[$350 ZILL GIVEAWAY] Sahira 5-Zill Acapella Finger Cymbal Performance

I love love love the zills!

I have big zills and small zills, high-pitched zills and low-pitched zills, and silver, brass and bronze zills.

I like to play them in my house. I’d like to play them with a mouse.

I’ll play my zills both here and there. I’ll play these beauties everywhere!


While I may be on the more extreme end of dancers with zill collections (at last count I was somewhere around 16 pairs) I am definitely of the opinion that more zills is better. ​

So what’s a dancer to do if you don’t have the budget to expand your collection? ​

Why, enter to win a bunch of course!


The Belly Dance Bundle is giving away SIX SETS OF ZILLS to celebrate the launch of The Bellydance Bundle on October 21st! 🤩 ​ ​

Enter the contest and you could be the lucky winner who takes home 3 sets of Turquoise Internationals most popular zills and a second copy to give a friend. And did I mention that both the lucky winner and their friend will also get access to an entire package of online zill classes with yours truly as well? So excited! ​

This year’s giveaway package is valued at over $300 USD and it will ship it anywhere in the world.


(Giveaway opens on September 24th and ends on October 2nd)


So while I am definitely no poet, I do love me some zills and am excited to share with you the Zoom recording of this performance that I did for the “Save Our Studio” fundraiser for Austin Belly Dance back in April 2020.


Welcome to Episode 2 in my Zill Heroes Series!

Please meet Z-Helene of Austin, Texas.

I’ve been a huge fan of Z-Helene for over a decade and have had the pleasure of studying with her on several occasions. She’s been an inspiration and a mentor and has helped me take my zill playing to a new level every time.

In this conversation you’ll learn about how she got started with belly dance and zills back in the first heyday of the dance here in the States, how she was forced to play using her non-dominant hand (and survived!) and how she developed the style that is truly and uniquely hers.

We also explore how zilling can lead to freedom of expression and become a meditation for us in trying times.

And if you just want to get to the action, about 37 minutes into the video you can see what this woman is truly capable of. (It’s seriously one of my most favorite zill performances of all time!)

To learn more about Z-Helene and study with her please visit:

Facebook: @Z-Helene and/or @HeleneChristopher

Instagram: @zhelenechristopher

YouTube Channel: @ZHeleneChristopher

Website: www.zhelene.com (purchase dvds and music)

Email: zhelene@grandecom.net (personal contact)

Sahira Belly Dance Class & Combination #1 | Hip Slides, Twists, 8s and Jewels

Since back to school is in the air, I thought I would deliver a little school to your inbox today (of the belly dance variety, of course!)

As we celebrate the season of learning, I’d love to share with you a 30-minute mini-class to get you dancing! Perfect for beginner dancers or anyone wanting to drill the basics, this class will take you from warm up, to technique, to drills and will even build a fun little combination to dance to at the end!

Check it out, dancing along, and mark “belly dance practice” off your to-do list for today!


Technique used in this class:

Hip Slide : https://youtu.be/M58DdsEkZB8

Hip Twist : https://youtu.be/lAMqXdPgsIY

Figure 8: https://youtu.be/vkY5TIIJ1pE

Jewel: https://youtu.be/P_S9uvEJs4g


Like it, love it, want more of it?

Join me online at http://SahiraBellyDances.Teachable.com and find hundreds of hours of belly dance classes just waiting for you!

Join my mailing list and get access to 10 free classes to get you started!



Special thanks to the following artists for allowing me to use their incredible music!

Moodafaruka: http://Moodafaruka.com

David Macjeka: https://davidmacejka.bandcamp.com

Lauren Checchio: https://laurenchecchio.bandcamp.com

Sahira Belly Dances – Toul Omri Performance

By request – a performance video for you!

I have always LOVED this song and was thrilled for the opportunity to record an improvisational performance to it for the incredible Crimson Vagabond Road show in August of 2020.

A huge thank you to the event for providing a beautiful opportunity for dancers to connect, hang out and share their talents with each other and the world. We need this connection more now than ever.

May we keep dancing together through the storm.


Zill Hero Interview | Lauren Checchio

I adore everything about the finger cymbals. The myriad sounds they make, the infinite variety of styles, the shine of a brand new pair, learning a new riff on them, playing around with them, collecting them… I honestly could go on forever.


This obsession was not born overnight. I’ve been working with the finger cymbals for two decades and there are definitely a few incredible dancers and musicians that have inspired me to continually pick up these babies and keep working with them.


Lauren Checchio is one of those inspirations.


Today I would like for you to meet her! Lauren and I sat down together last week to chat about her background in music, rhythm and dance and then we geeked out a bit about zills. I learned why at a young age she was totally traumatized by and completely hated the zills and how she was able to turn this around and become the rock star ziller she is today. I also learned all about the method she’s developed to teach zills and drums using the same language – effectively allowing you to pick up just about any hand percussion instrument and understand how to belly dance rhythms on them. (Seriously!)


I think you are really going to enjoy this interview… be warned – it gets fairly ridiculous. I’ve known Lauren a long time now and we laugh a lot when we are together.


If you are interested in the online class she is giving next month, you can register here. https://py.pl/1VYYsS Please tell her I sent you! I would love to see you there!



Learn more about Lauren at https://www.facebook.com/lauren.checchio



Join me and learn more than a dozen sensational shimmies!


This shimmy is a quintessential movement in belly dance and there are many shimmies every serious belly dancer should know.


While the shimmy is incredibly important to the dance, it is not necessarily an easy movement to accomplish. In fact, many dancers (including myself!) struggle to make the basic shimmy technique work.

I want you to know that you are not alone!

In this course I will take you through several shimmy tips and tricks that will help even the most timid shimmier gain confidence and strength in their technique. Oftentimes what is missing is just a few insightful ideas about how the muscles and joints work together to create the shimmy, tips on how to relax into the movement and someone to cheer you on as you practice!

This course will also dive deep into Shimmies of all kinds including:

Knee Shimmy

Hip Shimmy

Triplet Shimmy ( 8 different kinds!)

Three-quarter shimmy

Moroccan Shimmy

African Shimmy

Twisting Shimmy

Choo Choo Shimmy

Hagallah Shimmy, and more!

So dancers…start your engines, tie on your hip scarves, and join me for a shimmy marathon!

http://SahiraBellyDances.com/Shimmy Registration opens August 18th and closes on August 24 – so don’t delay! Don’t pay full price for this course! Join my mailing list for a special members-only discount. http://SahiraBellyDances.com/Discount

Test your shimmy knowledge and you can win big!

Shimmies are like an unending sparkly treasure chest – the more you dig into and explore them the more variations you find.

So much of the beauty of the shimmy lies in its infinite variations and textures. The more we understand and practice developing these variations the better our shimmies will serve us when we are ready to interpret the music and dance.

So today I bring you a fun little quiz – a video compilation I’ve made using some of my favorite shimmies and their many textures.

Your mission (should you choose to accept it) is to count HOW MANY shimmies I’m performing in this short one-minute video.

(Every variation counts as a shimmy.)

Think you are up for the task?

Guess correctly and you will be ENTERED TO WIN my brand new Sensational Shimmy Intensive – an entire course chocked full of shimmy breakdowns, drills and workouts – to be released next week!

Ready? Set. Shimmy!


To officially enter to win, post below AND send your guess via email to me at sahira[at]sahirabellydances.com. You must do both to win.

Entries must be received by midnight CST on Monday August 17th. A winner will be chosen and announced on August 18th. (Entering will add you to my mailing list so you are the first to know when the course releases next week and if you won the giveaway. You can unsubscribe at any time.)


Thanks to the fabulous David Macejka for his fabulous music!


Shimmies are a quintessential part of a belly dancer’s movement vocabulary.

There are dozens of beautiful shimmies to learn, and each can be used in different ways within the dance. And above and beyond learning “all” the shimmies, there is an entire world of textures and variations to be explored once the basics have been mastered.

I was putting my triplet shimmy under the microscope when I started to peel away layers and soon came across this amazing realization.

If I really get specific about how I create this shimmy I have EIGHT different variations (and counting) I can use to really be able to express the music exactly as I want to when I dance.

Eight different triplet shimmies? Have I gone mad?!?!


I’m going to let you be the judge. Try this exercise for yourself and let me know what you find!


So what do you think? Have I totally lost it? Or were you also able to create a few distinct triplet shimmies, all with a similar pulse but with a slightly different look and feel?

Which variation is your favorite?


Can’t get enough shimmies? Ready for more?

Stay tuned for an exciting announcement, or join my mailing list to be the first to know what fabulous shimmiliciousness I have in store for you!


***** A huge thank you to the amazing David Macejka for the use of his music.


This shimmy is a staple of many belly dance drum solo. Big and bouncy and dramatic – it’s the Earthquake Shimmy!

In this video I will explain how to create this delicious shimmy as well as where and when to use it in your belly dance performance.

Then we will drill it with music to get it under our proverbial hip belts.

Don’t forget to stretch your calves afterwards!


Like it, love it, want more of it?

Learn over a dozen shimmies and variations in my new and improved Shimmy course on Teachable. Registration opens August 11, 2020.