How to Prepare for Bellydance Cohesion

So you’re signed up for the Bellydance Cohesion Stage 1 Enrichment Course and ready to get started? Great!

Below are the materials you’ll need*

*If you do not already have these items, please support the makers of these materials by purchasing from them directly. Otherwise, help contribute to the reduction of waste in our environment by purchasing them from your local second-hand store. If neither of those options are available, you can purchase the recommended items in the Bellydance Cohesion Amazon Shop.

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Materials to Bring

1. A Frame Drum

You will need a frame drum for learning Middle Eastern rhythms. While any size frame drum between 8” & 16” will be fine, I recommend a 14” drum. A great option for an affordable and good quality frame drum is the Remo Fiberskyn Frame Drum: (available in 8” for $16, 10” for $24, 12” for $26, & 14” for $30USD). Available here on Amazon

2. A Set of Finger Cymbals

You will need a set of finger cymbals. Watch my video on the Cohesion Community Portal to hear my recommendation for what shape and size of cymbal to bring.
- If you are new to bellydance and/or new to finger cymbals, I recommend the Arabesque by Saroyan (available in Brass for $32 and Silver for $45).
- If you have experience with finger cymbals, I recommend the Afghani by Saroyan (available in Brass for $56, Silver & Bronze for $90) .
- You may bring another kind of cymbal, just remember to check that the dome shape allows a proper “tic” sound to be made by hitting metal on metal, avoiding the elastic.

3. Familiarity with basic strokes on the frame drum

Familiarize yourself with playing the strokes which comprise all Middle Eastern rhythms: “dum” “tek” and “ka” by watching the video provided on the Cohesion Community Portal. If you’re feeling inspired, you may want to introduce yourself to the rhythms we will be dancing to by listening to the Bellydance Cohesion Spotify playlists and by referencing the list of all Stage 1 rhythms provided on the Cohesion Community Portal.

4. A (silent) Hip Scarf or Belt

The efficacy of some of the Cohesion warm-up exercises are improved by feeling the resistance of a band. A simple hip scarf, tie, or belt can be an easy prop to maneuver for this purpose. Please avoid wearing hip scarves that make noise.

5. Suggested: Earplugs

You may want to have earplugs handy for when we try adding finger cymbal layers to our movement. Earplugs will not negatively affect your ability to hear or play cymbals and they will protect your hearing. Get some here

6. Take my Online Dance Classes

If you want to come feeling totally prepared and ready to raq, I STRONGLY recommend taking my Bellydance Cohesion Technique Drills classes at Datura Online


Cohesion Community Portal

After you enroll, you will receive a password to the Cohesion Community Portal. On the portal you will find:

-A video demonstrating the different sizes of frame drums
-A video demonstrating what is important about the shape of the finger cymbals you bring and how to attach the elastic
-A video demonstrating how to play the basic strokes on the frame drum
-A document listing the names and structures of all Stage 1 rhythms
-Middle-Eastern rhythm-based music playlists
-Recommended reading
-Recommended online dance classes

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I look forward to dancing with you at the next Bellydance Cohesion course!

-April Rose

April Rose