Introductory Blog – Your Instructor (#1)

My Very First Dabke Experience…

As an introductory blog, I would like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Samir Hasan, 28 years old out of Hamilton, Ontario. I am a Dabke instructor; or if you want to spell it as Dabka or Dabkah, which ever you feel like it. I train and lead a Dabke group called El-Awda that I started in 2012. I have so much passion to what I do; this is why I have this blog on. Let me tell you a shorty story of the very first time I was introduced to Dabke. ‘It all started when I was 6 years old while I was getting ready to go to a cultural show with my family. I heard my father mentioning that there will be a Dabke performance at the show. I froze for a second and this scenario happened in my brain: “What if the Dabke crew at the show asked me to go up on stage and perform with them? OR What if one of the dancers did not show up? They might need someone to replace him”. This is how a 6 year old boy interpreted a situation without any knowledge about Dabke. Though I knew what Dabke was by name, I never really used to know how to do it. I spent that night practicing random “Dabke” moves. What a motivational and determined start for a kid to learn Dabke. Just to give you an idea of what happened that night at the cultural show: I do not remember a thing! I guess that’s the only memory I carried with me until this day… Maybe I might have stepped on that stage at 6 years of age, or maybe not.

How It All Started…

Until this day, that memorable story is still running in my head, and the reason and goal behind it is very simple: I wanted to be ready when I get asked to do Dabke and not feel embarrassed not being able to do it or rejecting someone who’s asking me to join in. To fast forward time, and 7 years  after, I was involved in a local cultural Centre which is called “Ghiras”. I used to go to the Centre after school hours to play ping pong and to socialize. One day, I was hanging out with a friend of mine, and a group of people our age showed up to the Centre and started training for a Dabke show. The instructor of that group asked me and my friend to leave so that they could train. I told him NO! He said: I’m sorry? I replied: I want to watch. He asked me if I could do Dabke, and I told him no with a big “but I don’t mind learning”. The instructor then told me that he holds teaching lessons for 60 Shakels (Currency in Palestine). I told him I will be back shortly. Then I remember running back home, which was about 6 km away from the Centre. I got home and asked my mom for money. She asked “What for?” I told her “To learn Dabke”. Without hesitation she handed me the money and said “You go learn boy and make mama and everyone proud”. I went back to the Centre within an hour and asked the instructor to teach me. He smiled back at me and told me that lessons will start next week. I told him to show me something, show me a move and I won’t let you down. The very first move the instructor showed me was Wahda W Nus (One and a half in English). I literally copied the exact same move he did. He looked at me surprised and said “What the…?” He then asked me to attend the next training session with the group. I remember having the biggest smile on my face. This is when everything started in my Dabke career.

My Very First Dabke Performance in Bethlehem, Palestine.

My Very First Dabke Performance in Bethlehem, Palestine.

I Teach Dabke, I Dream Dabke, I Talk Dabke…

I teach Dabke, I dream Dabke, I talk Dabke, I eat Dabke… well not really, but Dabke goes with me everywhere I go even in the restroom. Let me let you out on a secret in my personal life! My favorite part of the day is when I shower. That is when me, Dabke, and myself meet privately. On the sound of Yarghoul, Shibabah, Mizmar (Dabke instruments well known in the Middle East), I spend hours enjoying the sounds of Dabke under hot water. I think I shared too much personal information on my intro blog :), but this is who I am. I will share with you my everyday experience with Dabke and its effects on my social and professional life and will guide you through my episodes with my students in my Dabke group. I will also share with you the good and bad, the ups and downs, and the sad and funny moments.

Follow Me And I Will Guide You To The Lights Of Dabke

El-Awda in action during the first photo shoot.

El-Awda in action during the first photo shoot.

To follow me on this blog you will need to provide your e-mail address below. No matter where you are in the world, my blog is open to anyone, male or female, child or elderly. Dabke is all about innovation, techniques, love and passion. These are not acquired through a simple Youtube search. Less than a handful of people in this world are willing to dedicated their time to teaching and sharing their knowledge about Dabke. My site www.dabketna.com and blog will provide you with everything you every wanted to know about Dabke. All you need to do is take 10 seconds of your time and join our team by clicking here You have nothing to lose. www.dabketna.com is for everyone who wants to learn and have the basic knowledge or even advance his or her Dabke techniques. This is the ONLY WEBSITE out there that can give you step by step instructions with tons of pictures and clips that will illustrate every move and can also be found in slow motion with different angles. Search anywhere, you will NOT find anything like this site. It is for you to learn and explore what Dabke is all about.

Below is one of the very first pictures taken for my students. These guys are the building blocks (DNA) of my Dabke group, the heart and soul of the beats. You all know it’s true!

My Dabke group after a show.

My Dabke group after a show.

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