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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Belly Dance: Different Musical Sections, Different Moods


By Saqra




Each different segment of your music can give you the opportunity to show a different skill set, so for optimum display of your abilities you want to take advantage of that.

Medium-speed music gives you the chance to set your stage and greet your audience, show your core personality, and display some skills such as finger cymbal playing that you may need a more moderate pace to perform well.

Slow music offers an opportunity to show your ability to communicate emotion and share the softer side of your performance personality.

Drum Solo music features your technical skill.

Taqsim shows your instrument interpretation skill.

Songs with special content such as exotic rhythms or specific associated indigenous dances (say Sa'idi, Debke, Zeffa, Sulu Kule...) give you the chance to display your understanding of the larger context of indigenous dance or of special musical content in Oriental dance.

Optimally, when creating a routine to specifically demonstrate your talent and skills, you want to include content from several of these groups, and not simply focus on one extended piece of music.

This is going to rankle people that just love performing to a beautiful longer piece of Egyptian music with multiple sections, but I'm only discussing how to show your range of abilities.

A piece of extended multi-sectioned music uses the same basic mood and instrumentation throughout so it doesn't offer the full range of sound that pieces from several sources tend to demonstrate. It also tends to make for a more interesting show if the music can't be mistaken for the same song throughout the performance.

You don't have to agree with me and many people will want to argue, so remember my classic disclaimer.... your mileage may vary.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Sarah Selwood, Leeds, United Kingdom.




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About the Author

Saqra (Seattle, Washington, USA) is a powerful dance artist and a master instructor. Her fluidity, grace, and technical skill is highlighted by her friendly demeanor and clear joy of the dance. She did not inherit the diva gene.

Saqra won titles in Belly Dance USA (Oregon), Belly Dancer of the Year (California), Belly Dancer of the Universe (California), Wiggles of the West (Nevada), and many other competitions. She was voted "Best Kept Secret of 2005" and "Instructor of the Year 2008" by readers of Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra's journey in this dance form began in 1977 and has led her to study with many of the best dancers in the world, including in America, Canada, Turkey and Egypt. Saqra continues to travel and study both in the USA and abroad and prides herself on proper research for anything she teaches. Folklore, fakelore, and stage creativity: all three are valuable, and Saqra clearly presents for each what they actually are. Saqra is constantly expanding her expertise in the traditional ethnic forms of the dance, the modern stage variants, and the continuing evolving fusion techniques, all these areas combined keep her material fresh and current.

Saqra is widely known as an event promoter, musician, music and instructional video producer, and a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. That is enough stuff to start explaining what she has been doing in belly dance since 1977. Visit her at

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California. In the photo, Saqra is holding her Teacher of the Year 2008 Award from Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra with Award



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