Now Available...

Volume III: More Shapes, Patterns and Layers of Zanbaka's Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer Book Series!

Volume I: Foundations, $45 + Shipping
Volume II: Shapes, Patterns, and Layers, $45 + Shipping
Volume II: Shapes, Patterns, and Layers, $45 + Shipping
Volumes I & II, $85.00 + Shipping
Volumes I, II, & III, $120.00 + Shipping

Copies of all three Volumes are now available and you can arrange to pick one up from me in class or conveniently order online through or this website (see links below). Bulk discounts available for vendors and instructors. Questions? Email me at  Please note that customs fees may apply to orders outside the United States.

US Orders, Volume I, $45.00 + $5.50 Shipping
US Orders, Volume II, $45.00 + $5.50 Shipping
US Orders, Volume III, $45.00 + $5.50 Shipping
US Orders, Both Volumes I and II, $85.00 + $5.50 Shipping
US Orders, All Three Volumes, $120.00 + $5.50 Shipping
Canada/Mexico Orders, Volume I, $45.00 + $9.00 Shipping
Canada/Mexico Orders, Volume II, $45.00 + $9.00 Shipping
Canada/Mexico Orders, Volume III, $45.00 + $9.00 Shipping
Canada/Mexico Orders, Both Volumes I and II, $85.00 + $9.00 Shipping
Canada/Mexico Orders, All Three Volumes, $120.00 + $9.00 Shipping
International Orders, Volume I, $45.00 + $12.00 Shipping
International Orders, Volume II, $45.00 + $12.00 Shipping
International Orders, Volume III, $45.00 + $12.00 Shipping
International Orders, Both Volumes I and II, $85.00 + $12.00 Shipping
International Orders, All Three Volumes, $120.00 + $12.00 Shipping


Please read on for more info, preview pages, and reader feedback...

Volume III: More Shapes, Patterns, and Layers  Zanbaka's third volume of Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer continues to close the gap between various styles of Bellydance. More Shapes, Patterns, and Layers includes over 180 pages (Trade Paperback, 7.5 x 9.25 page dimensions) with over 70 black and white photos, graphics, and illustrations.

      Building on the concepts and movements presented in previous volumes, the content of Volume III includes:

::: More Shimmies and Complex Explorations
     with the "Layering Table" from Volume II

::: More Rhythms, Palmas, & Finger Cymbals Patterns...
      branching out into 6/8, 9/8, & 10/8 Rhythms

::: Acapella Finger Cymbal Drill and Exercises
     for Finger Cymbals with Movements

::: More Percussive and Smooth shapes
     for Advanced Technique 

::: New Concepts for Creating Combos

::: More Foot Patterns and Intricate
     Traveling Steps with Layers

::: More Hand, Arm, Wrist, Head, Ribcage,
     Abdominal, Hip, and Full Body Isolations.

::: Expanding Arm Series and Turn Vocabulary
     with New Variations

::: Ten Practice Sessions for Advanced Level Technique

Preview Pages (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader):  Table of Contents  Pages 34/35  Pages 66/67  Pages 90/91  Pages 106/107  


Volume II: Shapes, Patterns, and Layers  Zanbaka's second volume of Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer continues to close the gap between various styles of Bellydance! Shapes, Patterns, and Layers includes over 180 pages (Trade Paperback, 7.5 x 9.25 page dimensions) with over 200 black & white photos/illustrations.

Building on the concepts and movements presented in Foundations, here's what is in store for Volume II: Shapes, Patterns, & Layers...

::: Building more dance vocabulary with style awareness, but not restriction
::: More Rhythms and Finger Cymbals Patterns
::: More Percussive and Smooth shapes for Continuing Technique

::: Expanding into Directions and 'Directionals' that encompass intermediary
    positions between the four basics covered in Foundations
::: More Foot Patterns, Turns, Arm Series, and Shimmies
::: More Hand, Arm, Wrist, Head, Ribcage, Abdominal, and Hip Isolations
::: Layering Technique and Table Charts for Layering and Transitions
::: Intro to Shorthand Notation for taking your own notes during practice, classes, and workshops
::: Ten Practice Sessions for Continuing Level Technique

Preview Pages (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader):  Table of Contents  Pages 51/52  Pages 66/67  Pages 98/99  Pages 134/135  


Volume I: Foundations  Originally intended as a handbook for her students, Zanbaka's first volume of Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer closes the gap between various styles of Bellydance. Volume I: Foundations provides a thorough overview of technique and dance theory, with emphasis on developing the "Dancing Mind". It creates a strong spring board, preparing students for a well-rounded journey throughout the world of Bellydance. Foundations includes over 190 pages (Trade Paperback, 7.5 x 9.25 page dimensions), with over 170 black & white photos/illustrations, insights and tips for technique, and ten practice sessions.

Content addresses:

::: Injury Prevention
::: Safe Movement Practices
::: Concept Groups for Isolation Technique
::: Learning Styles
::: Imagery and Visualizations
::: Mapping out the Bellydance Body
::: Neutral Posture Alignment
::: Core Originated Isolations
::: Insights and Tips for Technique
::: Rhythms and Finger Cymbals
::: Ten Practice Sessions

Preview Pages (Viewable with Adobe Acrobat Reader):  Table of Contents  Page 18  Page 23  Page 49  Page 63  Page 74  Page 126  Page 129  Page 133


A must have for understanding/developing skills.
This book is the most comprehensive dance guide for Middle Eastern/Bellydancers I have ever seen. By using photos, geometric diagrams, and visual comparisons of posture, the author, a well known dancer herself, has organized all the essential movement techniques in a format that is especially beneficial for the visual learner. Also included are easy to understand chapters on middle eastern rhythms and playing zills. I have never read a how to-bellydance book this valuable before-I only wish it had been available to me 30 years ago when I started dancing. I look forward to upcoming volumes.

What a treasure!!!!
This book is the most complete, comprehensive collection about the elements of belly dance - applicable to any style. It's detailed about body positioning, showing the proper alignment of the body in different movements as well as what to avoid to prevent injury. I agree that it certainly does not take the place of consistently working with a qualified instructor, but as a meaty practice companion - its top rate! I too wish I had this when starting out, (I've been searching for a book like this since I started dancing, nearly 3 years ago) - but I'm so glad I now have it now!! Its worth every penny - thank you, Zanbaka for providing a terrific resource!

What a brave, intelligent, and genius undertaking! I’ve read it 3 times already and it’s completely changed how I dance and teach my classes. IMO, this is the closest thing the belly dance community has to a “textbook”. It’s modern, unbiased to style, and includes fitness common sense which lots of classes and workshops that I’ve taken lack. A leg driven, glute driven, and oblique driven shimmy all in the same place? And that’s only 3 of the shimmies covered. Zanbaka, I think your book is going to put so much of the quarreling over styles and how to do bellydance moves to rest. I’m crossing my fingers that you get sought out by a publisher and look forward to the next installment!

I got the book yesterday...
and it is GREAT! I'm a beginner dancer and I think it will be very helpful to me in structuring my practice  sessions and as a complement to my classes. The illustrations are great.

Volume I : Foundations-- Very thorough!
I was very excited to see a new book come out on the market that discusses belly dance, especially in the manner in which Zanbaka does here. Here we find an intelligent and technically rich volume with great definitions and resources for your own personal practice, as well as a great handbook to refer to when making lesson plans as an instructor. CERTAINLY this book does not replace instruction, as Zanbaka states clearly, however if you are looking for a book with many movement concepts to wrap your head around, inside and out, for both your practice and your students', here it is! Well done! Can't wait for the next Volume(s)!!! :)

I am hooked...
on the fundamentals and perceptions in these books! Step-by-step instructions that take you to a new level of "oh that makes it so much easier" attitude. I have read this book and made my own notes in it over and over. I love the complexity of how simple it is to dissect a move and how to relay that to my students. I also purchased Volume II and am reading this one before bedtime and making my little notes! A must have for any level of dancer.

I purchased Zanbaka's book...
“Bellydance for the Versatile Dancer Volume I: Foundations” of her instructional book on belly dance and I have to say I am EXTREMELY happy that I did. It was very much worth the money. It has such valuable information and detailed instructions that I have not found in any other book. I have purchased two other books on belly dance and let me tell you, Zanbaka's book will always be recommended by me to teachers, aspiring bellydancers, and professional bellydancers alike. She gives pictures to even demonstrate proper forms and techniques. I commend her for the time she has taken to write these books for us that will be added to your awesome book collections. You will love it; it is truly well worth the money.

Where to begin...
This book boggles the mind, and in a very good way! Not intended for any particular style of bellydance, any instructor and/or student can benefit greatly from this wonderfully structured presentation. Zanbaka starts out by introducing the concept of the book, and the series (which will have 7 volumes). She is a proponent of using all learning styles to convey information. The book is meant to be the mental, rational companion of a very physical activity. Zanbaka is a firm believer in first learning high quality technique and isolations before adding stylistic elements, which is why this book is a must for anyone wishing to have a bellydance workbook.
    Zanbaka includes a 'how to use this book' section, a brief history and styles, an introduction to learning styles (she defines ten styles), naming conventions of moves and a way to accurately refer to each move. She maps out the bellydance body, showing the regions and individual muscles that come into play during bellydance. Next, she moves on to injury prevention and a unique perspective on stretching and warming up. Posture and balance are addressed, with a simple technique to assure your pelvis is in neutral position. Next, three standard bellydance rhythms are broken down and a basic counting lesson is given. A practice structure follows, showing the advantages of each practice section.
    Zanbaka then explains how to verbally orient yourself in the physical world. This is extremely helpful and eliminates the need for phrases like: 'your right' or 'stage right'. Foot positions, basic levels and foot patterns are defined and discussed next. We move on to the two warm up phases. The first phase is a 'get your body going' kind of warm up and the second one includes light stretching and toning. Several basic turns are discussed next.
    Zanbaka moves on to isolations, which includes positioning, degrees, contradictory movement, shimmy, shape making, percussive/smooth, undulation and layering concepts. After digesting these concepts, isolations are presented for each region of the body, which include: head, shoulder, hand, wrist, arm, ribcage, abdominal and hip isolations. Greater attention is then paid to shimmies by going into more detail and showing how shimmies can be powered differently.
    Flamenco clapping (palmas) and finger cymbals are introduced, followed by a two-phase cool down. Deep stretching is introduced. A brief discussion of transitions closes the instructional part of the book. At the end of the book, there is a 10 Practice Sessions outline, a closing which includes developing presence, gaining constructive feedback and corrections, and raising the bar for bellydance. A bibliography and index are included at the end.
    All of this is written in clear, concise and well-defined language. This book is the bridge that has been needed for bellydance students and instructors everywhere. I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's only 195 pages long, and it has over 170 illustrations and photos, but it is so packed with information, you will refer to it again and again, whether you are a beginner, a seasoned performer, a student, or an instructor. Well worth the price. It goes on the shelf next to "The Tribal Bible".
    This volume will be followed with: II. Shapes, Patterns & Layers, III. More Shapes, Patterns & Layers, IV. History, Styles, & Fusion w/ Fortitude (w/ guest writers), V. Floorwork, Veilwork, Props & Dangerous Diversions, VI. Choreography & Free Form Improvisation, VII. Zanbaka's Repertoire for Tribal Group Improvisation.

To be notified of upcoming releases, new reviews, pre-order discounts, and to receive sneak previews of future volumes, contact Zanbaka.