How to Choreograph Belly-Dance: Two Important Elements

There are many steps, tips, and techniques that are all very important to completing a successful choreography. But there two ingredients that you must have before all other tips.

Bellydance Choreography Success Element #1

The first key to successful bellydance choreography is you must BELIEVE in yourself.

I just realized this the other day. I was trying to choreograph a drum solo and I was struggling. I was trying to force it, meaning I was being impatient. I wanted to “get it done” as if it was a task such as “doing the laundry.” All the while I was doing this there was this little voice in my head that kept saying things like “I’m not good at choreography. This is not my strength. This doesn’t come naturally to me. This is so hard? Why is this so hard for me?” And so on.

Think about it. Do you ever have a similar voice in your head while trying to choreograph?

So I had an aha moment and realized that I must Believe in myself first. This is how I do anything well. I have an underlying assumption that I CAN do it.

So I decided to create a new mantra and that is simply, “I can choreograph well.” And then continuing with other variations of this.

  • I am good at choreographing 
  • I enjoy choreographing
  • Choreography is fun
  • And so on….

Bellydance Choreography Success Element #2

The second key is PATIENCE. Ah, the difficult to muster: patience.

But, yes, choreography takes time, especially if you are new at it. Now, just like any other skill, there are some who are gifted with being able to put a choreography together quickly. They are the lucky minority, and there’s a good chance that even they put in more time than you realize.

So take the time to choreograph:

  • Listen to your music repeatedly and then some more!
  • With your eyes closed figure out the phrasing of the music and the general moves you might put into those phrases.
  • Take at least several sessions over several days to put together the choreography.

Bonus Tip

Have fun! Isn’t that what it’s all about anyway? When we get too much in our head, when we get too serious, and put on too much pressure for perfection, we are essentially throwing a cold wet blanket over our creativity.

Take your mind into “the sunshine,” into a playful mindset. Smile, laugh, and think creatively; that is to say, think expansively with no limits, no rules. Enjoy.

If you are having fun and being expressive, your audience will love whatever you do!

How to Choreograph Belly Dance

Here are some great online guides to choreography for bellydance and a book that is for choreographing dance in general.

How to Choreograph – by – excellent guide – definitely read this!

Choreography 101 by Daniela – great basic, “keep it simple” guide. Valuable advice.

How to create a choreography – by Tribe – includes important tips such as level changes, direction changes.

Tips on Creating Belly Dance Choreography – from This is a 3-part article and it has some very sound advice.

How to Choreograph – by Michelle from

Choreography Tips – by Leyla Najma. – a very personal and informative account of how she came to learn choreography. To see any videos or to comment, you’ll just need to register for her site which is well worth it!

Book Recommendation

The Intimate Act of Choreography by Lynne Blom. “presents the what and how of choreography in a workable format that begins with basics- – time, space, force — and moves on to the more complex issues faced by the intermediate and advanced choreographer — form, style, abstraction, compositional structures, and choreographic devices.” – description from

And Remember the 2 main keys: BELIEF in yourself and PATIENCE!

You Can Do It!!!

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