Getting started – basic ATS® Costume

No matter your age, shape or size the ATS® costume looks absolutely beautiful on everyone. It is feminine and strong but needs good posture to really do it justice as there is a lot for the eye to behold.  Do please ask if you’re not sure what to buy as there is so much choice available and it’s easy to make costly mistakes. Here are some guidelines to get you started.

For starters you will need:

  • a very full 12 or 25 yard tiered skirt – plain black is an excellent choice for your first skirt – colours can always be added later as we often wear two skirts together when performing
  • a choli –  a black velvet choli is a foolproof classic and will get lots of wear
  • pantaloons – vibrant colours to make a splash against the black
  • hip scarf

Moving on:
IMG_8268You will need a coin bra. You can buy ready made or make your own to save money. If you are using a bra as a base make sure to change the straps. Our cholis have open backs and there is nothing worse than seeing lingerie straps criss crossing what should be a beautiful bare back. Coins are heavy so you’ll need a strong base to withstand the weight and you can personalise your bra with little charms, bits of jewellery, dangle chained of course loads of coins but go easy on sparkle and cowrie shells.

For the classic ATS® look you can add a tassel belt and fringing

Rina Rall Karen Gehrman


Don’t forget you can always have a go at making your own costume – here’s a great tutorial on how to transform a T shirt into a choli

Costuming can easily become addictive as there are just so many beautiful textiles and pieces of jewellery to choose from but please check with any of our troupe before purchasing some of the more specialist pieces –  unless of course you don’t necessarily want to wear them!  It’s a shame to hide special pieces away in a wardrobe when they can be displayed around the home.
Many of the pieces available have taken months if not years of painstaking work so a young girl can exhibit her worthiness as a prospective wife.

Assuit is synonymous with belly dance, expensive and hard to come by! It is a beautiful textile made in Egypt which incorporates thin strips of metal threaded into the mesh, criss-crossed, flattened with the fingernails, and cut.