The 3 Rooms of a Bellydance Choreography

The 3 Rooms of a Bellydance Choreography

The idea of dividing the creative process up into ‘Rooms’ isn’t a brand new concept.  And the creative process is similar in many different arenas…paintings, clothing design, written novels, architecture, and (you guessed it): choreography.  

You need to systematically complete your time in each room before moving onto the next one (and this rule applies to be a good participant and a good choreographer).  There are three distinct Rooms.  


Room 1: The Vision.

This is the feel of the performance.  What emotional effect do you want for your audience?  What kind of world do you want to draw them into?  Is there a story behind the dance?  Is it dedicated to someone?  Maybe the vision is a celebration of youth that makes you think of bright, beautiful uplifting colours.  Maybe the song reminds you of a lost loved one who struggled.  The best performers out there take their audience to a different place; over the course a few minutes, complete strangers can be left breath-taken…sobbing or smiling.  Spend some real soul searching time in Room 1 if you want to have that kind of impact on the people you are dancing for.


Room 2:  The Movements.

This is the Room most dancers dive right into.  Room 2 is the home of the mechanics:  the general choreography.  It’s simply a string of movements and transitions.  Hip drops, spins, chest circles, snake arms, myas…etc, etc, etc.  Your big job in Room 2 is to get to the point of remembering all of it without the help of anyone else (mirror included).  You aren’t worried about smiling, spacing of dancers, or anything performance related.  Your One.  Big.  Job.:  Committing the Choreography to Memory.  Once the choreography is on auto-pilot in your brain, then (and only then) - you can head into Room 3.


Room 3:  The Perfection.

You know what you want the song to feel like.  You know how to dance it.  In Room 3, find all the ways to deliver that stellar, moving performance.  For soloists – Room 3 is where you must find the intricacies in a song so that you know when to ‘milk’ the best moments in it: really breathe through long pauses…reach just a little further/longer into your slow flowing arm…wink at just the right moment.  For dancers in a group, Room 3 is where you heavily consider spacing of the dancers.  It’s where you look for synchronization with a forensic eye.  It’s where formation changes tighten right up.  Room 3 is the place for performers who are serious about leaving an impression with a skillful, tight performance.  


No Room Jumping!

For a cohesive, successful performance, you can’t jump ahead to the next Room…you can go back and re-check what you found in past Rooms though.  For the choreographers out there – do share your vision to your participants.  To dancers learning; understand that the choreographer is gifting something special to you…they spent their own time in Room 1, and creating a dance is a personal thing.  Respect their vision – enter the Room 1 they have created for you with an open mind…it will make your progression through Room 2 and 3 much more enjoyable (which will absolutely translate to your audience).