Hello Dabke friends!
Last week I mentioned that I was going to attend a wedding on Saturday and was thinking about doing some Dabke. I made two BIG mistakes.
It has been a while since I’ve done Dabke. In fact, it has been close to 1.5 years.
I stopped around the time my father got very sick and never looked back after he passed away last September. I did continue to help Samir teach though.
My father was one of my biggest fans and reasons for learning Dabke to begin with.
So Saturday came and people starting pouring into the wedding hall on what we all call “Arab Time”. Approx 1-2 hours AFTER the time specified on the invitation.
The wedding itself was between a Lebanese/Palestinian Female and an Egyptian Male.
Both of them were glowing and looked beautiful and everything seemed to be going great.
There was a lot of Tabla / Durbake play for the Egyptians. It was actually quite nice because you could really here the African influence in there.
A few guys in attendance were previous members of Elawda, a Dabke team I was a part of previously.
We took count and there were five of us there. Enough to do some good Dabke but we were missing our leader SAMIR!
I had just recently finished putting together the Dabke Leadership program with Samir so I had the confidence to lead but I was very rusty.
Nevertheless, one of the guys requested “Dahdoonik” and the Dabke started.
There were NO GUYS on the dance floor! However, I would say at least 30 women had formed a line within minutes! Well done ladies!
If guys don’t start stepping it up and learning, this is going to turn into a female only dance because we’re seeing less and less males doing Dabke at every wedding.
They are either shy or they don’t know how. Both of these issues can be resolved via our Dabke101 program and our upcoming Dabke Leader program.
I grab one friend, pull my brother in (who learned with Samir and I), another guy joins and that’s it, oh and a very brave little kid joined in too. The other Dabke guys had already left.
We tried to get on to the dance floor and we couldnt. The women had formed such a big line you had to wait a few minutes for a space to enter through lol.
Once we got in I started leading the line and applying some of what I learned in the Dabke Leader program right away. This was my first time leading a Dabke line at a wedding without Samir next to me for support.
I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous but because of the program I had enough confidence to trust in my ability to lead even though I was rusty.
I called out some moves and the guys in the line followed. It was amazing! I knew when to call the moves, when to change them, when to speed up and slow down etc. All of this is covered in our new program.
It was great to take it for a test run.
My first mistake was when I added some “advanced” moves in that the other guys were not ready for and I didnt detach from the line as the leader. Again, this is something that is covered in the program but slipped my mind. What happened here is the line lost it’s synchronization.
I had to use a method called “blocking” to slow the line down and get it back on track. The Leader program saved me here.
My second mistake, was TOTALLY FORGETTING ABOUT THE GROOM! Thank God one of the guys realized and grabbed him. We put him at the leader position and coached him to do some simple dalona. This was his night and you can tell he was having a great time.
My father always pushed me to join the Dabke lines at weddings when he was alive. He would watch me with such joy in his eyes whenever I joined the back of the line even though I had no idea what I was doing back then.
I wished he was alive to see me lead the line and I hope I made him proud.
This is your chance to learn and your chance to help others learn.
Samir & Youssef