One morning about 20 years ago, much to the surprise of my family, I announced I was going to go to belly dancing classes. Neither my kids nor I knew where this idea came from, but I just knew this was what I wanted to do.
So then, where to go for these classes. The closest at that time was Adelaide, a 1 and a 1/2 hour drive from Victor Harbor in South Australia where I lived.
I took to belly dancing like a duck to water and soon I was hooked! One class was just not enough, it soon became 2 classes then 3. I am sure you all know what I mean, belly dancing is very addictive.
After 12 months or so of attending classes my teacher, the amazing Nayima Hassan of Nayima Hassan’s Belly Dance Academy, asked if I would like to teach a class of “mature ladies” (like myself). What an honour, I enjoyed teaching immensely, but the constant driving to Adelaide and back became too tiring and too expensive, and also I was getting nothing else done at home, I was obsessed! I would break into spontaneous shimmies or belly rolls at any moment, much to the complete horror of my then teenage son.
The logical thing to do was to set up my own little belly dance school which I called Southern Veils Belly Dance in Victor Harbor and surrounding towns. Absolutely loved it! I travelled far and wide to teach and met some really lovely ladies. Sometimes I had 30 in a class. Crazy, but we had a great time.
We regularly performed for families and friends and at community events and nursing homes. I remember one night at a nursing home in Adelaide where the girls and I were entertaining the residents,the skirt I was wearing was a bit tight and kept riding up my thigh whilst I was dancing, a big side split didn’t help. A elderly gentleman in the front row kept beckoning me to come closer, the old devil! The show must go on, so I kept dancing but at a safe distance as you can imagine.
By this stage I was already making body stockings for myself as I didn’t feel comfortable showing my stretch marks and flabby tummy. Wearing the body stockings made me feel way more confident and I could dance more freely.
The first one I made was a black fishnet mesh under bust with a cotton lycra brief, then a flesh fishnet mesh also with the cotton lycra brief. But I couldn’t stop there and soon had one in every colour.
Students began asking if I could make them a stocking as well. It just snowballed and before I knew it I had a little business called See-Fit Body Stockings, making and sending dance stockings all over the world.
My body stocking business took over from the belly dancing classes and reluctantly I closed Southern Veils Belly Dance school. There is now another girl teaching Belly Dancing in Victor Harbor.
I love the creativity of designing and making dance stockings for other people. Also really love the photos customers send in, so I can see how my body stockings look on them. I have set up a gallery page so you can see them too.
By the way the stockings aren’t just for belly dance. I have customers who wear them for ballet, ballroom, including salsa, latin and samba, cheerleading and gymnastics. Even Zumba dancers have bought them.
Just recently I made a green mesh unitard style, with long legs and sleeves for a Shrek costume. There have also been fairies and mermaids just to mention a few.
Some customers wear them under their day clothes, as the stockings can give a gentle body shaping depending on what fabric they choose.
The flesh fishnet mesh for example is a firmer fabric and will give some tummy control and also smooths the body to give a seamless look with out it feeling like a straitjacket. You can still do your belly rolls and shimmies with ease.
Getting a good fit is very important for a good result, but I will go into this in detail another time.