Can You Put One Of These Together?

In my baby bellydance years I had to hire a bellydance coach to teach me how to put together what felt like a proper full bellydance routine together. This was in spite of being under the tutelage of a very popular and sought after teacher. Until my coach came along it was like freakin' pulling teeth to get this information!

I'm not saying it was brain surgery but it was nice to have a few guidelines, support and assurance from a more experienced dancer. Fast forward to today and I still find it's a topic that comes up frequently. In an effort to save you a few headaches let's talk "bellydance routine".

The Bellydance Routine
There are no hard rules about how to put your routine together but here are a few helpful tips.
When crafting your routine, it's the perfect time to infuse your flavor and flair into your dance. So have fun with it, BUT always keep this in mind: Think of your audience. Take them on a ride. They came to watch a show and your music needs to reflect that. Be fun, welcoming, friendly, sassy, sensuous, serious, deep, meaningful, light, playful. In other words, no one wants to sit through 20 minutes of taksim. Twenty minutes of pop songs do not provide a full and rich show experience. Yes?

In the 60's &70's (in the States) it was very common to have a 5 to 7 part routine follow a certain order. For example:
1) Opening song
2) Veil
3) Taksim
4) Floor work
5) Beledi
6) Drum solo
7) Finale

But nothing is set in stone, your dance set can also look like this:
1) Entrance/Opener/Mergance - Note: it helps to make this a "welcoming" piece.
2) Taksim or an appropriate song for use of prop
3) Beledi
4) Drum Solo
5) Pop or audience participation song
6) Finale* -- Note: many albums include the matching Finale to the Entrance piece and many don't. It is quite common to do a set without a matching finale. It all depends on the setting, your space and time, if you're dancing to a live band then chances are high you'll get your finale. If you're performing at an Egyptian wedding a Finale could be the perfect way to wrap up the show -- OR -- the dance floor may be too full to clear to dance a finale because your "audience participation" song was so successful! Every show is different.

I've included a little PDF download to help you put some thought and flavor into your next Dance Set List.

Now a little challenge for you. Put together a simple Dance Set Playlist and share it in the comments below. 

What songs and styles would you choose for a 15-20 minute dance set if you had to do one tonight? Write it below:)

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