My free classes on how to drum for belly dancers has been running for over 10 years. Class usually meets monthly at the downtown library at 1201 Caroline Street, Fredericksburg, VA. We start with the basics and carry on into a drumming jam. Newcomers are always welcome!
Why Is Drumming Important to Dancers?TIMING is very important to dancers. If you belly dance, learning these basic Arabic rhythms makes your dancing better and can help you play finger cymbals too. Music becomes easier to understand, and you'll be able to hear and follow the beat while dancing. If you dance to live music, it's a MUST to stay in time with the beat, and understand the structure of the song, or the musicians won't enjoy playing for you!
Sometimes I invite interested drum students to join me playing percussion at our haflas and belly dance shows. See some of our drummers and dancers onstage together in this photo gallery by Free Lance Star photographer Robert A. Martin: belly dance show photos.
Years of training on piano and organ helped me develop an ear for music and rhythm, and I use this ability when dancing to interpret the music; and I strive to pass on this awareness to students by providing knowledge of the structure behind the dance such as timing awareness, compositional techniques, and of course, by teaching students how to play finger cymbals. When you understanding the underlying patterns in the music and rhythms, dancing becomes much easier and artistic.
When I choreograph dances, I create visual diagrams of the music, using the beat and rhythm of the music as the basis for choreography, as seen here: Zeina music breakdown.
Another good example of using timing in belly dance is my free instructional video on regular and 3/4 shimmies: How to do the 3/4 shimmy. Many dancers are confused by the timing of these shimmies because they don't understand the rhythms.
I've also provided no-cost instruction on learning to play finger cymbals in my free videos on my YouTube channel, as well as Premium videos that cover dancing to rhythm combinations, dancing without music, and more.