So you have a show coming up, perhaps you have an idea of what type of style, costume, or maybe a prop you are challenging yourself to use for that performance, but you just can’t seem to find the right song (This Belly Dancer in Orlando has been here so many times)! Picking Bellydance musci is one of the most drawn-out processes for me.
Music selection, in my opinion, is one of the most difficult and important choices when preparing for a performance. Sometimes I spend hours selecting pieces that “fit” the theme, event, or feeling.
Part of what is tough about being a belly dancer is that we are dependent on music. I do not know about you, but having a live band follow me around is not an option, so picking bellydance music that has already been recorded is pretty much the only realistic option.
So why is it that if there are thousands of songs out there in this genre that selecting a song for one 5 minute performance can takes days, if not weeks? You know why…
“Because when we select a song, it is more about just picking out a tune from a pile, it is about selecting a song that moves us, that moves our soul and inspires us from within”.
The intimate connection between music and dancer is so powerful that when you find the right song, you know, because you will immediately feel a strong reaction to it.
So what do you do when you’re stuck?
1. Go through your iPod song by song without looking at titles or anything (don’t look!) and write down the ones that move you.
2. Go onto YouTube and research songs used by dancers and hope to get lucky (song titles are not always in the description).
3. Ask a fellow belly dancer what she thinks would be a good fit for you. You never know! A good friend of mine recommended shik shak shok to me one year, a song I loved but would have NEVER thought to use for a stage performance (it has been very over done lol), and she was so right!
4. If you’re stuck between selecting from a few songs take a step back and ask yourself the following: a) does this song allow me to not fall into a pattern ( i.e. sound like many other songs you have performed to)?
b) which would allow me to mature more in the challenge I seek for myself?
c) does this fit the event/audience the best out of the two? For example, I was stuck between El Hantour ( Egyptian Classic) and Violin Solo by House of Tarab. I know my audience is primarily belly dancers in one, and primarily an American audience in the other….that would probably mean Hantour for the belly dance event, and Violin solo for the American style event. Bam!
d) Do a music swap night! This is sooo fun! Literally call up a dancer friend who has a similar style to yours, and call out titles of songs you think are the best of the best of your collection. The other dancer can listen to the sample over the phone and if she loves it she can write down the song info and purchase for herself later, and vice versa.
Well I hope this blog gives many of us out there a much-needed push (4 ways) to find new music choices and help you when ti comes to picking belly dance music to perform to. Do not be shy to contact this Belly Dancer in Orlando with any questions, muah!