Bellydance by Amartia has a lot of experience in choosing Belly Dance Music set lists for gigs- whether it is a restaurant show, birthday party, wedding, etc. It may seem to the outsider that it’s easy. Just put some songs together and dance to them- done! It is much more involved than that. These tips can be used whether your set is 15min or 45 minutes.
1- Entrance song. This doesn’t need to be a song that is labeled Belly Dance Entrance song. An entrance song should build anticipation, get the audience excited and set the tone for your performance. Does it have a nice beat that allows you to travel from where you are (bathroom, changing room, side of the band…) to the stage/performance area. Does it have a mood chance or allow you to use your entrance prop effectively and discard it at the opportune time? These are all questions you need to go think about when choosing your belly dance music.
2- Baladi progression. After your entrance song, your next song is the time for the audience to get to know you. For this, a Beledi song is perfect. It allows you to express yourself and show a mood chance without necessarily going to a really slow song. A lot of baladi progressions also have a slow build which allows you to show range.
3- Slow song. You may choose thing instead of the Baladi progression or may choose to add it depending on the type of baladi progression that you choose. The slow song is what dancers usually use in their sets to showcase their prop skills. It can be done with a veil, sword, or candle tray. This is also your opportunity to catch your breath if your entrance song was particularly strenuous. Some dancers choose non- belly dance music for this section, again it is your preference and depends on your audience.
4- Pop song. This is where audience participation can come in. Choose a pop song that makes you happy and go for it! Go out into your audience and encourage them to dance with you.
5- Drum solo. This can be the bane of a dancer’s existence. If you are scared of drum solos, then pick a short one. There are drum solos that are only a minute. A drum solo can be your final song in your set. The audience NEEDS something to let them know that your set is almost over. A drum solo is a great way to do that. You can survive a minute!
6- Exit song. If you choose to, you can add a short exit song. It can be a separate piece or a cut of your entrance song. This is your chance to collect your props, bow and exit the dance area.
Last bit of advice: Have a few sets put together. It’ a good idea to have 2 or 3 already made up that you know really well so you’re ready to go. Changing them up from time to time so you (and your audience) doesn’t get bored, is also a great idea. The last thing you want is for a client to recognize the song you are dancing to from the last time they saw you perform.
These are just some of Bellydance by Amartia’s tips to putting together a Belly Dance Music Set- Feel free to comment with your own!