You Know You’re a Bellydancer When…

This is to all the LOVELY ladies (and men) who helped me out with compiling this list! Check it out here! There were a few things edited (obviously) like spelling and format. But I tried to keep it as I found it, so if yours isn’t here, send me an email at:


and I’ll add it to the list! 🙂 Hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed compiling it! (Sorry that it’s so bunched up in places, but it’s 11pm and I’m pretty sleepy!!)

You Know You’re a Bellydancer When…

… you dance to jingles on the radio!

… you can’t dance “normal” at the bar with your friends anymore….

… you don’t walk – you shimmy – down the hall! LOL

… you are apalled that your friends don’t know who Fifi Abdo is…

… you are finally home, undressing for the bath, and find dollar bills in your underwear. And yes, this has happened to me!

… you’re cooking in the kitchen the lid to the pot accidentally falls on the floor and does the almost vibrating(spinning type of sound just before it total stops) thing and you start to shimmy

… you’re standing in the checkout line at a retail store and you realize you’re getting strange looks because you’re doing “alternating butt squenchies” (aka glute contractions) and didn’t even realize it!

… your vacuum cleaner chokes on all the sequins, coins, and glass and pearl beads you feed it.

… you have to launder your money after working a show.
… you hear coins tingling each time you reach into your closet…

….you get a squeak in your tire….or the printer is going and you hear a rhythm and try later to mimic it on your zills…

… you hear your favourite song the first thing that comes to mind is ” This song totally raqs”

… you try to incorporate all of your jewellery onto your head…. at the same time…

… you practice belly rolls while laying out….watching tv and trying to fall aleep at night….

… you speak in dom tek ca.

… people can hear you coming a mile off coz everything you own shines and jingles

… you sing out loud in language you don’t understand!

… you know your girlfriend is a bellydancer when you can’t find the laundry you just took out of the dryer because her costume closet just exploded so she could get ready for a show.

… you’re friends say “don’t you ever listen to anything in ENGLISH any more?!” and you realize you DON’T!

… you’re in the isle at the grocery store dancing to the music and tapping your zill fingers together to the rhythm. And you just can’t help yourself!

… you do hip isolations while driving and you still have total control of the car

… you are getting ready for a show
… loud bellydance music playing and no one can talk to you or distract you from your task…
you are in the bellydance zone…

… you’re driving on a long trip listening to belly dance music to stay alert, and tapping the rhythms out on the steering wheel.

… On a cold day, you shimmy to keep warm…

… you do bellydance choreography in your head to every song on the radio:)

I’m a drummer, and play zills. People look at me funny because I walk down the halls exercising my fingers by snapping all ten of them in rhythmic sequences.

… you have body glitter imbedded into the steering wheel of your car.
… you have enough sequins, beads, earrings, rhinestones and glittering rubbish in the floorboards of your car – to make an entire costume.
… you have blown up the motors in 4 vacuum cleaners- cleaning said rubbish from the floorboards of your car.
… your closet looks like an Egyptian Souk.
… veils and older costumes are draped or hung over everything – becoming “decor” in your home/bedroom.
… your children can recite by memory the legends of belly dance.

… you’re trying to get your 3 year old daughter to teach you how to bellyroll…LOL

… your doing undulations while waiting in line

… you’re thinking up combos when you hear ppl’s shoes in the hallway

… you zill drills with fingers while watching movies, etc.
… you know your girlfriend’s a bellydancer when you notice your toothbrush feels funny, only to find fake eyelashes stuck to it.

… when you are in the supermarket aisle, checking out laundry detergents -and hip-dropping to whatever is playing on their P.A.!
… you paint a room in your house so it can be used as a background for photo shoots

… you make your office into a dance space complete with mirrors and boombox.

… your cat runs out of the room when Arabic music starts playing because she knows if she stays she’ll get stood on.

…your friends go op-shopping & buy vintage bellydance memorabilia for you knowing that no matter how tacky it is you’ll love it.

…there is a greater chance of you buying a garment if it is sequined or beaded, and if it is both then it’s probably coming home with you.

… you look at the top your friend is wearing, and think about where you’d put the coin and bead trims.

… you know you’re really getting into the tribal fusion stuff when your jewellery and makeup takes twice as much space as your costumes…

… you know your girlfriend might be a bellydancer when the window treatments are left over fabric from the last five costumes she made.

Well they say a ‘watched kettle takes a LONG TIME TO BOIL! NOT if you are shimmying whilst waiting!!!

… the only piece of furniture I cleaned and saved from hurricane Ike was my mondo wall mirror…I salvaged my bellydance costumes FIRST before my regular wardrobe clothing.

… my musician friend said “Stop that, don’t DANCE!”…I was doing Egyptian running shimmies unconsciously in the Damascus airport waiting area during Rammadan to loosen up…I’d been sitting a long time.
… when I think nothing of telling my friends about how I danced for my mother in the hospital while she was in a coma three days before she died….

… your right hand leaves the steering wheel with a spiral motion down to shift gears and you forget and follow it with your eyes. (BIG OOPS!) Worse than texting!

… you begin to think you’ve heard the word “habibi” on the radio.

… you begin to belly dance out on the floor of a Salsa club

…. you forget that laughing and crying, altough in the same universe in Arabic music, might be in a different one in the others…

… you’d much rather sing in ANY other Mediterranean or Asia Minor language than English…

… you unconsciously speak Arabic greetings and hello’s to the guys standing in front of the hookah bars in Astoria, Queens, but decline to go in…

… you are a belly dancers musician when the entire troupe shows up at the hospital claiming to be your daughters so they can visit in their in costume

…  people on this page understand you better than many members of your own family….

… during a hurricane evacuation, you pack your costume before you even pack your regular clothes.
…a new cafe or restaurant opens in your neighborhood and your first thought is: “I wonder if they need dancers.”

… my musicians are like family to me… they are tagged in all my photos….they have made me a better dancers, singer, musician and performer…

… you spend your vacation at Tribal Fest (or any other belly dancing event like the Belly Dance Cruise).

… you go to your closet to find normal clothes and they are buried underneath all your costumes.

… you keep your zills in your purse just in case you have a spare moment to whip them out and practice. Anywhere. Like, in line at the bank.

… my precious costumes have taken up the whole of my double wardrobe and my regular clothes are plonked into a toy box on the floor

… I am a drummer too, so have drums, riqs and zills that have overtaken the lounge room

… I bought a big mirror to put up in the lounge so that i could have a practice space for dancing

… my ipod and itunes has all Middle Eastern music on it

… I too look at friends tops and imagine what I would add to it to create a costume…

… I dance in the supermarkets or where ever I happen to be at the time…
… I am in the car practicing stomach rolls and shoulder shimmy to the music.

… I no longer dance like joe public.

… you find you have more belly dance clothes than every day clothes

… you imagine yourself playing zills to any kind of music…you listen attentively to pick up the beat and play zills in your head

… you shimmy at random places, waiting in lines, etc… any chance you space out and are standing…

… somebody asks “you really like that music?” and you realize you listen to it just like “regular” American music.

… you listen to music at work on the computer and forget where you are and start dancing at your desk…

… you wake up during the night but can’t get back to sleep because you are mentally choreographing to the song repeating itself over and over in your head!

… you almost unknowingly shimmying and do stomach pops while doing the most mundane things like washing, cleaning up, waiting in supermarket queues…

… sweeping your floors half of the contents you catch consist of beads, sequins and coins

…you practice zill rhythms on your steering wheel to every song on the radio

…half of the people on your Facebook friends list are dressed in belly dance costumes…and most of the groups you belong to are named things like “Bellydance Superstars” “Belly dance raqs my socks” and “Fans of Sadie”

…you tune out of boring conversations and practice choreographies in your head instead

…you are your friends first port of call when going to a fancy dress party

… all the videos Youtube recommends to you are belly dance ones!

… you know that you can add random bellydancers on Facebook and KNOW you’d be great friends without having said a word to each other!

… you’re shocked that the rest of the world has no idea who Sadie is, or Jillina, or the Bellydance superstars!

… you see somebody in a bellydance outfit and give them a knowing “sisterhood” look!

… you know YouTube bellydance stars!

… you buy clothes/jewellery just to cut them up and turn them into bellydance outfits!!

… you keep old clothes because “it could look really good over this/under that!”

… the fact that no-one else you know has a costume wardrobe is the most absurd thing you’ve ever heard

… you buy bras just so you can sew sequins on them

… my costumes costs way more than my op shop normal clothes…except my wedding gown…..which might get modified to BE a belly dance costumes….hmmm….

… I practise zilling while waiting for the red lights to turn green

… I really really love ‘habibi ya einy’

…I dance like a belly dancer at parties/clubs!

… your stage makeup starts becoming everyday makeup (so you can practice applying it)
… when invited to a party you try and incorporate your bellydance costume into your outfit
… you have hip scarves, coin belts, zills, veils, a sword and a boombox in the boot (trunk) of the car ALL THE TIME
.. buying groceries you have to load them in the backseat because the trunk is full due to the aforementioned above
… you practice shimmies, undulations, hip bumps, chest lifts, hip/chest circles and new combos where ever you are (grocery store, checkout line, walking through the Mall etc …)
… when walking through Hobby Lobby your first thought is “how can I get that in my hair?”

… you look at the number 8 and think it should be on the ground and the dancer following its outline with her hips

… everytime you go shopping to buy clothes for everyday or work, you end up buying some costume piece instead.
… waiting at stop lights is just another opportunity to do more chest lifts.
… any music you hear is just another dance song!

… your friend says “you don’t buy any normal clothes–just costumes”
… most all of your Facebook friends are BD except for your sisters( one of them understands)
… your students are very important to you–to start them out right on the road to obsession
… you understand a lot more about music than you ever thought you would.
… on boring bike rides–I choreograph
… I put myself to sleep by doing old choreographies—works every time if I have insomnia
… my costumes are organized but my filing is a mess
… you know where to buy sequins and trim (doesn’t everyone?)
… you can’t play BD music for housework cause you’ll figure out what moves go w/ it and not clean
… you have learned how to deal w/ restaurant owners–some good and some bad
… when you go out to a normal event–you have to be sure you don’t have too much makeup on.
… some news you don’t pay attention to–but you are on top of the BD info–who is where and what they are doing
… spending tooooo much time on either Facebook or Bhuz
… you have learned lots about countries that you wouldn’t have known about-Armenia, Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Nubia, Iran, Tunisia, Greece, Kuwait
… you have learned folk dances from alot of those countries.
… you can tell if someone’s Arabic accent is Egyptian or not
… your regular mending is way behind but your BD sewing is more up to date.

… you pull out your credit card at the gas pump and loose coins and beads fall out of your pocket.

… you see a western woman dressed in ethnic clothing at Walmart and you think, “Do I know her?”

… your cats flee when you pull out your finger cymbals or giant scimitar to practice.

… sitting at the panel of our community radio studio, doung shoulder rolls, serpent arms and floating reeds (I think that’s what they’re called; I’m still fairly new at this) – incidentally great moves if you’ve been sitting at a computer for too long!
… you’re washing the car on the front lawn, with BD music blaring from the car’s CD player
… you’re standing on a stepladder – to reach and wash the roof of the car – sidehipping
… you’re shimmying around the car to Farida’s “Maqam Al Hijaz”, while polishing the windows.
… no matter what kind of music you hear, you can shimmy to it–
… your ringtone on your cell is drumming—

… you have scarves in EVERY drawer in your room—

… working in an architects office (before throwing in the day job) you realise the bulk-collating copier in the print room when going at full pelt is the most PERFECT rhythm ever for a 3/4 shimmy and WOW whoever thought to program the printer with a Fellahi rhythm? Then check for hidden cameras in the print room before busting a few moves…

… you have a makeup box devoted only to fake eyelashes and bindis.

… you often miss calls because your ringtone HAPPENS to be some bellydance tune and you’re more likely to dance to it than answer it!

… you don’t have a life on the weekends anymore…

… you need a separate closet just for your costumes…

… your nano barely has the storage capacity for just your BD music…

… you’re not sure if, “can you make to it to the party”, means, “can you perform?” or “can you attend as a guest?”

… your dog chases beads around the floor.


… you partner says “Where am I driving you to this time?’

… your significant other wakes you up in the middle of the night to tell you to stop doing glute squeezes and humming Oum Kalthoum. (Yes it has happened to me)

… your kids start to dance like little belly dancers and beg you to play your music and dance with them;)

… going along w/ Yesenia – when your kids thinks dancing means ‘with veils’. LOL. Whenever I turn on music my daughter grabs my veil.

… you can’t practice becuase they “need” room to practice too..;0)

… My daughter puts on belly dancing music and dresses up in her room!

I was driving in the car with my 3-year-old nephew and Raquy and the Cavemen came on the CD player. He said “Oooh, Drums”, and “I like bellydance!”

… your 5 yr old doesn’t dance anymore.. she just shimmies!
… people walk into your home and think they have walked onto a movie set from “Shaharazade”.
… husband is clapping and throwing money at you pretending he doesn’t know you.

… your husband no longer tries to wash off the 1/2 dozen colors of body glitter stuck to his face but, wears it to work the next day as a badge of honor and smiles as the other men at work hear about how he escorted 6 belly dancers the evening before -to a lavish birthday party.
… your friends grab your ipod and realize you only have Egyptian music in it. No I don’t listen to anything else

… when you own a bumper sticker that says “Belly Dancers husbands have more fun”
… your husband can play zills, balance a sword on his head, and do belly rolls.

… baby daughter who is only 16 months knows all the drum rhythms and starts dancing as soon as she hears Middle Eastern music

… we listen to Arabic language CDS in the car; i wonder if she is picking it up too
… my baby loves to dance with a mini veil

… you watch yourself dance in the glass doors in frozen foods at the store… (I’ve embarrassed my hubby on numerous occasions – he won’t go with me anymore!)
… your hubby is no longer surprised by glitter in everything…
… nothing is more important than making it to dance class (even cutting a vacation short)

…Friends are disappointed when looking for some party music at your home and are confronted with mostly Middle Eastern stuff
…your friends get dragged to so many of your bellydance performances they could practically do your dances themselves
… your 17 month old daughter already knows how to dance with veils.
… she starts learning to talk it’s not in english.

… I call my hubby ‘habibi’
… every time I buy more CDs—I tell my husband–at least it wasn’t a costume.
… your cd player only has belly dance music, you’re out of radio range, with non dancers in the car.

… my sons all play the drums even if they don’t want play to they know the rhythms
… your hubby wakes up with sequins on his face!


  1. thank you for compiling… so fun to watch that list evolve. thanks for thinking of my fan page too — it’s great to have so many people like you to share with and learn from!

    Hugs & Shimmies!

  2. Great list and oh so true lol especially all the belly dance music on the ipod and mp3 player, plus i’m always humming music to myself and practising moves without realising. And as for looking at jewellery and thinking about costume bras that Is so me too!!

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