Learn belly dancing with finger cymbals!  Special mini-series intro to playing finger cymbals in December, plus Level I and II Finger Cymbal dances starting in January!
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With Bells On!

Picture a classic belly dancer – she's probably wearing an elaborate costume made of coins or beads, a full skirt made of chiffon, and she's playing finger cymbals. Although playing finger cymbals goes in and out of style depending on the fashion of the day, almost everyone who has ever seen a belly dance performance at a restaurant, or in a movie or TV show knows that belly dancers and finger cymbals just seem to go together.

For students who are new to belly dancing, the idea of learning to play finger cymbals while learning all these new movements can be daunting, but I've found that it's actually really helpful to learn the different skills together. This way it becomes totally natural to dance and play at the same time. 

Let me tell you a story:  when I took my first belly dance course, I had no prior dance or musical training.  My first teacher, who is world-renowned for her skill at playing finger cymbals, started teaching me to play during my first session of belly dance classes. While I have not yet reached her level of insane mastery, I am known for playing while dancing – and it is my goal to pass this legacy on to my students.

With this in mind, I've developed a three-week mini-series designed for both beginners and intermediate-level dancers, both to introduce finger cymbals to new dancers and to give those who have learned but don't yet feel confident in their abilities a refresher course in the foundational skills of cymbal playing.

I hope that you'll join me for this exciting mini-series – I still remember that feeling I had as I started putting together the cymbals with movements in those first classes - nothing makes you feel more like a “real” belly dancer than dancing to the tinkle of the bells you wear on your fingers!

Read on for resources and registration links! 

The History of Finger Cymbals (Resources for Study)

Finger cymbals have been around for millenia – check out some of these articles on the origins of finger cymbals!

http://www.parizadebellydancerextraordinaire.com/-History-of-Finger-Cymbals.html (pdf)

http://www.historicalfolktoys.com/catcont/5406.html

http://www.middleeasterndance.net/Music/Zills.html

http://www.pennyforyourshimmy.com/category/belly-dancing-history/

Where to buy your finger cymbals

Finger cymbals are a musical instrument, and it's important to make sure you buy a quality product. If you choose well, your finger cymbals will last you for years of use – from beginner player to intermediate and advanced level.

My best advice is DON'T BUY YOUR FINGER CYMBALS FROM COSTUME SHOPS. These are toys, and completely useless as instruments. A good pair of cymbals doesn't have to be expensive, but you do want to make sure you buy good quality.

Here are some of the sources I recommend. There are a variety of prices and sizes available – if you don't know what to buy, please email me and I'll be happy to help you choose!

http://www.turquoiseintl.com/cymbals/
(An excellent choice for good cymbals that will last you – they come with a lifetime guarantee! - I recommend size B unless you have really tiny hands.)

http://www.saroyancymbals.com/store/?product_cat=cymbals
(These are wonderful cymbals, but note that they seem to be out of stock on a lot of their mid-priced cymbals. They have the widest selection of designs and sounds, but they can be pricey.)

http://www.mid-east.com/Belly-Dance/Finger-Cymbals
(These are a solid choice at an economy price point)

Here's a great little article on how to select finger cymbals. The author even has mp3 clips of the sounds her own collection of finger cymbals makes:
https://www.zarifas.com/choosing_your_zills.shtml

Finger Cymbal Mini-Series

Wednesdays, December 7-21
7:35-8:35pm

Wednesdays, December 7-21
7:35-8:35pm

In this three-week series, we will learn how to make different sounds with our cymbals, how to play four basic patterns, and how to combine those patterns into different combinations we can use to add emphasis and embellishments to different types of music and rhythms. At the same time, we'll combine our cymbals with different arm patterns and movements. By the end of the series, you should feel like you have a good introduction to playing finger cymbals, and you'll be more than ready to begin leaning to dance while playing your finger cymbals.

Ring in the New Year!

We'll be ringing in the new year – literally – with two classes focusing on finger cymbal dances! Develop your finger cymbal skills while you learn a fun beginner-level choreography or dynamic intermediate-level choreography.

New class sessions start on January 9th!

Mondays, Jan-9-Feb-13th

7:30-8:30pm - Level I - Belly Dance FUNdamentals – Finger Cymbal Choreography - “Bellydance” by Saad el Soghayar

8:35-9:35pm - Level II – Belly Dance Odyssey – Finger Cymbal Choreography - “Hannah” by Anne Dudley and Jazz Coleman

For registration information, go to the Move Studio Website.  To get to the registration page, click on the "Workshops, Series, & Events" link on the left hand, click on the "Dance, Nia, & Hooping" Link at the top, then scroll down. The Finger Cymbal Clinic series is enrolling now; the January class registrations will be open soon! 

Spotlight on Finger-Cymbals – Performances to Watch

Here are a variety of finger cymbal dances to inspire you!

Here's my own students dancing with veil and finger cymbals:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2btApq8mAZ0

Me, with veil and finger cymbals:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hz0b82NLzx8

Other groups and solo finger cymbal dances:

Real vintage American belly dance clips with finger cymbals:
https://youtu.be/6tYe5mT2y8w?list=PLgz2G-KVVu2lvR8ytt18sTuz49NixLzmQ

https://youtu.be/Sxm3-bg_ZeU?list=PLgz2G-KVVu2lvR8ytt18sTuz49NixLzmQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYWbHoR5tHs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaU_OVei-8M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y_XeiRoLFU

https://youtu.be/4f1WjunWxNI?list=PLZ22bBj9mdidWqSmQts7qQAPPbmOkVAzy

This is my first teacher Z-Helene in her famous zill/drum performance with her husband, Rick:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3mvtImZdmU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFFCJnEUgto

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WnsLC6FRFck

Happy watching! 

I hope you've found this email informational and inspirational!  If you have any questions about buying finger cymbals, or you just need to know which class is right for you, please email me!

Happy Shimmies!
Tamra Henna

Copyright © 2016 Tamra Henna Bellydance, All rights reserved.


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