Yasmina's Joy of Belly Dancing

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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

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 

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.

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

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


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. 

The Art of the Blurb - by Brad Dosland

A Belly Dancer's Cover Letter - by Salome

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

A Homemade Promo Picture - by Salome

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 (3 parts) - 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

Fan Veils

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

Isis Wings

Phoenix: An Isis Wings Belly Dance Choreography - by Ayshe (video)


  Candelabra - by Sakti Rinek  


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


Choosing and Dancing with a Belly Dance Sword - by Zarifa

Selecting, Using and Strong Balanced Props - by Princess Farhana

Tips & Tricks for Swords - by Shira

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.


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

Books and DVD's/Videos

Veil Dancing - clips of various dancers from You Tube

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/DVDs - 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 videos/DVDs.  Don't think you can only learn from instructional videos/DVDs, you can learn a lot from performance tapes also.  A video/DVD 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/DVDs are the best.

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

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

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

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


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.

Books, Audio Tapes and Videos

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.

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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What's Happening!

Check out the events page for happenings around the State.


Belly Dancing with 

Spring Session 
March 26th & 27th
May 7th & 8th

Cabaret Classes
Tuesday Nights 
Drum & Zills 5:30 - 6:30
Beyond Basic 6:30 - 7:30

Tribal Classes
Wednesday Nights
Beg. Basic 5:30 - 6:30
Beyond Basic 6:30 - 7:30

Classes in:
American Cabaret 
and Tribal 

Mesa Arts Center
1 East Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201

for more information



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Have questions or comments please send me email
Last Updated: 12/25/21