Suhaila's Percussion Show 1997

Suhaila Salimpour and the Suhaila Dance Company performing Suhaila’s Percussion Show at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire in 1997. The production features original versions of several choreographies including Suhaila’s well known Renaissance Sword choreography.

Choreography and Music Arrangment by Suhaila Salimpour
Suhaila’s drum Solo Composed by Ziad Islambouli.
Copyright 1997 Suhaila International LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Show History

The creation of Suhaila’s Percussion Show resulted from several factors coming together at the right time.  From the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s, Suhaila performed as a professional belly dancer in night clubs in the Middle East and States.  During this time, she also continued her dance and performing arts education and attended a wide variety of shows from various performing arts.    She saw one such show by STOMP, live in 1995, that immediately inspired her. The STOMP show concept had an obvious connection to Suhaila’s previous performance experience.  Suhaila had performed a tap dance and clave routine with chair as a young teenager, an act that she reproduced with acclaim when she performed professionally in Lebanon, incorporating belly dance.  She imagined developing a full show for belly dance where the dancers accompanied themselves with finger cymbals, drums, tambourines, and more.

Around 1996, Suhaila semi-retired from her nightclub performing and returned to the Bay Area for her primary residence.  Kevin Patterson (son of Ron and Phyllis Patterson, the originators of Renaissance Faires where Bal Anat began) was now producing the Faire and contacted Suhaila about performing at the event with a troupe of dancers under her direction.  Suhaila said she could create a show,  and Kevin inquired about what they would do about musicians or music.  Realizing this would be the perfect opportunity to create a STOMP-like show, Suhaila determined that the dancers would accompany themselves.  The outcome of that decision was Suhaila’s iconic percussion show.

Show Line-Up

  • The dancers enter from the audience with a Drum Dance Entrance, later joined by Suhaila who enters from backstage.
  • The Renaissance Faire Sword choreography was inspired by martial arts.
  • The Cymbal Dance in this show is a slightly different version than what is seen in the 1999 show.
  • The Cane Dance is Suhaila’s choreography also used for Bal Anat.
  • The dancers join Suhaila at the end of her solo with the Drum Dance, which serves as the show finale and exit.  The Drum Dance entrance, finale, and exit are later integrated into a single piece as seen in the 1999 show.


See also the 1999 Percussion Show for an evolution of the show.


Learn a Percussion Show choreography; available by subscription in the PPV section of the Salimpour School Online:

  • The Cymbal Dance
  • Renaissance Faire Sword
  • Cane Dance