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PHOTO CREDIT: Above photo by John Rickman Photography, San Jose, California.

Belly Dance Spins Without Vomiting


By Saqra



Does spinning make you or your belly dancing students throw up? Here are some ideas that can help!

First, remember that your audience sees you as a stationary object when you are spinning, so treat every spin as if you are standing still. While the spin is in progress, do a full pose with suck-tuck-lift as needed, and make sure your arms are posed attractively.

How to Prevent Nausea

Now, let's look at how to prevent nausea when spinning.

Different people find that different things help them reduce the motion sickness that comes with spinning. Therefore, if one of the ideas below doesn't fix the problem, then try the next one!

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Keith Darkchilde.


This can be in the form of crystalized ginger, ginger tea, or any other form that contains enough ginger to prevent vomiting. Yay! Vomiting is hard to effectively incorporate into your belly dance routine.


Wear an elastic wristband with a small, hard object about the size of a pea. Place the band so that the hard object applies pressure on the middle of the arm on the underside of the wrist, about 2 inches up from the very bottom of the hand. These are available from numerous companies, and they can be decorated to match a costume. Evidence of the effectiveness of this type of wristband is anecdotal, but I've had some students find this method to be very successful.



The purpose of spotting while turning is to reduce the spinning visual input that makes some people ill. Look at your own face in the mirror, then turn your body until you can no longer maintain looking at your own face. Then (important) stop turning, and bring your head around as fast as possible until you can see your face again. Then continue on around with your body. Practice until you can do this smoothly without the stop.

Dervish-Style Spotting

As you begin to turn, look at your hand. Bring your hand in toward your face until you can imagine your focus shifting to a point about 1 inch behind your eyes.


The more you actually practice spinning, the more tolerance you develop for the motion.

Directional Changes

When planning a belly dance choreography, incorporate direction changes into the turns. This affects the direction that the fluid in the ears is spinning, which in turn can reduce the cumulative irritation that seems to form when you always turn in the same direction.

Emergency Brake

If you are turning in one direction and start to feel ill, if you snap one really quick spin in the opposite direction it will stop the fluid in your ears from spinning at that moment. You will immediately feel better.


An aggressive heel bounce shimmy will do the same thing as the emergency brake. Plus, teachers who end belly dance class with a 5-minute shimmy drill will enable their students to walk out of the class feeling completely normal. Nobody wants to come back to a teacher that left them feeling sick at the end of class!

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California.


Closing Thoughts

Spinning is useful. Therefore, improving it in yourself or your students can really help bring more dimension into belly dancing.

Your mileage may vary....
your mileage may vary....
your mileage may vary....
your mileage may vary...




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About the Author

Saqra (Seattle, Washington, USA) is a powerful dance artist and a master instructor. Her fluidity, grace, and technical skill is highlighted by her friendly demeanor and clear joy of the dance. She did not inherit the diva gene.

Saqra won titles in Belly Dance USA (Oregon), Belly Dancer of the Year (California), Belly Dancer of the Universe (California), Wiggles of the West (Nevada), and many other competitions. She was voted "Best Kept Secret of 2005" and "Instructor of the Year 2008" by readers of Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra's journey in this dance form began in 1977 and has led her to study with many of the best dancers in the world, including in America, Canada, Turkey and Egypt. Saqra continues to travel and study both in the USA and abroad and prides herself on proper research for anything she teaches. Folklore, fakelore, and stage creativity: all three are valuable, and Saqra clearly presents for each what they actually are. Saqra is constantly expanding her expertise in the traditional ethnic forms of the dance, the modern stage variants, and the continuing evolving fusion techniques, all these areas combined keep her material fresh and current.

Saqra is widely known as an event promoter, musician, music and instructional video producer, and a registered hypnotherapist in the state of Washington. That is enough stuff to start explaining what she has been doing in belly dance since 1977. Visit her at

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Michael Baxter, Santa Clara, California. In the photo, Saqra is holding her Teacher of the Year 2008 Award from Zaghareet Magazine.

Saqra with Award



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