But, my costume conundrum has got me thinking - do we, as bellydancers, become so caught up in what is trendy and cool in "our world" that we forget that the general public doesn't know the latest fashions of bellydance? If I show up in a sexy and sleek lycra costume, is my audience going to wonder why I'm not wearing a flowing skirt and tons of beaded fringe?
When the general public hears the word "bellydancer", what comes to mind? I think it's the image of the dancer in a fringe laden bra and belt, layered over a flowy chiffon skirt. I think that's what they expect, because it's the typical "harem" costume from hollywood sultan fantasies. And those hollywood fantasies are probably the only exposure to a bellydancer most people have ever had.
Do you think audiences appreciate that bellydance fashion, like all fashion, changes over time? Or do you think they expect us to be stuck in a fashion rutt, wearing the same costumes for all of eternity, because that's what they wear in the movies?
Are fashionable lycra costumes better saved for haflas and other bellydancer-friendly events? Or is the general public ready for a change?