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Circle Baladi

A Belly Dance of Birthing and Reclaiming

Choreography by Delilah 1993

Official International Choreography: Revised November 20,1999



This dance is a rhythmic aerobic workout as well as a joyous celebration of community and spirit! Delilah teaches it all over the world at workshops and retreats. The concept behind the Circle Baladi is for women to be able to jump up and dance together in a folk-style bellydance anywhere in the world. It is important that the sequence of moves not be changed or added to; otherwise it won’t work for this purpose. For the sake of clarity and continuity (should you forget), this is why the official choreography is printed on the web.


MUSIC NOTES: Live music preferred
Rhythm: Baladi

Dum Dum teca ta, dum teca ta (teca)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8


Begin by holding hands in a circle:
Move to the right with the right hip leading BS LS *
16 Counts
Move to the left with the left hip leading BS LS * 16 Counts
Move inward start on right and alternate, 2 tension steps 16 Counts
Move backward, start on right and alternate, 2 tension steps.
Look over shoulder and swing hair as you go back
16 Counts
Dip/Side Undulation moving to the right.
Stamp foot on 16th count
16 Counts
Dip/Side Undulation moving to the left 16 Counts
Grapevine left over right, moving to the right.
Lift leg up as you turn to the left;
on 16th count vocally exclaim, “ Wee!”
16 Counts
Grapevine right over left , moving to the left. 16 Counts
Let go of hands and place on hips
Cross left leg over right stepping on 1. Do 2 Big Hip Circles
Bounce on heels as you also pivot in a complete circle towards your right.
16 Counts
You will end up at facing in position. bend over at the waist
Clasp hand again (bent over) walk forward,w/shoulder shimmy 8 Counts
Continue walk forward w/shoulder shimmy, straightening up 8 Counts
Raise hands overhead
Bend over and step backward w/shoulder shimmy,
moving diagonally to your backward right
16 Counts
Repeat Walk/shimmy IN. 16 Counts
Diagonally back out. 16 Counts
Start sequence over.



Dance arrangement notes:

Dancers gather in a circle and begin by holding hands.
For large groups (20-40), arrange the dancers so there is a circle within a circle.

When the dancers move inward with the shoulder shimmy and raise their arms, a soloist is birthed into the center of the circle. The soloist freestyles in the center for the duration of one complete dance cycle and when the circle of dancers come in towards her with the walking shoulder shimmy, she is reclaimed back into the group. When the dancers come back in for the second walking shoulder shimmy, they birth a new soloist into the center of the circle.

The order of the sequence of soloists is determined in advance. The first sequence has no soloist just empty space.

Ending: After the final soloist has finished, the group continues the walking shoulder shimmy sequence over and over again, zagareeting as they come in and building energy and excitement and even speeding up. When the volume of excitation is full, a consensus of the group mind is reached and the group breaks their hands free overhead . They remain at the center and shake their hands over head while zagareeting! This break in the cycle signals the band to do a drum roll to a final crescendo!
All jump up and end together.


*BS LS stands for “Big Stroke /Little Stroke” which is the name and the instruction for this movement. It denotes a swiveling pattern of one hip moving parallel to the floor with the down beat on the backward motion.







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