Choice Music to Chill By



I was asked after class today what music we were listening to during the warmup and cool down. Well, lots of different stuff. I’ve been accumulating dance music since 1999, and if you played the entire lot you could go for 2 full days with no repeats. Here’s what I like to warm up with:

Serpents Dance by Arcana (from Le Serpent Rouge)

Chifti Telle and Floor Work Slow Chifti by Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak (from Strictly Belly Dance Vol 1 & 3 respectively)

Ambesto by Mahmoud Fadl (from Drummers of the Nile Go South)

Beni Beni, Tamana, and Iman by Niyaz (from Nine Heavens)

Saraab by Simon Shaheen (from the compilation album Desert Roses and Arabian Rhythms Vol. 3)

Sehr Oyounik and Last Words by the Temple, by Hossam Ramzy (from Best of Hossam Ramzy)

Some of these artists are not easy to find unless you get compilation albums like the Bellydance Superstars or Desert Roses series, but worth checking out for sure! I posted a while back about how to find new music if you are interested in learning more. Feel free to post some of your favorites in the comments!


How to find new music

We are about half-way through winter session now and I have revealed our choreography music: Simarik by Tarkan (the radio edit version 3:11 – available for single download). I’ve had one or two people ask me where I find my music. The answer is: everywhere. But where to start?

  • Ask your teacher for her/his favorites. That’s how I got to know Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak and George Abdo.
  • Look for compilations like Desert Roses, Bellydance Superstars, Rough Guide or Putumayo Presents. That is a good introduction to musicians you might want to get to know better.
  • Go exploring online. Many dancers post on YouTube and their personal blogs. What are they dancing to? If you are shopping online take a look at the suggestions made. “People who liked this also liked that.” Maybe you will to!
  • Make a playlist on Pandora Radio of an artist you like. See what the Music Genome Project plays for you.
  • Keep your ears open at shops, on the radio, etc. I first heard Shantel and Rodrigo y Gabriela on Fresh Air. I discovered The Buena Vista Social Club at a video store. I just asked the clerk what he was listening to.
  • Think outside the box. You can dance to anything you want. It doesn’t all have to be Middle Eastern pop. Try out Lady Gaga or Rammstein sometime.

I recently went exploring online for some Creative Commons music for an upcoming event and discovered There are some pretty talented people who are sharing their music for free. Special thanks to Damscray for giving me permission to use their music for the Erotic Art Show at the Red Raven. Which song? You’ll have to show up to find out.

Here are some of my faves, in no particular order:

  • Shantel
  • Mile Kitic
  • Eddie “The Sheik” Kochak
  • Issam Houshan
  • Oojami
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Hakim
  • Tarkan
  • Niyaz

What’s your favorite dance music? Feel free to share in the comments.