Activity (4): Read the text quickly. With your partner,

Dabka Dance in Palestine

A-_____________________ Dabke is a Levantine folk dance, which means it originated from a region in the Middle East. Once better roof-making technology was available, the story of their work dance/song was passed on through generations to remind them of the importance of family, community, and tradition. 

B-_____________________ Learn Dabke Dance in Palestine: Dabke is an Arab folk dance that showcases Palestinian culture and heritage. This traditional dance, which has been performed for thousands of years, continues to be taught, performed, and enjoyed today. Dabke is a central piece of Palestinian culture, so most people in Palestine make sure not to miss this beautiful expression of Palestine.  

What is Dabke? Dabke is a traditional Palestinian folk dance that melds together aspects of line dancing and circle dancing. The style loosely resembles tap dancing, but it focuses primarily on high jumps and stomps instead of the dancers’ heels. In this collective dance, dancers stomp their feet and leap excitedly to music created for this purpose.

C-_____________________ Although Dabka is performed across the Levant, it has special significance in Palestine, where celebrating Palestinian culture and customs is particularly important. Variations of Dabka are also performed in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Hatay, and Northern Saudi Arabia. According to tradition, Palestinian dabke dance dates back to the Canaanite and Phoenician periods. Apparently, this dance began as an imitation of communal house building. In these ancient Canaanite communities, houses were made of stone with roofs made of wood, straw, and dirt. In order to construct a new house, the entire village congregated to stomp the dirt, compacting it evenly into a strong roof. This dance, which is steeped in symbolism, tells the story of a striving, but persistent and united community.

D-_____________________ Today, the tradition of Dabka dance continues. This dance has been passed down from generation to generation, weaving together history, culture, and creative expression. Dabka dance has become a symbol of Palestinian music, culture, and heritage. This dance is often performed at Arab weddings, festivals, ceremonies, and other special occasions. Dabkeh is a beautiful and highly coordinated dance that requires a great deal of training and skill to master. In the city of Hebron, there are special centers that teach this traditional Palestinian dance. Specialized teachers also teach Dabkeh in villages outside Hebron.