Jillina’s Tips for Belly Dancing with a Live Band – Use Hand Gestures!

Jillina's Tips for Belly Dancing with a Band Feature Photo

Show me the love!


Bellydance Superstars Choreographer and Artistic Director Jillina Carlano tells us how to communicate with musicians when you dance. Use hand gestures just like the musicians! Read this for examples and listen to Belly Dance Podcast A Little Lighter #62 for more Jillina expertise.

Here’s how Jillina uses hand gestures when dancing with live musicians:

“I would watch the leader of the orchestra when he was talking to the musicians with his hands and his body language. His eyes would get really big or he’d like look to the side when someone would hit the wrong note…

#1 To speed up the music:

Point your finger horizontal and then roll it forward.

#2 To cue the band to get ready to stop

Grab your hand and make a fist.

#3 To cue the band to slow down

My favorite is “shwayah shwayah”. Slow down! Pinch your fingers with the fingertips up towards the ceiling and then pull down. That is one that I’ve used with drummers often.

#4 To dance with the music better

Listen to musical cues. The musicians are musically queuing each other, and dancers can listen for that.

Listen to the whole podcast interview with Jillina!