|Nicolah bellydancing with a veil|
Another prop I like are the clinkedy clanky hand musical instruments, called the fingers cymbals (aka the zills or sagat). Known to originate in Ancient Greece and Egypt as an extension of dancers clapping their hands, the zills are still recognised today to be an enjoyable and melodic way of joining in the rhythms and beats of bellydance songs. Since being introduced to the zills myself in 2009, by Razia Star, an American bellydance teacher, I'm guilty of not using my zills enough and feel I should be using them a lot more in my dancing. This may be because the zills are not as commonly used in bellydance circles over here, compared to their more popular use in places like America, Turkey and Egypt. However, when I do get to see performances in London with dancers delicately zilling away with this shimmering metal prop in tune to the zill rhythm, I am blown away and feel inspired.
Using the veil, zills and other props in bellydance have made me a lot more conscious of how I position my arms and use my upper/lower body aiming for perfect 'lines' to carry myself with poise and grace with whilst dancing. This is why I recommend working with props every now and then, because they have made me change perspective at times to work on other things, which in turn helps improve my all round dancing, both with and without props.
Happy shimmies :)