Its been a long time since i posted a home video. I did this cos i needed to choreograph more songs for gigs. Apart from drum solos. And i needed a sort of workout with my upper body isolations. I realised i need to like oil my joints so i can have faster smoother and even tinier movements during layering. Quite honestly, it works for me very well. I usually do such isolation stuff before a gig.

What i do right before a gig

I am a bad planner. And pretty much last minute. So im the worst person for advise. But there are somethings i would wish to do. Like follow a proper schedule or something. In terms of preparatory exercises, i definitely do have some good stuff i do.

Preparatory exercises

People usually just practise and repractise their choreo. I used to do the same. But well just like an old machine needs oil. Preparatory exercises makes your performance smoother.

Isolation exercises

I usually do rip cricles to a whole 5 minute song. With my hands up high. It hurts like crazy. But it smooths your movement. Wen your hands are held up, your ribs need to do more work to move. And by the end of 5 minutes, you’d be cursing the music to end fast.

Other than rib circles, i do chest pops all the way. 5 minutes non stop.

Or vertical figure 8’s not on toes. All the way to a song. This really hurts!

And yes i would lie down and belly roll and flutter to a full song.

I am trying to do the same with snake arms. But its just too painful.

You can try it at the pool though. Hurts less. Just alot of people think you are drowning…

Things i wish i’d do

Make sure ur makeup is ready and your hairstyling stuff.

Pick your bellydancing attire a day earlier. So you can save time searching for it. Cos i often end up doing that.

Earrings accesories whatever. I NEVER wear fake eyelashes even though people feel bellydancers should! But ive no patience im pretty happy with what i have.

CD. That should be burned and tested days before your gig

Pack a bottle of water or something you can eat. Cos you wouldnt wanna drink anything there or expect someone to feed you. Its better not to…

If you are bringing a cam. Make sure its all charged and ready.

Dont forget name cards and whatever stuff you give to your client as a token of appreciation

Please bring along a shawl or anything that covers you when you are not dancing. This saves alot of bad impressions or saves you from sneaky bastards…

I usually bring a male friend along for all my gigs. It acts as a sort of protection too. My male friend (Chin Eng) also happens to be my cameraman.

Just remmeber to be early. I was late once. And i didnt really feel good about it. Though the hostess was really nice and all.

Tips after the gig

Do leave your name cards with your hosts or some token. I give them this “genieshanu” thank you card. So they would remember me. And i feel since they pay you, its best you thank them in some form. Its really funny when you have to make cards of yourslef. But well….

Dont hang out after the party! Really. They would invite you in most cases. But it just spoils your image.


These woud be tips from my own experiences. Just thought i would share with you. Do feedback to me. You can now safely expect more videos from me. Its just ive been so busy with school. I would upload some of my gigs and homevids soon….


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  1. Dear Sabreena,

    Those are great tips in the entire article! But I’m going to add my own take on preparatory exercises.
    The day of the performance, it helps to stretch, drill, *and* practice the choreography. This should all be done at home, of course.
    Right before a gig there is never the opportunity to do all that, but if possible, I think drills (as you suggested) are the best choice.
    However, I disagree with you on the amount of time to devote to each drill. I used to do devote an entire song to each of my drills, but realized it takes way too much time to do all my drills (there are too many moves!) that way. Plus, that amount of repetition doesn’t help any more than a smaller amount does. A set of 8 repetitions for each move done slowly and carefully with perfect technique is more than enough to get your body ready and loose. This has the advantage of taking less time, thus giving you time to practice more moves, and then you don’t end up doing the same thing over and over again in your dance.

    Also I have to make a recommendation for you. You may take it or leave it, but I think that you should focus more on drilling your hip moves and less on the chest. Your chest moves (undulations, lifts, drops) are already perfect. Your hip moves are great, but by comparison they are still a little stiff. Remember that the focus of belly dance is the hips, not the chest. Stylistically speaking, some dancers do more chest moves than others, and that’s perfectly acceptable. But personally when the focus becomes the upper body as opposed to the lower body, I think belly dance loses some of its essence. You are doing great, I just thought I’d share this tidbit of info.

    Keep up the great work!


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