Dabke Memorization

Another week of Dabke and a bunch of lessons learned.  This week  I truly understood how much each person counts on a Dabke team.  More recently, I’ve been been pressed with time and haven’t had a chance to follow my own advice which I discussed in the Dabke Training post here.  I spoke about methods that have been working for me which helped me learn Dabke moves quite fast. That worked very well.

My new problem is remembering multiple moves and multiple routines.  I’ve never really had a great short-term memory.  I’m sure some of that is genetic and some is attributed to having way too much fun when I was younger 😐  That’s said, I’m having to come up with my own ways to remember what to do like the following:


This is my least favorite.  Counting how many steps, how many moves etc.  If you can keep count it’s great and quite accurate.  However, lose concentration and you’ve lost the entire routine!  When I tried this and lost count I had a disastrous routine.

Setting Queues:

This one is by far my favorite.  What I do here is listen for specific queues in the song.  Maybe an extra beat, a weird instrument, a word, a singers tone.  There are a million queues you can listen to.  This way, when the queue comes up you can simply do the move.  If you mess up, it’s easy to recover as soon as you hear the next queue.  This way it’s less stressful.  However, it certainly has some cons.  If you cant properly hear the music it’s game over.  This could be due to bad equipment or even people being too loud at whatever party, wedding or show.  What if the crowd is into it and they’re clapping and singing along?  Disaster!  The other problem with this method is that it doesnt work with all songs.  If a song is very repetitive your are SOL.  It’s nearly impossible to listen for queues in a repetitive song because there are none!


Like I said earlier, I’m just not blessed with a great memory.  This is partially my fault and just a consequence of my current life style.  I have quite an involved job in IT having to answer hundreds of emails daily along with solving many problems and issues on the go.  This is followed by learning and training Dabke, Brazilian Jiujitsu, Weight-Lifting and some online businesses that I’m running.  After that it’s family time with young children, my wife and extended family.   All of these things result in very little sleep which is probably the number one negative impact on your memory.  I can only imagine how much worse I would be if I wasn’t active or had a good diet.  So if you have a bad memory, you might need to live a healthier lifestyle.  If you do have a great memory, your are game!  Get your Dabke on!!!

Drills and Repetition

This one by far in my personal opinion out weighs all of them.  I keep referring to Jiujitsu because it’s something that I train regularly, but I think it’s similar to Dabke because there are a million moves to learn and technique is very important.  One thing we do in Jiujitsu is Drills.  We drill a move over and over and over until you don’t even have to think about it.  It becomes something like Muscle memory.  In my opinion, this is probably the best method of all.  If you have a routine or a a few moves that you are having a hard time learning just drill them.  Do them over and over and over again until they just become natural like walking.  This is one thing I wish we did better on the current team.  Just keep doing the routine over and over without delay.  Drills are tough because they tire you out.  However, if you can pull a move off when you’re exhausted repeatedly, then imagine how good you would be when you’re fresh.

I’m sure the best way to remember your moves or routine would likely be a combination of the above techniques.  There is one thing that stands above all and it’s the key to all of these steps.  FUN.  That’s right, remember to keep having fun.  When you’re dancing Dabke you’re celebrating something so it’s always a good time.  If you forget to have fun, you forget everything else.

To end this post off, I just want to mention something that Samir and I have been working on.  It’s a surprise that we have for our readers and our followers about Dabke.  Many of our posts so far have been more geared around Dabke Theory.  Once we announce what we’ve been working on, we will post a lot more with regards to the practical side and specific how to techniques for Dabke.  Just like anything else, it helps to learn the theory before you jump in blindly.

People that have joined our mailing list here will be first in line when we announce what we’ve been working on.  They will also receive extra bonuses and special rates.  It will be too late once we make the announcement so don’t miss out.  Join us here now!


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