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

Belly Dance Tip: Preparing Performance Music


By Saqra




The 10% Rule

Memorize this right now: "10%"

10% is a key perception threshold. You can change something up to 10% before someone will notice it.

So if your music is too long, you can choose to condense it by, say 6%, and nobody will notice, including you.

Or, if a piece feels a little draggy, you can condense it by 9% and perk it up.

Or, if a piece is just a bit too fast for your troupe, you can slow it by up to 10%.

And, you can add some punch to your finale by increasing the volume of the end by 10%.

Just saying.... Your mileage may vary, but I've been doing this forever myself.


Bonus Mini Tip

Add a 3-4 second silence pause after any hard pose at the end of a piece within a set. This milks an audience into almost clapping (repeatedly), and makes them more engaged.


Advanced Bonus Tip

If you edit a sudden stop into the music, try to learn the skills to edit the final note. The volume of that note should be lifted 10%, and the time expanded 10%. A complete fade should start from about the last third of the final note.

And like I said, your mileage may vary... but at least you'l get there safely and in style, eh?

Ummmmm... I also do suggest you dance well....

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.




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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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