To help you put this in perspective, four years ago I remember sitting in the audience at my first ever hafla, watching Khalgani dancing, and thinking how much I wanted to dance like them. To end up performing with them and their sister troupe, Prana, was literally a dream come true... or a nightmare, if I couldn't get my brain and my hips in the same gear.
I also needed a costume in a hurry. My first attempt at a tribal bra ended in ignominious disaster and a lot of safety pins, so I was determined to do better this time!
As you would expect for an inveterate hoarder, I had a whole world of fun collecting bits and bobs to sew onto it, including keys from an old necklace, a pentacle, a little silver spider (to ward off stage fright), and about 50 old coins, which an obliging colleague identified as a mix of Pakistani, Indian, Irani and Afghan, and the oldest being from 1948. Probably my favourite pieces though are the turquoise roundels, which started life as earrings from Primark (50p a pair!)
Spiders or no, I had epic stage fright on the night; fortunately we were on int he first half, so I didn't get to brick it for too long before we were up. As far as i can recall, I didn't balls up too much, although there are a few embarrassing photos of me with my arms in completely different positions to the rest of the troupe!
As you see, my arms definitely need some work, and I'm wearing far too few clothes to be able to pass as a proper tribal dancer, but I'm definitely on my way!