Finger Cymbal Solo for Belly Dancers

by Anthea Kawakib Poole
(Published in ZAGHAREET! magazine, Sept/Oct 2010).

My step-by-step instruction for this short and easy Finger Cymbal Solo is on Youtube.

You can use my Raks Sagat Playlist to learn this unique dance on your own - even beginners can learn the dance combinations! The Playlist includes a breakdown of the steps and movements, then adds the cymbals; written notes are below. This is a wonderful way to learn cymbal patterns from simple to complex, plus decorations!
Anthea with finger cymbals at Casablanca

Choreography notes © Anthea Kawakib Poole

NOTE: Each numbered sequence in the choreography states whether the pattern starts ON the beat, or BEFORE the beat with the “Arabic Chain”  +a ("and-a").
  • #1 (ON). Entrance - at least 2 measures (8 counts) or more to enter your performance space. The cymbal pattern for your entrance is DOUBLES.
  • #2 (ON). The next 4 measures (16 counts) uses ROLLS that stop on ct. 4 of each measure.
  • #3 (BEFORE). 1 measure of 7 - 7 (this is just like the “7" from your 3-3-7 pattern, without the “3"s)
  • #4 (BEFORE). 1 measure: 3 - clap, 3 - clap;
  • Repeat the two previous measures (sequences #3 and 4); that makes a 16-count sequence.
  • #5a (ON). 1 measure: 5 - 5
  • #5b (ON). 1 measure: 5 - 3 - clap clap
  • Repeat the two previous measures (#5a & 5b) to make a total of 16 counts.
  • #6 (ON). 1 measure: clap clap - 3 - 3
  • Repeat the above measure 3 more times to make a total of 16 counts (4 measures). This is the most challenging combination so I’ll give you a hint on timing: the claps are on beledi accents, but the choreography is not, it’s on a “straight 4/4" that is, regular timing. Since it is a rather challenging movement, the video clip offers both easy and advanced choices.
  • #7 (ON). 1 measure: beledi pattern.
  • #8 (ON). 1 measure: ROLLS until count 4 (as in sequence #2)
  • Repeat the above 2 measures (#7 and #8) to make a total of 16 counts.
  • #9 (ON). 1 measure: Triplets (stopping on count 4, like sequence #8, above).
  • #10 (ON). 1 measure: Flip - clap - Flip - clap
  • Repeat the above 2 measures (#9 and #10) to make a total of 16 counts.
  • #11 (ON). 1 measure: 1 - Flip - 1 - Flip - Double (the first flip ends on the beat, the second flip starts on the beat).
  • Sequence #11 is the last sequence - the Ending - of the dance. Repeat the above measure (#11) four times total, but STOP on the 3rd count of the 4th measure (4th repeat) with a Clap (by both hands). That will be count 15. And Exit.

VIDEO: Kawakib teaching the short and easy Finger Cymbal Solo

Below: Here is Anthea Kawakib in her signature "Finger Cymbal Solo" from 1994 on the "Lifting the Veil of Time" DVD. Click to watch!

Anthea Kawakib Finger Cymbal solo
(link goes to SerpentineVideo's Channel)

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