YT Yoga Flow for Belly Dancers

In today’s video I am excited to share with you this special yoga flow I created specifically for the belly dancer body.
This is the yoga flow that I do every single morning right after I get out of bed. It has helped me work out the muscular stiffness and tension of the morning, realign the body, maintain and increase flexibility as well as energize myself for the day ahead!
This unique yoga flow is built upon a traditional sun salutation with some very specific modifications designed to target the area of the body that belly dancers use most.
Add this to your daily routine or as part of your regular practice to experience the benefits for yourself!
Do you enjoy this kind of mindful movement? Then you were going to love the practice is included in my seven day Belly dance jumpstart!
This free jumpstart delivers seven days of short and sweet belly dance tutorials to your inbox along with prompts for more mindful and joyful movement.
Join me for free today!


Thank you to the amazing Miss Thea for the music used in this video.

Advanced Belly Dance Acapella Finger Cymbal Tutorial – Running 5s

Let’s dance to the beat of our own drum with this fun and funky acapella finger cymbal riff!

This pattern is built mostly on a “5” pattern – five 16th note strokes of the cymbals in a row. We’ll be doing 4 of them and I think you’ll find that the feel of the rhythm is pretty groovy and unique.

The running 5s are counted:

1e&a2 &a3e& 4e&a1 &a2e&

And then we’ll add three emphatic clacks at the end!

3 & 4

In this video I will take you through the pattern step-by-step with special attention given to the counts so you can feel the beat in your body. We will play with two different cymbal and sounds and then DANCE to the beat of our own drum with a few simple and fun belly dance movements to complete the combination!

Are you ready? Grab your finger cymbals and let’s dive in!

In this video I am playing some of my favorite finger cymbals – The Saroyan Afghani’s in Silver. Get your very own pair here .



Do you enjoy this kind of finger cymbal challenge? Then check out my signature membership “The Belly Dance Journey”, where you can dive deep with me every month into the wonderful world of zills with intermediate and advanced finger cymbal sounds, patterns, riffs and combinations.

The membership opens just twice a year, so get on the waitlist now so you are the first to know when it opens again!

How to spot counterfeit Saroyan finger cymbals! 😲

WHAT!?!? Someone is selling FAKE Saroyan Finger Cymbals?

Sad but true.

I just learned from the good people at Saroyan Mastercrafts that someone is selling reproductions of their cymbals on the internet.

To the untrained eye the look almost the same. (But sound nothing like the real thing!)

Can you spot the fake?

While imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, friends don’t let friends play bad zills.

Don’t get duped into paying good money for an inferior set of finger cymbals. Check out this video to learn how you can spot the counterfeits.

To be sure you are buying authentic Saroyan finger cymbals, made by Vince and Virginia and their family in their small shop in Riverside, California check their website for approved vendors.

You can find them here. 

Sherwood 2021 Gaudete Dunje

You may not know this about me, but I am a huge fan of Renaissance Festivals!


I have been attending festivals my whole life starting as a teenager at the Bristol Renaissance Festival in Wisconsin. I’ve been started performing at the Texas renaissance festival in 2001 and after that went on to perform at several other festivals including the Michigan Renaissance Festival and the Arizona Faire.


My experiences have been varied! In fact… The first year that I worked at the Arizona Faire I worked in a jewelry booth during the day and ran down the lane to dance as a guest with another troupe three times a day during my break. (I also lived on the weekends in a tiny 6′ x 6′ room at the top of the ladder immediately above the shop… But that is a story for another time!)


I’ve had the honor of performing with the incredible Domba troupe out of Arizona as well as the Michigan based Nommobugunte West African Dance Ensemble.


Nowadays all of my renaissance festival experiences are through the incredible early music ensemble Istanpitta. I have been performing with them now for 22 years and it has been such a beautiful learning experience! I started as a fill-in dancer standing in the dirt just to the side of the stage. Now, years later I have the opportunity to sing, play the flute and dance with this magical ensemble every single year.


Learn more about them at


This video comes from an incredibly rainy weekend at the Sherwood Forest Fair in Texas. It’s a combination of two songs “Gaudete” and “Dunje” – two of my favorites from our repertoire.


A special thanks to my daughter for taking the video… and joining in on the singing near the end! 🙂



Essential Belly Dance Drum Solo Technique

The drum solo is one of belly dance’s most exciting and sought after moments!


The energy of the rhythm and the dancer’s ability to make it look as though the drum accents are literally coming out of her body are part of what make this element of belly dance so very magical.


You don’t need a bunch of new movements to be able to begin to execute a finely tuned drum solo, but you do need to know how to do them in a way that will best accentuate your music!


In this video I will take you through some essential ideas to help you create the crisp, sharp and powerful movements most often seen in the belly dance drum solo. We’ll work though a few specific movements and then you can use this new knowledge and apply it to other moves in your vocabulary to make them drum solo accent ready!


Special thanks to the fabulous Lauren Checchio for the use of her music. Get her amazing album here:




The Samya Drum Solo Intensive is here!

I have exciting news for you!

​I have just launched my most anticipated choreography intensive – The Samya Drum Solo.​

This program has been two years in the making – meticulously created from the ground up, giving you EVERYTHING you need to learn an exciting and cheeky drum solo right now, no matter what level dancer you are.​



I created The Samya Drum solo two years ago for my dancers here in Houston and since then it has become one of our favorite choreographies! Full of exciting rhythm and mood changes, it has all the elements required for a fabulous and exciting drum solo performance. ​

If you have been thinking about diving into a new (or your first) drum solo… THIS IS IT.​


The Samya Drum Solo Intensive is all about learning to love and enjoy the drum solo experience – from the technique and textures to the breath and creativity – this course will not only show you the movement, but will also dive into the theory and expression behind this incredible dance.​ It’s not your average “plug-and-play” course that only shows you the steps.


​The Samya Drum Solo Intensive is SO MUCH MORE!​​


By the end of this 6-week course you will:

✓ Have over a dozen drum solo techniques and movements solidly under your hip belt

✓ Gain new confidence with interpreting drum solo riffs and pattens with your dance

✓ Embody the high-energy playfulness that is the hallmark of many of the best belly dance drum solos

✓ Understand how to use energetic changes to create dynamics and interest in your performances

✓ Be a part of an incredible community of fabulous people dancing alongside you in the virtual world

✓ Be ready to perform a brand new 4-minute drum solo that you can call your own


​​If you’ve found yourself getting a little excited about any of that…​​I’d love to personally invite you to check out more details here.​​​


I am so excited to share with you this fabulous new drum solo creation.​ Registration is open until August 30th at 5pm CT.

Belly Dance Drum Solo Combination Tutorial

Hey there fabulous dancer!

In this video I am going to take you step-by-step through a fun and sassy belly dance drum solo combination so you can start rocking your drum solos like a pro!

I will give you all technique you need to build the combination, and walk you through it slowly with attention given to texture and transitions in order to make your dance really sizzle.

Keep with me to the end and we will run the combination with music to get you up and dancing in no time!

Like this combination? Then you are going to LOVE what I have in store for you.

Learn the WHOLE CHOREOGRAPHY with me during a super-special 6-week intensive online workshop.

Learn all about it and snag your spot here: Solo

Registration closes August 30th

Join me for this FREE Drum Solo Masterclass


Many dancers feel a little frightened by drum solos. Maybe they’re not sure what movements to do, or how to keep up with the rapid-fire drumming. And when the music ramps up and gets faster and more intense, it’s sometimes difficult to stay calm and enjoy the dance experience.

Have you ever felt this way?

If so, please know that you are not alone. You’re in really good company, actually.

The drum solo can seem like a gigantic concept to tackle… and while a lot is going on in that music, there are ways to approach it that make it a lot more digestible.


And I’m here to help you do just that!


I would like to invite you to join me for my upcoming masterclass – “A Delicious Dive into the Drum Solo.” In this free 60-minute workshop I will share with you some of my favorite tips that help me approach drum solos with confidence (whether live of recorded) and I’ll let you in on the thought process I use to choose dynamic and creative movements for my dance. We will drill some drum solo style technique together and I will teach you a fabulous combination that you can take home and use right away!


The class will be fun and interactive, with time for questions too!

Will you join me on the dance floor?


and be sure to find the confirmation email in your inbox so you get the Zoom link the day of the class!


I cannot wait to share with you some deliciousness that will help you approach drum solos with more confidence and creativity. I’ll see you on the dance floor!

Beginner Belly Dance Combo with Zills Part 2 – The Dance

Here it is! Part 2 in our two-part series that shows you everything you need to put together a fun beginner belly dance combination with finger cymbals!


In this video I will teach you a simple belly dance combination step-by-step from the ground up. I will walk you through the technique you need to create this sassy little combo and then show you how it fits with the finger cymbals we learned in the first video of the series. We will walk the combination together with the finger cymbals slowly and then with music, giving you a fabulous little dance you can add to your belly dance repertoire right now!



I invite you to take this tutorial to your own level of challenge. If it’s too difficult right now, slow it way down (you can do that by clicking the little gear on the video) and try it like that. If it’s not challenging enough, I invite you to try adding multiple sounds to the zill riff.

Whatever you do with it, I would love to see! Take a practice video and send it along, or tag me on social media.


[Here is part 1 – The Zills in case you missed it.]




A HUGE thank you to the amazing Miss Thea for use of her music! Music – Electro Belly Funk by Miss Thea 


Like the finger cymbals I’m playing in this video? Get your very own set here: Zills Ghawazee in Bronze 




And if you like this kind of finger cymbal tutorial, you are going to LOVE my FREE finger cymbal jumpstart course. Get the solid foundation you need to become the zillstar you are meant to be! Join me here:

Beginner Belly Dance Combination with Zills

I am super excited to share with you this two-part video series!


If you have been wanting to put finger cymbals to your dance or have been standing by the sidelines wondering how it’s done, now is the time to jump in and take action!


In this video I am going to walk you step-by-step through a beginner finger cymbal combination. We are going to use a simple pattern and I will show you how you can make even this basic pattern interesting and engaging without making it more complicated.


Then, next week I will teach you a sweet little bellydance combination to pair with the finger cymbals you learn today so you can be dancing and zilling at the same time like a pro!




Then grab your zills and let’s get started!




If you like this video that you are going to LOVE my FREE finger cymbal jumpstart course. Get the solid foundation you need to become the Zillstar you are meant to be. Get it here: