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Choosing zils

“If you’re not using zils then you’re not dancing FatChance®” style belly dance

Carolena Nericcio

Zils (finger cymbals) are an integral part of the FatChance®style costume and are introduced in week 3 of Tribal Basics and you will need to buy your own.

So what are the best zils?

Well, the best zils are the ones you actually play – they are no good stuck in the pretty bag they arrived in, you have to take them out and practise. It doesn’t matter what size or colour they are, whether they match or are mismatched – the important thing is to wear them and play them.

They are worn on the middle finger and thumb of each hand – so you’ll need 4.

We only play them when we dance the fast steps but we wear them all the time.

Buying zils (finger cymbals)

Look for zils with two slots for the elastic to thread through as these are more stable on your fingers than the ones with only one hole which tend to slip around

The best zils are Saroyan zils which sound beautiful but can be a little expensive. There is no need to spend a lot of money but you will get what you pay for

Most students will find a 2 1/4″ zil comfortable and easy to use. Then at a later stage you can upgrade to a larger 2 3/4″ zil

Bozenka’s Helpful Hint : use nude coloured elastic – old bra straps work well

Playing the basic pattern


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