Finger cymbals or zills, a tradititional musical instrument for Oriental dancers to play whilst dancing, can be used to accompany the music or accentuate your movements. Playing cymbals will also help improve your coordination and give your brain a good work out!

Dancing with zills adds a new element to your dance and helps your understanding of arabic rhythms….but how do you begin?

MEISSOUN is an internationally known dancer and teacher for Oriental dance and Bollywood dance from Switzerland. Her experience spans over 20 years of performances, workshops and other events all over Europe and the American continent. As a dancer MEISSOUN impresses with her gracefulness, expression and musicality - as a teacher with her clearly structured, well researched and good humoured classes......she is also very experienced at playing zills and kindly offered these 10 tips to ZeoT Zürich.

Here are 10 tips to get you started!

1.     Always practice on the move!

Don’t learn to play the zills whilst sitting down! Keep moving, even if it’s just walking around.

2.     Change your arm positions.

Place your arms in different positions, changing them from time to time.

3.     Buy good quality zills.

Don’t forget that zills are an instrument! Choose zills with a good sound.

4.     Don’t disturb your neighbours!

Use zill mufflers for practicing at home.

5.     Play around with different rhythms AND sounds.

For variety, use an open, bell-like sound and a clap.

6.     Become ambidextrous!

Train both hands equally.

7.     Slowly but surely!

To practice a pattern, start slowly and then increase speed

8.     Dance using familiar moves.

Use step or movement combinations that you know well and add your zill patterns to them.

9.     Find the zills for your thumbs easily.

The elastic on your thumbs is usually wider, so mark your thumb zills with a dot.

10.   Don’t be afraid to try it!

The best time to learn how to dance with zills is NOW!