The Choreography Conundrum

So I just took a look in my “CHOREOGRAPHIES” folder on my laptop and over the last 15 years I have personally created more than 80 choreographies… that’s more than 5 each year (or one about every 2 months!)

Honestly, that surprised the heck out of me. But it also helped me understand the complete choreographic rut I found myself in about 6 years ago.

I am a belly dance instructor and director of two professional dance troupes. At one point in my career I taught five weekly classes. I was solely responsible for generating unique material for each of these classes as well as choreographies for my professional troupes.  

About six years ago I hit a creative wall.

I’m sure many of you can relate. Whether or not you teach, creating dances for yourself or others is a huge creative effort – exciting and enjoyable, yes, but an effort nonetheless.

My realization that something needed to change came one day in my Intermediate class… I was about halfway through teaching them my newest choreography when I realized I couldn’t distinguish this dance from the one I had just been teaching in my beginner class… the combinations began to blur and merge in my brain and I found myself totally lost in my movement.

I realized three hugely important things that day:

  1. Massive creative output without enough input to refuel you will end in a state of being creatively tapped out.
  2. Choreographing through my default “shot-gun” approach wasn’t working anymore.
  3. Something needed to change.

I am happy to say that six years (and about 30 choreographies) later, I have a new way of approaching my choreography creating that has helped me organize and strategize my work as well as avoid the repetition caused by my previous choreography by intuition approach.

Is this story familiar to you?  Have you found yourself creatively tapped out at some point in your artistic life? Or maybe your dancing has started to feel too repetitive or lacking of growth and change? I totally get it!

Tell me where you’ve gotten stuck and I’ll tell you what’s helped me pull myself out of my creative rut. Together we can rev up our creative engines to work in new and exciting ways!

21 Day #RakMyZills Resources and Reflections

I just spent 21 Days zilling playing the most amazing zills on the planet with some of the most amazing dancers on the planet.

And I am so very grateful.

The 21 Day #RakMyZills Challenge with Saroyan Cymbals far surpassed anything I could have ever hoped for. Over 70 dancers in more than 5 countries participated, making time in their busy lives to spend a moment making music with me. Wow. I am beyond honored.

I am amazed at where my life has taken me since beginning to dance nearly two decades ago.  Who would have thought the belly dance class I drove across town for once a week would put me on the path to find my calling, my passion and my sanctuary. Twenty years later and I am so grateful I can spread the joy of the dance with people around the world… and so easily! A one-minute video a day and new zill fans are created. Amazing!

So here it is, my lovely ZillStars – a list of resources for you to continue on your belly dance journey. 

I know we will dance together very soon!

A little zill jam for you

So it appears that Instagram may not like me rocking out on my zills to Prince… bummer!  So I am reposting here in case you like to check it out.  This is part of the 21 Day Instagram Challenge that I am hosting RIGHT THIS VERY MOMENT with the most amazing zill manufacturer on the planet – Saroyan Cymbals.  Check it out – it’s not too late to join in.  21 Days to build a new zill habit and become a better more confident ziller… and there are wonderful prizes to be won!


Here is the repost: 


Day 9 | #RakMyZills Challenge with Saroyan_Zills and @SahiraBellyDances

This week we tackle the question that plagues many a ziller … how do I decide WHAT to play on my zills once the music begins? 🤔⠀

Here are my top three answers. ⠀

You can play to:⠀
1. The tempo⠀
2. The rhythm⠀
3. The melody⠀
(There are certainly more options, but these are my favorite.)⠀

Today we discuss playing with the tempo and what that entails.⠀ ⠀

✨Your challenge: Pick a song – any song – and zill along to the beat. Now that we are a bit deeper into our challenge I invite you to move while you play, be it marking time with your feet, moving your arms, or all out dancing! (For inspiration visit @SahiraBellyDances)⠀


Need something sexy for Valentine’s Day? I’ve got you covered.

I’m not into chocolates or flowers, and my husband and I don’t even go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day to celebrate. I mean, why pay more for a limited menu in an awkward everyone-is-trying-to-be-romantic environment, right?

So this year I decided to gift the love of my life something a lot more memorable… this choreography. Incredibly sultry, with lots of room to add your personal flare, “Into You” has been tested and…let’s just say… approved.

The entire thing can be learned in under one hour – so get in there and crank up the heat!

Get this choreography for FREE for the next 24 hours only. After that the price goes up to $10.

(Available to Sahira newsletter subscribers only. To get the deal, please use the link below.)

Something is coming…


This is it people! I am beyond thrilled to announce that @Saroyan_Zills and I have teamed up on Instagram to give you 21 days of zilliciousness in our #RaqMyZills challenge. 💥

Designed to encourage even the shyest zillers among us to put on their cymbals every day and create a new habit (and love affair) with them, this challenge will be easy, fun and sometimes totally ridiculous! Daily challenges will get to the nitty gritty of understanding the basics of playing your zills with variations given for more advanced zillers. And yes…there will be fabulous prizes! 🤩

Make sure you are following @SahiraBellyDances and @Saroyan_Zills on Instagram and tune in on Wednesday February 6 for all the details! In the meantime, polish up those finger cymbals…it’s time to RAQ YOUR ZILLS!!

It’s time to break your brain… in the spirit of happiness!

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE a good challenge!  I recently took an AMAZING rhythm and zill class at Migrations World Music and Dance Festival with an incredible musician who totally broke my brain, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. The older we get, the harder it is to encounter something we have NEVER seen before… so when it happens – relish it!

(That musician, by the way, is the amazing Lauren Checchio and you can find her here.)

A good challenge keeps your brain young, helps build new neural connections and fosters growth, which studies show leads to happiness!

So in the spirit of more happy… here’s a little drill for you! Enjoy!



I have a dream…

So excited to begin another fabulous year of belly dance with you!

Today we are embarking on my new quest in zill instruction for 2019… I promise to make you use ALL the zill sounds! No more settling for just a basic ring when there is a world of noises these things can make!


Check out my Zill Sounds Primer here:

And learn how to count zills like a real musician here:

Get your very own pair of Saroyan Ghawazee in Bronze (my most favorite zills ever!) here:

Want to become a total zill rockstar? Take more finger cymabal classes with me here!


Let’s do this!

Happy New Year!


Happiest of New Years from me to you! I sincerely wish for you, my online belly dance family, a year full of friends, family, growth and of course, belly dance!

To help get you moving after a relaxing holiday season, check out my “Killer Driller” package on Teachable. Four one-hour classes that will get your heart pumping, your muscles working and your body moving in that belly dance way once again.

These four hours of class are yours for the next 48 hours for just $10.

Also, don’t miss out on your copy of my 2019 Goal Setting Workbook – just the resource you need to set smart dance goals that you will actually accomplish this year!

The download is FREE right here:

Workshop at the JCC


I am excited to announce that I will be teaching an Introduction to Belly Dance class at the Houston Jewish Community Center on Sunday, January 13th from 3-4:30pm.  Come and join us to get your New Year starting on the right foot (or hip, as the case may be!) Check out the Facebook Event for more details and get your tickets here.  Hope to see you there!

Day 12 – Doom Doom Tek a Tek Doom Tek a Tek!



Cold hard cash. You heard me right. Money.

Today I’d like to give you some dollars… 15 of them to be exact, to use as you wish on any package from my online belly dance studio.

This deal is only available to my newsletter subscribers, so visit this link to subscribe and get your gift, or check your email if you are already part of my mailing list family.


A million thank yous for joining me on this 12 Days of Christmas adventure!

Here’s to an incredible holliday and an amazing new year. May your days be merry and bright.

Happy holidays to all!