Yasmina's Joy of Belly Dancing

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Tribal Belly Dance

How to Belly Dance

Since I started my website I receive emails from people all over the world wanting to know how they can learn to belly dance.  The best way to learn belly dancing is from an instructor.  A teacher can work with you and make sure you are executing a move correctly.  You can ask questions if you feel your are doing something wrong.  I know I learn from watching, so it's nice to have someone in front of you demonstrating the movement.  But let's face it, this is not always feasible.  This is not an all inclusive lists of sources, hopefully this page will start you in the right direction.  Check back from time to time, I will be adding more information to this page as I find it.

Belly Dance Instruction on the Web
Finding an Instructor 
Promoting Yourself
Veil Dancing


Core Belly Dance Moves and Steps - by Atea

Give Your Dance a Face Lift - by Jasmin Jahal

How to Overcome Stage Fright - by Michelle Joyce

In Search of a Better Belly - by Jasmin Jahal

JUST DO IT: Making Your Belly Dance Debut - by Princess Farhana

Learn How to Belly Dance - the Atea Method - by Atea

Belly Dance Instruction on the Web - websites that offer instruction, lessons and papers on belly dancing.  

Belly Dance Lessons Online - learn Belly Dance in your home in your time to your schedule" by Charni of Happy Hips Belly Dance 

Belly Dancing Classes Online - Get free classes, free video drills, and more with Samantha.

Dance Movement of the Month - Aszmara highlights a different move every month on her page.

Datura Online - Learn belly dance, yoga + Pilates now with belly dance classes online from Rachel Brice's studio, Datura. 100's of lessons from multiple teachers that fit your budget, schedule, or style, available for rent or through subscription. Learn how to belly dance anytime and anywhere.

Elysium Classes Online - Elysium is Ma'isah's dark fusion belly dance style in a tribal style format, meaning moves have names and cues, and can be danced as choreography and strung together as improvisation. Twelve years of dance exploration and development have led her to create the Elysium format; she has been teaching and performing with Elysium through remote teaching systems in large and small groups, duets and as a soloist across Australia and beyond since 2009

How to Do Belly Dance Moves - explanation of how to do various belly dance moves and more from Shira's website.

How to Prepare to Perform Belly Dancing - online video lesson from Expert Village with Johanna Kryntzky

Kawakib's Dance Tips - Instructional papers on the art of Oriental (belly) Dance for beginners through teacher levels

Movements Page - from Middle Eastern Dance page


Books - there are more instructional books on this subject but they are out of print.  Check used bookstores and your local library to find more sources.

Search Amazon for instructional books on belly dancing

Intermediate Belly Dancing by Vicki Corona.   Provides a brief culture lesson on Saudi Arabia, describes how to do about 18 intermediate-level moves, offers a few finger cymbal rhythms, provides a structure for combining movements into a complete dance, and introduces what a dancer should know when beginning to perform for an audience.
Mass Market Paperback - 28 pages 1 Ed edition, Earth Dance International Publishing; ISBN: 1585130249

Presents...Belly Dancing "the basics"
a dedication to Nerfertit
by Sherry Jeffries (Ankestamen) Instructional aid, or just for fun! 40 page, GBC bound, flip style, illustrated book for learning basic belly dance moves. Detailed instructions on 20 basic moves, basic veil, floor work and zills.  


Finding an Instructor - don't know where to look to find an instructor?  Here are a few suggestions:

  • check your local yellow pages under dance studios or dance instruction
  • restaurants in your area that have dancers
  • your local city's Parks & Recreation department
  • the Internet - several websites have a dancer or teachers directory - also email dancer's that you find on the Internet, they might be able to help
  • colleges and universities - some offer noncredit classes that might include belly dancing if it is not offered as a credit course
  • health clubs
  • new age stores
  • Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA)
  • if you see a dancer perform, ask, they will be glad to help - this could be at the fair, a grand opening, a festival, a singing telegram or belly gram, etc.

Promoting Yourself - how do you promote yourself as a dancer? From pro to student dancer you need to know how to promote yourself to be successful. How you present yourself on social media, with business cards, fliers, photos, blog and website; all these say a lot about you and if you will get the gig you are after. 

12 Days of Christmas Marketing for Belly Dancers - by Julie

Advertise Yourself - by Angelique

The Art of the Blurb - by Brad Dosland

A Belly Dancer's Cover Letter - by Salome

The Business of Bellydance - by Keti sharif

Business Side of Bellydance, Getting the Gig! - by Shetan Noir

A Homemade Promo Picture - by Salome

How to use Basic Design Elements for Belly Dance Promotional Materials and Websites - by Andalee

Inside Secrets: Marketing Yourself - trailer video on YouTube with Michelle Joyce

Marketing Yourself as a Dancer - by Shira

Promotional Photos: get the most for your money - by Shira

What Belly Dancing Taught me About Personal Branding - by Lisa Barone

Props - performing with props adds a lot to ones dance and is a lot of fun and at times can be challenging.

Cane (Raqs al Assaya)

Belly Dancing with a Stick - by Valeria Lolacono

Raqs al Assaya - by Lorelle 

Fan Veils

Fabulous FanVeilzz with Mahsati Janan

Fantastic Fan Veils with Sedona Soulfire

Mirabai's Chinese Fan Fusion & Belly Dance

Yasmina's Belly Dance Lesson - Fan Veils - short instructional video on an introduction to fan veils  / performance of double fan veil

Isis Wings

Isis Wings with Phoenix


  Candelabra - by Sakti Rinek

  Come on Baby Light My Fire: Raks Shamadan - by Princess Farhana


Belly Dancing with Snakes - by Neferteri

Dancing with Snakes - by Maria

More than you ever wanted to know about Living with Constrictors -  by Eva Cernik

Snake Dancing - from Middle Eastern Dance Resource Guide

Snakes and Shakes - by Jasmin Jahal


Belly Dance with Snakes


Choosing and Dancing with a Belly Dance Sword - by Zarifa

How to belly dance with a Sword - by Christina Jordan

Selecting, Using and Strong Balanced Props - by Princess Farhana

Tips & Tricks for Swords - by Shira


Belly Dance for Balance

Sword Stylization with Belladonna


Bellydance Tray Balancing Technique

Veil Poi 

Poi Spinning for Beginners


Veil Dancing - one of the most moving, flowing, expressive and prettiest part of belly dancing.  This is one of my favorite props to work with.


Dancing with a Veil - by Jasmin Jahal

The Great American Belly Dance Veil Routine - by Najia El Mouzayen (from the Gilded Serpent) 

Books and DVD's/Videos

Double and Single Veil - instructional video with Joynan

Fabulous Four Yard Veils with Shoshanna

Petite Jamilla Unveiled: double veil instructional

Seven Veils - romantic Bellydance

Veil Dancing - clips of various dancers from You Tube

Veil with Aziza - instructional DVD with Aziza

Yasmina's Belly Dance Lessons - 

  •  Veil - short instructional video on an introduction to veil
  •   Basic Veil and Veil Drape - short instructional video on basic veil moves and a veil drape
  • Veil performance - single silk rectangle veil performance, 3rd place at Wiggles of the West 2011 


Videos - this is a wonderful way to learn belly dancing.   Doesn't matter if you are a beginner or a professional dancer, you can learn from video tapes.  Don't think you can only learn from instructional videos, you can learn a lot from performance tapes also.  A video shouldn't replace an instructor, they are a great tool to use along with lessons.  If you don't have an instructor or classes in your area videos are the best.

The Internet is another good source.  Try to find websites that have video reviews.  This will help you in making a decision on what to buy.  Also ask dancers about the videos they like before you buy.  

Online auction sites, like eBay are a great source for purchasing belly dance videos.

Check out your local library to see if they might have a video to check out.

Also check out bookstores, (don't forget the web bookstores) and electronic stores, like Best Buys, that carry videos.


Zills - also known as finger cymbals, and sagats.  These circular disks really add a lot to your dancing.

I posed a question on my website asking dancers, "Do you play zills when you dance?  I was amazed at the results, (see survey below).   I love playing zills and it adds so much to your dance, so I decided to add more info to this section.  Don't give up, keep trying you will succeed.


Rhythms & Cymbal Patterns - article by Jasmin Jahal

Books, Audio Tapes and Videos

Bellydance with Zils - instructional DVD with Elsa Leandros and Raquy Danziger

The Dancing Cymbalist - How to play music with finger cymbals & dance at the same time - by Jenna Woods

Finger Cymbal Fantasies - by Vicki Corona

Finger Cymbals for Belly Dance - instructional DVD, Tobias Roberson with Rachel Brice & Mardi Love

How to Play Finger Cymbals - video with Mesmera, beginning to intermediate (scroll down the page to the video)

Learn Finger Cymbals with Ansuya - DVD with Ansuya, beginning to intermediate

Playing Finger Cymbals - online video lesson from eHow.com

Zills & Drums: thrilling, chilling zilling - CD by Armando (scroll down the page to the CD)

Zills on Fire: a finger cymbal workshop - CD and instructional booklet.  Page contains downloads of various rhythms

Zills with Zahira - Three's - DVD with Zahira, beginning to intermediate drills

Online Lessons

Online Finger Cymbal Workshop - find lessons, videos and books on how to play the finger cymbals. Great source from Shira's page.

Practicing with the Finger Cymbals (also known as sagats or zills) - article by Jasmin Jahal

Zills on Fire: the basics of music - learn about music tempo, pulse and zill patterns.  Check out the instructional CD and workbook at the bottom of the page.  

Zill Patterns

Arabic Segat Rhythms - by Karim Nagi Mohammed

Survey (1/04)

Belly Dance Survey
Do you play zills when you dance? [213 votes total]

Yes (76) 36%
No (12) 6%
Sometimes (84) 39%
Would never play them (1) 0%
Never learned (18) 8%
I can play zills but not while dancing (22) 10%



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Last Updated: 11/01/15