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Madlenka's Raqs al Sharqi Card Deck
Belly Dance Belts
Feather Necklaces
Hand-Dyed Silk Dancing Veils
Scroll down for fun dance games and drill ideas!


Bellydance Card Deck Reviews:

"As a beginner to belly dance, I was especially delighted to get these cards. They are so informative and easy to use. I am sharing them with my granddaughter (age 4 going on 21). Sometimes I practice using just one 'suit'... and other times I pick randomly from the deck. I even play poker (me and a 'dummy'), then practice the winning hand...... so many ways to have fun. Thanks, Dawn, for the wonderful cards....Love & peace, Dale"

"I was going to make some flash cards on a recommendation for help getting through choreography creation blocks, as well as class drills. Now I don't have to!" Lacey P.

"I am excited to receive my own set of these wonderful cards, I saw a deck at a Workshop this weekend. Another dancer who was in a troupe with me had a set and is using them in her classes. She is delighted with them and uses them frequently. I'm sure you will be receiving other orders. They are fabulous!!" Diana C.


Madlenka's Raqs al Sharqi Bellydance Card Deck

Card Art ©2010 Eclectic Dawn Arts/Dawn Ventimiglia

Madlenka's deck includes:
* 49 bellydance movement cards
* 3 blank cards
* 1 "About These Cards"
* 1 "Using These Cards"
* Plastic Case included, too!

+ work on transitions
+ build choreo combos
+ use solo or with a group
+ dance "drill" games
+ build dance "vocabulary"
+ and so much more!

This is a FULL 54 card deck!
This deck is NOT a "how to," but some cards have movement tips and variations. You must have general knowledge of bellydance moves and proper dance posture to use the cards.
DISCLAIMER: As with any physical activity, injuries are possible. Consult your doctor before beginning any new physical activity. Use the cards at your own risk. The publisher or creator of the cards are not liable in case of injury or loss.

Due to limited quantities, the deck is now only available in our etsy shop:

Click to go to Madlenka's Card Deck on Etsy

Don't forget to check out our handcrafted bellydance goods and unique gifts
in our etsy shop!


Exotic Tribal Bowls, Hand-dyed Silk Bellydance Veils, Pinstriped Purses & Trays, Belly Dance Belts, Feather Fascinators and more.

Model photo by Sally Susan Popu

DISCLAIMER: Consult a physician before undertaking any new physical activity, and dance safely with proper technique and a good warm up and cool down.

DRAMA QUEEN: Start the music. Make an overly dramatic entrance and exit. Have fun being overly dramatic. Pretend you are someone else...channel a diva.

SHADOW DANCING: Dance improv w/light behind you! Play with your shadows. It doesn't have to be bellydance! Experiment with lines/poses/postures. Go slow. Be mysterious. (Objective: fluid dancing.)

RED LIGHT: Dance, say “STOP”, pose, pause, or move slowly. Drop energy like a leaf. Lift like smoke. Dance at regular speed again. (pauses rest the eye and brain and give contrast to your dance)

OBSTACLES: Create a small pillow obstacle course on the floor. Walk through the “course” to the beat, then add arms, then full dance. You don’t have to always move forward - go sideways, go in a circle always facing forward (part of your circle will be moving backwards, follow one hip through the course, let your arms pull you through, etc. (This helps you with navigating space in a variety of ways, and utilizing irregular floor patterns.)

SHAPES: Use 8’s, circles, squares, triangles, s’s, diamonds, arches, smiles, zig zags. Dance a song using everything you can think of using one shape (floor pattern, hands, hips, overhead hands, travel) Variation: Do HALF the shape, then pause.

HOW FAR CAN YOU GO? Fun with a group! Do a move for 8 counts, then do a new move for 8, then another new move for 8...you lose when you run out of moves or repeat a move. Variations are OK. (Trick - use elevator technique, moving up or down.) Last one dancing is the winner. (Helps you test your vocabulary.)

ARMS HAVE A PURPOSE: They help to determine direction when turning or spinning, framing a hip or body parts, creating a line for the eye. Practice poses or turns utilizing arms.

FLAMINGO: Hold one foot up (tree pose works great!) and dance w/arms/upper body only. (learn to express yourself with your arms) You can do it with both feet down so you can use your chest, but don’t move your hips!

RISING/FALLING: Act out (with BD or NON-BD moves) things such as a windblown leaf, a building storm, soft rain, hard rain, fish, dolphins, birds, waves. MOVEMENT HAS VARYING ENERGY. Push/pull, up/down, in/out. Really concentrate on the rising and falling of the energy for this exercise! Breathe IN for up or raising, breathe out for down or lowering.

WHAT’S MY STORY? Hand out photos, and dance the story of the image. Think about the energy you portray to tell your story. How do your arms, gestures, travel, posture, face, type of moves illustrate the story? This is a great exercise to show how percussive, travel, or smooth moves show different energy.

PEOPLE: Open a magazine or book w/photos of people. Dance the story in the photo. After a few minutes, switch to new page. Portray open/closed, happy/sad. Tell the story w/your movements and gestures. Who are you? Become the alter ego! What is the persona of the person in the story?

DIALOGUE: Dance to the DIALOGUE of a movie NOT THE MUSIC! Tell the story w/movement.

NUMBERS: Pick a number from 1 - 4. Dance everything in that number to fit the song count. For example: THREE’s: 3 lifts, triangles, 3 steps...you may need to stretch one of them to fit it into 4 counts: 1, 2, threeee (3,4). (Or fast, fast, slo-ow) Unless your music is in 9’s...then that’s whole ‘nother ball game! :)

BUILD A COMBO: First person calls a move, and all dancer do it for 8 counts, 2nd dancer adds another 8 counts (do both). 3rd dancer adds another for 8, do all three. 4th adds another, do all 4, etc.

COUNTDOWN: Pick two moves and do a countdown: 8 beats of each move, 4 beats of each move, 2 beats of each move, to develop quicker transitions. Really concentrate on a smooth transition. When you get down to 2, you may only be able to do half the move, and that can create some interesting combos! Or try 4+4/4+4 (to equal 8 of each for two moves) - that first 4 would be the SAME move but changing direction or sides for each 4), then 2+2, 2+2, 1+1.

EMOTION/ANIMAL/SITUATION: Pull either an animal, an emotion, or a situation from a hat and dance it, and have others guess. Use speed, height, direction, math (dividing or multiplying a move), or size to express the idea. (Changing energy.)

FOLLOW THE LEADER: Everyone in a line, one person picked to stand in front, facing that line, and leads with various moves, then leader tags out, next goes up to lead group.

CIRCLE: one person is in center, and all follow person in center, then they step out. Or TRAVEL in a circle, following what the leader does.

SHIMMY DRILLS: Start slow, then double the beat, then double again, then full-on shimmy. Widen your stance a bit to shift weight from one foot/side to the other, then walk with it. Try shimmying figure 8’s or slides. Or shimmy with one foot slightly up (unweighted), then other up, then walk. Choo choo with various arm moves. ¾ variations. Various shimmy types - call them out (Lebanese, hip, Egyptian, freeze, one leg, shoulder shimmy, Tunisian, etc.

ELEVATOR: Go from lower part of body to upper, part by part: do a move with your feet, then do a move with your hips, undulate up, chest move, arms, head, travel (back to feet). OR: hip, ADD chest, ADD arms to work on crazy layers.)

VARIATIONS: Choose a move, how many variations can you do using size, speed (fast/slow or try first half of an infinity slow, second fast, first part of next one fast - that way the accent falls on the opposite side every time around), math (divide or multiply), direction, level?

WHERE’S THE BEAT? Dance on: Down beat, do doubles, triples, halftime. Or try SLOW MO: do a move in 4 beats, 8 beats, 16 beats, 32 beats. It really helps you slow down and concentrate on how you are driving the move with your muscles.

RAQs ROULETTE (from Mahin): Shuffle your music player, dance to one minute of each song. (Feel the difference in energy and how you need to portray that!) SHIMMY W/LAYERS: Get shimmy going strong. Add chest up, 2,3,4, then down, 2,3,4. Chest slide234, other side,234. Then side, up, side, down (1234. Then smooth the circle. If you fall apart, shake out your legs and get that shimmy going again!

IMPENDING DOUM: For rhythm exploration, slow down and dance JUST on the doums. It is important to KNOW your rhythms! Dancers should know the difference in accents (where the doums fall) in various Middle Eastern beats such as beladi, malfouf, maksum, karsilama, ayub. Most Westerners know that a waltz is “ONE, two, three, ONE, two, three”, or that a polka is “OOM-pa-pa, OOM-pa-pa”, and if you’re a bellydancer, you should know various M.E. beats, too! The more you learn about the various rhythms, the easier it is to let the music transport you, and you will begin to FEEL your dance, not THINK it. :)

Dance for YOU...but please do it safely with proper technique and a good warm up and cool down!


©2001-2013 Dawn Schmidt Ventimiglia/Eclectic Dawn Arts. All Rights Reserved.
Website contents are not to be copied, hotlinked, broadcast, transmitted, printed, or used in any manner without the artist's written permission! Read the Licensing page for more info!