(also spelled Debke, Dabka, Dubki, Dabkeh, plural Dabkaat)
Dabke is a native folk dance performed in the Middle East; it is said to originate from when the houses were made with a clay or mud roof. Because the roof had to be replaced and the mud or clay needed to be compacted, people would often use their feet to stomp the mud/clay down and what’s better than 2 feet? LOTS OF FEET! Dabke dance evolved as a way to keep the hard work fun!
Dabke combines circle dance and line dancing and is widely performed at weddings and other joyous occasions. It’s a great to get your audience involved if you are a performer.
The line forms from right to left and leader heads the line, alternating between facing the audience and the other dancers. The leader will often have a hand on their hip or in the air, whilst the line hold hands, right over left.
Shimmy School held a day of workshops in August 2019, take a look at some of our dancers giving Dabke a go. Here you can see them at their starting position, stepping with the music and getting their rhythm. They start with the typical “step, Step Kick” footwork. They then move to hold the hands of their neighbors as they start to travel. As they travel, they add a bend and a dip and as they step, their left foot goes over their right.
In this second video, the chain separates. Splitting the line allows for smaller chains and is popular at weddings; this means the two lines can dance against each other. Our ladies here re-form the line and change their direction.
Dabke is a fun, energetic dance that we at Shimmy School absolutely love at the moment. If you want to see some more, here is a great video! We love to use Dabke as a way to include the audience to give them a taster! Here Shimmy School are at Langwith Village Show on 7th September doing a little bit of Dabke with the audience.