A full year since I began my bellydance journey!
I shopped. I didn't mean to. I firmly told my wallet "no," all the way down to Vallejo. My ATM card started whimpering in remembered horror at the first whiff of incense, right about the same time the watersilk scarves came into view. So I, being the compassionate woman that I am, took pity and used checks instead.
It wasn't like I splurged on zills, or those cute little Grecian sandals, or even on the gorgeous Lapis Lazuli jewelery from Afghanistan! Not this time, anyway. No, no, I was responsible (more or less) and just picked up a few tasteful pieces that will accessorize the costume I already have.
I found a black, tied-in-front choli with sleeves, which I have wanted for about a year. I also picked up a nice little coin cover, with which to make a pretty, fitted bra that I can use in the place of my old cheap-and-falling-apart one. My final purchase wasn't strictly as necessary, but it's an adorable satin black skirt, which I intend to wear over the blue pants from last year. (See how good I was! I didn't even buy new pants.) I can lift the sides and tuck them in the waist, exposing leg or pants, and at the same time making my hips look fuller, which, miraculously, makes me look like I have a waist.
Watching the dancers was an interesting experience, now that I have had some time at dancing myself. I'm the last one to claim I'm a good dancer, but I think I was able to detect more readily, which dancers were closer to ideal than the others. Some hip movements weren't as sharp as they could have been, for example. Some dancers didn't have as much isolation in their movements as was drilled into me (not that I've actually achieved it, yet!) Sometimes the choreography didn't fully integrate with the music that was picked out. Fast, staccato songs while dancing with slow, rolling movements would not have been my personal choice.
Last year, I would not have been able to distinguish any of that. Nor did I have any idea how to put pieces of costume together. This time, I was able to identify the different items and see how they worked, or didn't, on the other dancers. A red blouse, open in front, under a Turkish vest and coin bra was a great way to hide expanses of white skin- a tactic I intend to employ. Many dancers wore arm bands or bracelets, extending the color of their outfits to their arms and coordinating it. (I need some of those!)
I learned a lot by watching this year, and I learned how much I've learned! I've also seen how far I have yet to go, heh.