Dabke is an energetic group dance native to the Levant.
According to folk stories, the dance originated in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, and Palestine where houses were built from stone and roofs made of wood, straw, and dirt.
The dirt roof had to be compacted. This required builders and villages to get together and stomp the roof to a constant beat in what is referred to in Arabic as ta'awon (cooperation) or awneh, meaning 'help', which ultimately gave rise to the folk song Ala Dalouna (Arabic: على دلعونا), roughly translated, "Let's go and help".
The dabke and the rhythmic songs keep the work fun and consistent. It's about cooperation, community and celebrating life and widely performed at weddings and other festive occasions.
Throughout the years, the folk dance has evolved, and so have its fans.
Here are just a few samples of dabke dancers you'll surely encounter at a wedding or two.
1. There's the shy one ... at first
Beware of the quiet ones they say?
This one will give off a nonchalant vibe before joining the dance in full force!
2. The one who tries too hard!
3. The deliciously handsome confident one who'll make all the ladies swoon
He warned you, we warned you, but you insisted on dragging him onto the dance floor.
4. The dabke enthusiast who takes his favorite dance everywhere ... literally
5. The one begging for dabke to burn off those extra calories
6. Not to mention the one who can't help but throw a party
Putting all of his friends to shame as well.
7. Egyptians doing dabke be like
This is why you need to take it easy on us, William.