.  Thank you!

Fabrics and Embellishments on Amazon

This bedlah set was made out of micro sequin tablecloths!  These are an affordable option that cuts down on sewing time because they come pre-hemmed and you can work that hem into cutting, especially when using round tablecloths for skirts.  For this ensemble, we use gold and orange.

To have the most texture and color in the scattered rhinestones and resin pieces, I bought four assortments.  You can see some of these pieces in the close-up images of the belt.  In addition, I pulled a handful of pink and gold stones from my already existing back-stock of stones.  You can see in the image below the assortments I purchased and how I applied them to the bra in a bilaterally symmetrical scatter pattern

I hope that this insight into the design process I used for this lovely two-toned tangerine bedlah set.
Best of luck in all of your costuming projects,
Dawn Devine ~ Davina
September 8, 2020