Dance Notation


New member
Has anyone tried any Dance Notation systems? And if so,
did you find it effective for capturing the choreography?

I just ordered one of the books by Sutton Movement system,
and I am interested to see what the learning curve is before
I can start using it to document dances.

If you have used this or any other system, please tell us
about your experience...



New member
I didn't even know formal notation systems even existed! I have made up my own using words, stick figures, arrows, and numbers. While it's useful to me I'm not sure if anyone else could make heads or tails of it. Are you most interested in making notes for yourself or for others? If I'm at a seminar I'll make quick notes and review them later. I add clarification or details later if I need them, but at the time it's just the basic info.


New member
I've tried a few different notation systems, but, for me, I didn't find them easily adaptable to belly dance movements. Let us know how it goes!


New member
HI Andrea,
I am interested in taking notes for myself. There are a few formal systems used in
ballet, I was interested in something more user friendly.

I came across the Sutton Movement system and it looks reasonable to learn.
I'll let you know more when I get the book which is Dance Writing. That is a
more detail transcription. She also has a Shorthand system for taking notes, then
you convert it to the Dance Writing.

Looked interesting, so I am giving it a try!

Here is the link===

DanceWriting: Read and Write Dance

Amanda (was Aziyade)

Well-known member
This looks interesting -- thanks!

I took a class in Labanotation but I don't think it really applied to belly dance very well.

Suhaila has a notation system that sort of works, although it's very cumbersome and doesn't cover arm positions and arm paths very well. Still, if you know the "language" you can very easily decipher an entire choreography written in it.


So far I've used advanced stick figures to illustrate my choregraphies, and by first glance it looks like this system is taking it one step further.
It looks interesting, and I certainly need to take a closer look at it.
Thanks for the link.


New member
Just an update. I received the books for the Dance Writing/Shorthand
and they are very comprehensive. I am glad I ordered them.

Now, I need to dive in and read, study and work with them...

And....I will be back with another update...;)