Why Belly Dancers Should Take Music Classes

10429455_10153039963806690_7856203292189762348_nWe’ve all done it. We get super jazzed about the next BIG festival and cannot WAIT to take from our favorite dance stars. There are a bazillion classes all scheduled at the same time and the absolute last thing on our mind are those music classes. Perhaps there is a class about drum rhythms, perhaps there is a class about musicality and dance or perhaps there is a class about Arabic musical modes called maqamat. (Ahem…I teach that class and I can tell you most dancers do go screaming in the…

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Sama’i is much more than a rhythm…

Most belly dancers have heard of the sama’i thaqil rhythm. It’s a 10/8 made popular by the Andalusian song Lamma Bada Yatathanna. But the term sama’i has many meanings in classical Arabic music. Let’s explore!

Side note: In the Arabic language many words originate from a root word comprised of consonants. The word sama’i means listening and come from the root word s-m-‘ (سمع) which means to hear, to listen, pay attention, be told, hear about. More info to be found here.

1. The 10/8 Rhythm (Yeah, yeah we know…)

Samai’I thaqil roughly translates to heavy listener. The rhythm consists…

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Tips for Performing with a Live Band

Performing with a live band is probably one of the most exhilarating experiences I’ve had as a performer. As a dancer and a musician, it’s what I live for. I’ve often joked that if someone approached me with a gig to perform with a professional Arabic band 5 nights I week, I’d drop my entire life to do it. Interaction with live musicians is an experience I hope all…

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