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Best Belly Dance Music

Belly Dance, Dance Music, Loreena Mckennitt, Tabla

Everyone knows belly dancing just isn’t belly dancing without the right beats to accompany those slinky, sexy moves. This list highlights more than 30 of Amazon.com’s top sellers and others that will be top sellers once the word gets out. The focus is on a well-rounded mix of both classics and modern belly dancing. Fans of world and ethnic music should appreciate the wild beats, insane drum solos, Middle Eastern flair and moods from high energy to slow and seductive.

New to belly dancing or have always been curious? Get up and try it – you may be surprised just how instinctive the dance really is. The list below has music that is sure to get you moving even if you’ve never belly danced a day in your life.

Sabla Tolo: Journeys into Pure Egyptian Percussion – Hossam Ramzy – (tribal/modern/classical belly dance) – When it comes to belly dance music, this CD is the undisputed king, right now. You will not find a better CD for belly dancing out there, as far as most of the reviewers on Amazon.com are concerned. Hossam Ramzy is internationally acclaimed for his talent and belly dancers all over the world can’t say enough good things about this music, including myself.
Favorite tracks: Entire CD!

Rhythm of the Dance – Solace – (tribal/modern/classical belly dance) – Solace had won a wide belly dancing audience for their amazing drum and bass, jungle, African and middle eastern-themed music. However, on a grander scale they are still relatively unknown. I’m taking a liberty with putting so many of their CDs on this list, but they’re really that good and a must-have for any belly dancer’s collection. This CD is full of strictly drum and bass and lush percussives great for listening for enjoyment or practicing your belly dancing moves to. If you already own Sabla Tolo, you will love this one. You can listen to full songs here.
Favorite tracks: Entire CD!

Ahsas – Solace(tribal/modern classical belly dance) – I don’t call any CD an essential very lightly, but you can consider Ahsas an essential. It’s one of the best belly dance albums out there that you may never have even heard of. The tempos are perfect and it contains a lush backdrop with elements that enhance your performance and the overall mood of the dance. You can listen to full songs here.
Favorite tracks: Solitude (the perfect music to whip a veil to), Khatar (an ultimate belly dance number), Exiled (a perfect expressive number for those slow moves), Kronos (an invitation to show off those serpentine moves), Redemption (great for a group dance), Opaque (a delightful hip-shaker for you to show off what you’ve got), Crimson (perfect tempo for creating intrigue with a veil)

ShaWaza – Solace(tribal/modern/classical belly dance) – Another of Solace’s remarkable albums combining all the elements that make belly dance so beautiful, mysterious, fun, and exciting. You can listen to full songs here.
Favorite tracks: Rebirth (you’ve never shimmied until you’ve shimmied to this song), Cybele (finger cymbals, anyone?), Two Gypsies (a perfect dance for dueling gypsies complete with finger cymbals), Serpentine (the perfect song to break out all the snake-like contortionism you can – beautiful, dangerous, and graceful), Ophelia’s Dance (a mid-tempo dance of seduction)

The Gathering Season – Solace – (tribal/modern/classical belly dance) – This Solace album has more mid-tempo tracks which makes it perfect for the beginner to intermediate belly dancer. It’s just fast enough to be challenging, but just slow enough to keep up while learning with all the same lovely detail and exoticism of other Solace albums. You can listen to full songs here.
Favorite Tracks: Paradise Lost (slow intro builds into pure drama and just keeps building, enthralling to the ear), Huda (reminds us of how cultural music is all connected in some way as bagpipe-like overtones zig and zag playfully over drums), The Sultan’s Dance (a playful, fun number to charm the most sullen Sultan), Eyes Like Cats, Harvest Moon, Hujayni

Tarkan – Tarkan – (pop/house belly dance) – Not only is his music hot, he’s hot as well and also provides vibrant, interesting, brilliant pop. Just when you I thought pop music was dead, I heard Tarkan. It’s not just that he’s speaking a language I don’t even understand, his voice is beautiful and his music is uplifting and varied from fun to sexy. Most importantly, it’s so much fun to dance to.
Favorite tracks: Simarik, Bu Gece (Kir Zincirlerini), Ölürüm Sana, Sikidim (Hepsi Senin Mi?)

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Arabic Groove – Various Artists – (Pop/hip-hop belly dance) – A fun and jaunty pop CD for modern belly dancers. Traditionalists might not care for this as much as many of the beats lean towards hip-hop and pop, but folks on Amazon.com sure liked it. It received 4.5 stars out of 40 customer reviews so far.
Favorite tracks: Moi Et Toi – Abdel Ali Slimani , Leiley (Transglobal Underground remix) – Dania, KiddaNatacha Atlas

Diaspora – Natacha Atlas – (pop belly dance) – Speaking of Natacha Atlas, Natacha continues to claim her throne as the princess of Arabic pop with this delightful CD. She throws hard-hitting beats, pop sweetness, exciting, adventurous, thumping romps together into a CD unlike anything a modern pop connoisseur has ever heard. A pleasing treat for the ear and for the belly dancer’s hips.
Favorite tracks: Fun Does Not Exist (Dolmus Mix), Yalla Chant

Arabesque – Various Artists – (pop/hip-hop/trip-hop belly dance) – A very popular compilation CD that focuses on everything from hip-hop to house to modern classics. Again, probably not for the palate of the traditional dancer unless they want to change things up and practice their art to a different type of music. It’s a good gateway drug into Arabic-flavored pop and modern belly dance, though. You can’t hear the tracks on Amazon, but you can hear them here.
Favorite tracks: Sirroco – Christopher Goze, Shashkin – Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Caravane – Radar, Desert Roots – Hamid Baroudi, Fever – Stereo MC’s

Putumayo Presents: Sahara Lounge Various Artists (pop belly dance) – Almost the chill-out sessions of Arabic music, but a decent little selection of music that seems to have won a following of belly dancers and non-belly dancers alike.
Favorite tracks: Dub4Me – Soap Kills, Cleopatra in New York (Zim Zam Mix) – Nickodemus

Immortal Egypt – Phil Thornton & Hossam Ramzy – (classic/tribal belly dance) – Very unique and enjoyable to listen to. Best for dancing more expressive belly dances and artistic numbers.
Favorite tracks: At the Gates of the Citadel, Emerald Minarets in a Sea of Stars, Sunrise Over Giza, Immortal Egypt

Galactic Caravan: Intergalactic Belly dance – (hip hop/trip-hop/tribal) – This CD has become hugely popular amongst belly dancing fans of modern music. It’s obvious why upon listening. Every track on the CD is fun with a great beat, Arabic flair, an unexpected elements. It’s nearly sci-fi belly dance. Some tracks might be hard to dance to, but the track also offers some of the best modern belly dance songs for the picky dancer.
Favorite tracks: Habeb, Soul Talk, Transceiver, Voice From the Moon, Ghib An Anynayya, Hanina, Oh Om. Nearly the whole CD.

Tribal Derivations – Beats Antique – (tribal/jazz fusion belly dance) – This, to me, is tribal/jazz fusion at its best. I favor this collection far more than the Pentaphobe collection, which I will also add to this list. This is some really interesting tribal with elements of jazz thrown in in ways that you would not expect. Truly a must-have for belly-dancing enthusiastic with a passion for the exotic. The music, itself is very dark, dramatic and show-off-ish. Fans of Rachel Brice will love this.
Favorite Tracks: Battle, Tabla Toy, Rabat, Derivation, Trinkit, Break Me, Relic

Belly dance Superstars I – Various artists – (classic/tribal/pop/house) – There is a reason that the Belly dance Superstars have reached the level of fame they have achieved. That is because they appreciate all types of belly dance and the compilation albums of music selected by the Belly dance Superstars goes to prove it. These compilations are great because there is a mix of every different type of Arabic-inspired belly dance music available, forcing dancers of all types to expand their horizons and try out different flavors of belly dance they may otherwise have steered clear of. Definitely one of the most popular Belly dance CDs out there.
Favorite Tracks: El Salam – Hakim, Warda – Warda, Ice Queen – Dinletir, Talakik – Hakim, Chicky – Oojami, Sahra Saidi – Gamal Gommas, Bitwannes Beek – Warda, Zeina – Mohamed Abdel Wahab, Esma Yalli – Hakim, Drum Solo – Suhaila Salimpour

Belly dance Superstars II – Various Artists – (classic/tribal/hip-hop/house) – The second collection from Belly dance Superstars doesn’t contain as many tracks as the first but became beloved among the crowd that bought the first for the same reasons. There are now five volumes of Belly dance Superstars music, but the first two volumes seem to be the ones everyone talks about.
Favorite Tracks: Entrance of the Stars – Paul Dinletir, Raks Bedeya – Ali Mohammed, Aahat – Wael Kfouri, Turbo Tabla 3 – Turbo Tabla, Wala Marra – Khaled Aggag, Dala’a El Helween – Ahmed Abdul Fattah

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Sa’Iyr a Tribal Metamorphosis (Dig) – Pentaphobe – (tribal belly dance) – All the exotic vibe of tribal you could ask for on one CD. It may be a little too dark and monotone for some, however, that prefer brighter sounds and more lively beats. The sound is dark, brooding, and gothic. Fans of Rachel Brice will love this one, as this was a collaboration of friends of hers to complement her dramatic belly dance routines.
Favorite Tracks: Cybelle [Just the Dark Bits Edit], Teltar Apredun, So Do Cerebral, Ms. Moody

The Book of Secrets – Loreena McKennitt – (classic/modern belly dance) – The music is not traditional belly dance, but the sound on more than a few of the songs are. Have you always loved the beats and sounds of the Middle East but preferred the lush, ethereal voices of Celtic music? Then this is definitely for you. It’s a fusion of two styles of music that you completely wouldn’t expect but it ends up being an intoxicating combination. Truly lovely.
Favorite Tracks: Prologue, The Mummer’s Dance, Marco Polo, Night Ride Across the Caucasus

Talakik – Hakim – (pop belly dance) – If you’ve ever heard of Spanish-singing Juanes, you will instantly be reminded of him when you hear Hakim. He sounds like a Middle Eastern version of Juanes. He has equally infectious pop tunes that run a pretty wide gamut in style. He’s been a belly dancing favorite and shows no signs of being dethroned anytime soon with a large number of tracks on the Belly dance Superstars CDs. You can buy his music on compiations, but if you’re a true fan of Hakim, you won’t be disappointed in this full-length CD.
Favorite Tracks: El Salam, Talakik

Turkish Belly dance: Desert Night Dance – Huseyin Turkmenler – (classic belly dance) – A collection of Turkish songs that have a good range of difficulty level from beginner to advanced with lots of detail for varied practice moves. Songs run in a more classical vein for traditionalists. Also makes wonderful performance numbers.
Favorite Tracks: Spoon Dance, All You Stars…, Dance Music From Nihavent

Belly Dance Fantasy – Veena & Neena – (classic belly dance)– If you can get your hands on this one, it’s a great buy. You get 21 tracks and so far, all reviewers have loved it. This CD is perfect for the performing belly dancer and includes track routines in shorter lengths to longer lengths. You can’t hear it on Amazon.com so I have linked to Circuit City, where you can hear clips here. Every track on it is great and it’s a definite must-have for lovers of classical belly dance. Lot of belly dancing for the buck.
Favorite Tracks: Tabla Plus Dynamic Drum Solo, Desert Sunrise Mystical Snake Music, Fog el Nakhel, Sultan Yegah Longa Anatolian Veil Dance (Slow to Fast), Bedouin’s Passion Egyptian Drum Solo, Zeina Egyptian Candelabra Dance, Badawiyya’s Teasing Drum Solo Variation With Belly Dance Music

Belly Dance! The Best of George Abdo and His Flames of Araby Orchestra – (classic belly dance) – George Abdo is another big name in Arabic music and this is a delightful compilation of Belly Dance music that you may just recognize upon listening. Sure to please lovers of classic belly dance.
Favorite Tracks: Ruh Tum bi Salama (Go In Peace), Ta Mavra Matia Sou (Your Black Eyes), Raks Araby (Arabic Dance), Allah, ya Lubnan (God, My Beautiful Lebanon), Raks Averof (Dance at the Averof), Rak’s Mustapha (Mustapha’s Dance: complete belly dance routine), Min Feegis (Don’t Leave Me)

Fire Dance – Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Brian Keane – (classic belly dance) – The music is a nice blend of traditional and modern but it would fit in nicely with the genres of fans of classic belly dance with beautiful, classy, new age rhythms, soundscapes and belly dancing beats. This is the music you would want to do a more gentle, graceful artistic number to. Not very many high-energy tracks here, but many elegant, beautiful pieces.
Favorite tracks: A Passage East, Village Song, Modern Mystics

The Belly and the Beat – Turbo Tabla – (hip-hop/techno/house/tribal belly dance) – Turbo Tabla has created quite the name on the belly dance scene by coming up with a blend of belly dance and techno/house that actually brings something to the table with unique belly dance music for fans of hip-hop and techno/house.
Favorite tracks: Turbo Tabla 4, Stonecutter, Irrouh, Indiarab, Zaarathustra

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Belly dance Breakbeats – Oojami – (house/techno/tribal belly dance) – Here is one for the advanced belly dancer with some beats that will challenge you to keep up. The beats are big and bad and on some tracks, interesting elements such as electric guitar are thrown into the mix. This is definitely the CD for the modern belly dancer who wants to sweat, show off what she’s got, and wants to break from traditional music to something new and edgier. It’s essentially club belly dance music.
Favorite tracks: Chicky, Urban Dervish, Sitare, Azize, Esrar, Palas, Tin Tin

Arabian Travels: A Six Degrees Collection – (House/techno/hip-hop belly dance) – For lovers of house and techno comes this eclectic mix of music and those who purchased this had good things to say on Amazon.
Favorite tracks: Just You & I – dZihan & Kamien, Indus Railway – Karsh Kale, Blue Turban – Arabic Breakbeats

Belly dance Overdrive – Turbo Tabla – (house/techno/hip-hop belly dance) – Reviews are mixed on this one. The techno/house vibe of belly dance isn’t pleasing to the palates of some, but nonetheless, these CDs seem to sell pretty well. Some out there like the fusion of house with belly dance. Turbo Tabla is one of the best known names out there for fusing Arabic music and house. It might not be ideal for performances, but it sure is fun to practice to.
Favorite Tracks – Lounge H.K.K, Dulab Rast, Turbo Tabla 3, Telegrafin Telleri, Mahbub, Shred, Longa Farafaza, Turbo Tabla 2

Best of Natacha Atlas – Natacha Atlas – (pop belly dance)- Britney Spears is to mainstream pop what Natacha Atlas is to Arabian pop. She is undisputedly the princess of Arabian pop and for good reason. Her Arabian-flavored pop music is addicting, pleasing to the ear and something you would want to listen to on and off the dance floor. Another one from Natacha that fans love for belly dancing.
Favorite Tracks: Leysh Nat’Arak, Mon Amie La Rose, Ezzay, Mistaneek, Yalla Chant, Fun Does Not Exist, I Put a Spell On You, Kidda, Amulet

Itneen: Tribal Dance/Tribal Drums – Helm – (tribal belly dance) – Much in the vein of Solace, these tribal drumbeat just dare you to keep your hips still. Amazing combination of drum and bass with cute, catchy song titles. If you love Solace or Hossam Ramzy, this is another one you may want to own.
Favorite tracks: Raqs Tabla, Sema’i Truckin’, Karachi Unplugged, Trippin’ on Istiklal

The Masters of Belly dance Music – Various Artists – (classic belly dance) – A very promising collection of classic belly dance music. There are some great compilations of the classics, but for some reason nobody is rating them, which could mean that nobody is buying them and that is even more sad. This is a great, well-versed little collection to own.
Favorite Tracks: Nagwa, Rakasni Ya Habibi, Sahra, Tamr Henna, Ala Warag Il Foull, Layali Al Sharq
Aziza Raks! The Passion of Belly dance- Various Artists (classic belly dance)- Very good compilation of the classics by several different orchestras. It’s hard to pick favorites on classics, but four reviews on Amazon.com all gave it five stars and are pleased with the diversity in the music.

Layali Al Sharq, Classical Egyptian Belly dance – Al Ahram Orchestra – (classic belly dance) – Again, another classics compilation. I simply had to add this CD just for the sweeping beauty of Layali al Sharq on this CD. Several other great tracks as well.
Favorite tracks: Saher Al Sharq Etneen, Zarmali Tabla, Sawraji Tabla, Layali al Sharq

Belly Dance Classics – Cairo Orchestra – (classic belly dance) – Perhaps one of of the better single CD classic collections with a taste of many of the most beloved belly dance classics.
Favorite tracks: Mashaal, Zikrayat Al Nay, Et Makhtari Ya Aroussa, Nazlah Al Sallallem, Tabla of Said, Zeina, Tabla Balady

Belly dance With Özel Türkbas: Alla Turca With Özel – Özel Türkbas – (classic belly dance) – I don’t know if I could forgive myself if I didn’t add in some classics from back when belly dance started becoming all the rage in the United States. Özel Türkbas was responsible for housewives everywhere to want to spice up their love lives by making their husbands sultans. Here’s some classic 60’s belly dance tracks.
Favorite Tracks: Ozel’s Belly dance Routine, Sultaniyegah Longa, Salla Salla, Deveci, Ud Ciftelli, Telgrafin Tellerine, Nihavent Longa

Happy shimmying!