Shimmy-a-thon fundraiser – Come & support Saffron – Saturday 4th July in Hyde Park, London


As a professional Belly Dancer Saffron (belly dancer 18) wanted to find a way to use her skills to raise funds for a charity very close to her heart. As most belly dancers know a hip shimmy can be difficult to maintain for a long time, but she has pushed this to the extreme and will be doing it for a whole hour non stop!

She wanted to have a fun and interesting event to lift the spirits and this for her is a huge celebration of life and movement and expression.

The charity she is fundraising for is a hospice in Dorset that cares for those at the end of their life journey. They do an amazing job there, something that she witnessed first hand when her 36 year old sister lost her fight with cancer in 2012 and spent her last 10 days in their care.

Saffron had intended to carry out this event in the summer of 2014 but unfortunately she suffered a serious injury to her right leg involving boiling water, and was forced to postpone until she had healed up again. Thankfully she is all fine now and in full fitness 🙂 She just turned 36 this year and so this feels like a very fitting tribute to the memory of her big sister and such a fun way to help out a wonderful charity.

She hopes you will find it in your heart to support her efforts. She will be shimmying this Saturday 4th July in Hyde Park and welcome any sponsorship, small or large. Thank you for her.

Bellydancer  18a

Shimmy-a-thon fundraiser

Shimmy-a-thon fundraiser

Skill Swapping, a great way to learn new things and make friends for FREE!

I’m a big fan of skills swapping because it truly gives me opportunities to treat myself and learn new activities that i would otherwise not take time or have the money to pay for.

I regularly teach Belly Dancing or Poi Spinning in exchange for other skills or services.

Yoga and massages are my two big favourites! But i love spending some time doing a bit of Salsa or Carnival Samba.

In the future I would love to find a unicycling buddy! Help!

Arabic musical instruments

There are many musical instruments in the Arab world but below is a selection of the most commonly used Arabic musical instruments:

A traditional Arabic band would normally involve 5 musicians playing the oud, the nay, the qanun, the violin, and then a percussion instrument, like for instance the riq or the tabla.

Duets can work really well with either an oud player and a violin player, or a qanun player and a nay player.


The Oud is a string instrument which looks a bit like a guitar.

The Qanun is also a string instrument which looks a bit like a harp.

The Nay is a wind instrument similar to the flute.

The Riq is a percussion instrument similar to a small tambourine.


riq, Arabic musical instruments

Riq, Arabic Musical Instruments

oud, Arabic musical instruments

oud, Arabic Musical Instrument

nay, Arabic musical instruments

nay, Arabic Musical Instrument


darbucka, Arabic Musical Instrument



qanun, Arabic musical instruments

Arabic musicians for Hire in London. Drummers, tabla players, ney players, qanun players, oud players, riq players.

Best bra hooks for Bellydance Costumes revealed!


After hours and hours of experimenting with various types of fasteners and sewing methods over the last 7 years, with the goal to finding the absolute best fastening combination system for my bellydance bras, I can finally confidently say that I have found a great combination which works perfectly for all my bellydancing bras. To date I have never had to make a hasty exit due to a costume fastener failure so fingers crossed this will stay this way!

What I am about to share with you fellow bellydancers has taken me hours of trial and error to get it just right and perfect so I dearly hope you find the information below helpful and that it helps you feel confident, gorgeous and comfortable when performing Bellydancing.


Trial and Error and challenges explained…

Bellydancers will always face a bra challenge when buying a new costume because a bellydance bra must fit perfectly! A bra malfunction will cause the bellydancer to be uncomfortable or feel worried the bra might drop, hence why it is so essential to get it right. Whether your bellydance bra is a halter or cross straps you are bound to spend a few hours modifying the fastening and overall shape of the bra to get that perfect fit which will give you the confidence you need to perform well.


If it’s too tight the bra will soon become either too uncomfortable to wear altogether, or more likely uncomfortable but just bearable. If it’s bearable and you are only dancing for 20 minutes it is tempting to just take the pain for the sake of having a nicely tight fitting bra and therefore a very nice bossom! However a bellydancer performing even with a slightly too tight bra will see her performance deeply affected. Chest drops become difficult and tummy pops become very awkward and less sharp. Rib cage space for breathing will be limited and this will cause tiredness in the muscles.

If the bellydance bra is too loose then you encounter a completely different problem whereby the bra isn’t snug enough and allows for too much movement. The bra will soon come and rest on top of your chest rather than nicely supporting your chest from underneath and giving it the nice shape that you wanted to achieve.

Bars hooks and eyes ‘ 3 drawbacks

Most bellydancers use large hooks and eyes, also known as bars, as shown below.

I have spent many years bellydancing with these bars hooks and eyes types of fasteners and they are very strong and work very well. They make you feel secure because you know that they won’t snap. Bellydancers should never go for just one set however because the thread could still snap so you should always have two so that if one fails you have a back up to finish your performance or at least make a safe exit. Over the years I decided there had to be a better system to fasten my bellydance bras however because I realised the drawbacks that came with the bars hooks and eyes. There are 3 main drawbacks to them.

1/ Tightness – First of all they dramatically restrict your chest breathing space, comfort and movements. With hooks and eyes you always face the dilemma of too tight versus too loose. If you are willing to take in the pain and reduce your breathing then they give you a good chest shape but all in all it’s not the perfect solution. Tightness will affect the quality of your performance as a bellydancer.

2/ Rust – The second drawback is that metal + sweat = rust and if you perfom professionally every weekend you are bound to sweat in your costumes, especially around the neck strap, and your hooks and eyes will turn rusty. As you can see on the photo below this is what will eventually happen to your costumes. The hook will become rusty and that rust will crop onto the fabric. On the photo this is what I find under the hook I have just removed. You can of course periodically change and replace the hook but it’s quite a lot of maintenance.

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

3/ Rish of un-hooking – The final drawback was that hooks only work with enough tension in the rib cage and neck so when you breathe out fully they can un-hook themselves. This is quite a rare occurrence if you are on the tight/uncomfortable side when you fit your bras.


 Other fasteners

Lighter fasteners such as press studs and velcro are definitely not suitable for the bellydance bras. They can be used for bellydance skirts however because there is a lot less tension around the hips than around the rib cage when dancing.

Safety pins are great for back up but they can’t be a bellydancer’s main fastening solution and they also tend to damage the fabric after a while so it’s better to have a good fastening system rather than have to rely on them.


The solution to the 3 drawbacks…

Below are photos explaining the ultimate combination of fasteners and sewing techniques that I now use for any bellydancing bras to fit just perfectly and I know they will never let me down. Whether your costumes are from the souk or from a designer, be it Bella, Sahar or Eman Zaki, you will benefit from adjusting your bra so it fits you snugly and below is how I would recommend you do it.

1/ Tightness – To solve the problem of the tighteness encountered when using solely the regular bars hooks and eyes, whereby the bellydance bra is either too tight or too loose when breathing, I have introduced an elastic to solve this problem as shown on the photo below. The elastic ensures that the bra is snug against your rib cage at all times, whilst giving you the much-needed space to breathe.

It is essential to use a very thick elastic for this, I have personally used a 5-centimeter wide elastic which I folded in half. If the elastic is too thin it will give in to the tension too easily and your bra will always be too loose. You need the elastic to be stiff enough so that it only expands under a lot of tension. I have personally added the elastic on both the rib cage and the neck straps but the rib cage strap is the real essential one.

You may initially be tempted to sew the elastic at the end of the strap where the fastener is but that wouldn’t work if you use bars hooks and eyes because the elastic will actually encourage the fastener to un-hook itself. It’s better to position the elastic a few centimeters further along. You must saw the elastic in its stretched out position and it’s better not to sew it all the way onto the fabric but just where it starts and where it finishes.

This elastic is the absolute key to getting a nice tight fit on a bellydance bra whilst still being able to breathe and therefore being able to freely perform all sorts of bellydance moves. The elastic solution will work with bars hooks and eyes so if you are happy with them you can stick to them and just add the elastic for extra comfort and a better fit. However if the rust and the risk of un-hooking is a concern to you and you want an alternative to the bars hooks and eyes then read on…

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

2/ Rust – To avoid rust stay clear of metal. Plastic is therefore the obvious choice but go for quality plastic. Below is a photo of the fastener I am now using on all my bellydance bras, instead of the bars hooks and eyes I had previously been using. It is a sort of clip bikini fastener (on ebay: BIKINI CLIPS HOOK & SNAP CLASPS STRAP BRA FASTENER SWIMWEAR H1786).

3/ Risk of un-hooking – The mechanism is very sturdy, it will never ever come undone accidently, but it is equally easy to open when you are changing. However, to use this clip fastener, you must use the elastic as previously described or the clips may break under the tension. The elastic is the element taking on the tension from your rib cage extension when you breathe in, so that it takes the tension away from the actual fasteners themselves.

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

The Perfect Bellydancer Bra fastening combination

On the photos below you can see the exact sewing techniques and fastening combinations I use for my bellydancing bras. (for both the rib cage and the neck straps)

  • Elastic to ensure bra is always snug when breathing in and out, and giving you that space to breathe properly.
  • Plastic Clip fastener set to keep the bra well fastened with no risk of rust or un-hooking.
  • Back up Plastic Clip fastener for safety
  • Simple press stud on the very end of the strap to keep it tidy
How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra


How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra


Photos breathing in fully

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra










Photos breathing out fully

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra

How to fit Bellydance Bra










If you have any questions regarding this post feel free to contact me on



Interview Aurora, owner of Aurora Entertainment UK


What’s a typical day for you at the office?

As the owner of a small business I get to wear all the hats and I am truly involved in all aspects of running the business. From time to time I also manage specialists to help me with particular aspects of the business. My main day to day activities includes anything to do with taking bookings, liaising with the performers, advising customers for their parties, dealing with any requests of the day, and implementing our marketing strategy.


Do you also perform?

I started Aurora Bellydance Entertainment back in 2008. At the time I was the only Bellydancer and was only taking bookings for myself. I then gradually turned the business into an agency whilst still performing full time. In 2012 I left London and moved to Essex and this was a turning point for me. The agency got busier and busier and I made the decision to exclusively perform in and around Essex, therefore primarily focusing on running the agency and looking after my performers.


You must have received some weird requests over the years?

I have indeed and I’m very happy to share them as they are often quite a bit of fun. That’s the beauty of my job, I wake up in the morning and I have no idea what requests I’m going to get today!

I mean I have of course had requests for strippers and escorts. This is hardly surprising as a lot of people are still unaware of what belly dancing really is, an art form and a very family friendly type of entertainment. This is of course not something we can deliver.

However we also receive weird and wonderful requests that often make us giggle or even give us a bit of a challenge sometimes!

There was that morning “Dancing and Singing Telegram” once in a hotel at 9 a.m. on a Sunday. The poor lad had no idea what his aunty, mum and sisters had planned for him!

I once had a very awkward request for a “not too pretty and a bit fat belly dancer”. The very thoughtful friend knew her friend had a tendency to get jealous so she wanted to book a surprise for her but did not want to risk her feeling challenged on her hen party! I had to brief my bellydancer accordingly so she suggested wearing a costume that was a little too tight so it would show her love handles….

A few years back I bellydanced in a pitch dark environment, in a restaurant called “Dans le Noir” in London. Diners eat in the darkness and the waiters move swiftly through the room with no problem whatsoever as they are blind. You are probably wondering what the point of a belly dance performance was, and so was I to be fair. The idea was for diners to fully explore their senses, of taste and smell with the food and drinks, and of sound with the belly dancing show. I wore plenty of coin belts on top of my costume and diners could hear as I danced past them. This was a very enjoyable experience, although I did bang myself against a few chairs! I spent the entire performance holding onto one of the waiter’s shoulder as he was guiding me around the restaurant room.


Aurora Bellydancer in Essex

Aurora, owner of Aurora Entertainment UK

Belly Dancer Hire Agency – Paypal payment option


Aurora Bellydance Entertainment provides first class entertainment for private parties and corporate events.

From Bellydancer Hire, to Snake Dancers, Samba Dancers or Henna Artists, and many more acts…

Our payment options include Paypal, which enables customers to pay by credit or debit card, without even having to create a Paypal account of their own.

Paypal also enables several customers to pay for the same invoice, making contributions from a group of friends easy. Ideal for Birthday Party presents.

Contact us for more information.


Belly Dancer Hire with Paypal

Belly Dancer Hire with Paypal

London Restaurant Bellydancer Performance

There are numerous restaurants offering Bellydancing shows on a regular basis, sometimes advertising weekly Bellydancer Shows, or monthly performances.

Most Bellydancers at “Aurora Bellydance Entertainment” will be resident Bellydance Performer at one or more local Turkish, Greek or Arabic restaurants in their area.

This is a great opportunity for diners to enjoy watching great enterinment with friends and family.

If you would like to know a restaurant in your area offering Bellydancing shows feel free to contact us and we will send you the details. 0208 133 1153 / 07910 381 895 /

Alternatively if there is a particular restaurant where you would like a Bellydancer to perform this is also something we can arrange with the manager of the restaurant. Provided the restaurant has over 30 diners, the restaurant manager would normally be happy to hire a bellydancer as part of the meal.

Hiring a bellydancer for your own party is another possibility. Prices start at £120 only which is very affordable if you have a group of guests. Bellydancers can perform at any venues, including halls, bars…etc… and also at your house for garden parties or indoor parties.

For more information contact us 0208 133 1153 / 07910 381 895 /