Latifa - www.bintbeled.com - Millersville, MD/USA
Latifa - www.bintbeled.com - Millersville, MD/USA

... for many dance-fanatic women a reason to let the hair grow just that much longer. The impulsion generated with this type of feminine-jolly dance makes it necessary to use your own, long hair.

What you need for this dance in addition of a good sense of balance and a cervical spine that's without any fulat: endurance (especially in your calves), a good instructor and some frineds to practise with... as this dance is most effective when performed as a group. The energy thus being generated and the jolliness will infect all, spectators just as well as performers.

The names found for this dance vary a bit in their spelling. You'll find this dance spelled Khaleegy just as well as Khaleeji, Khaleji, Khalejee, Khalidji or Khaligi, but it's also called Saudi-Dance. Read about the why in the text hereinafter.

Enjoy reading - and maybe we'll meet during practice or whorkshops!

Your Sakkara-Team

Origins of Khaleegy dance:

Sakkara Katalog 2000
Sakkara Katalog 2000

Another synonym already hints at the origin: 
Khaleegy origins in the arab region of the Gulf nations. The name simply means gulfy, resp. belonging to the gulf. The Gulf nations - that are the countries of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates just as well as Qatar and parts of Saudi-Arabia and Southern Iran. In said regions themselves the dance is called by another denominatin, namely Raqs Na’ashat or Samri and is performed exclusively by women. During performance they wear a garment called Thobe. Reasons to show this type of dance used to be festivities like weddings.

Nowadays Khaleegy is experiencing an international rebirth and when checking Youtube you'll find more entries every day concerning this dance. Finally there are instructional DVDs available for Khaleegy... more times than not wome gather together to enjoy this lively dance style and to practice together as well as laugh hilariously together when - after completing some zippy turns and hair swinging - the dance figure is desintegrating because the participants stagger until re-orienting themselves with the perception of space. It's not as easy as it looks... turning at the same time as rotating your head definitely is not for sensitive stomachs.

Dress-up for Khaleegy: taken seriously, you'll were 2 dresses on top of another. The shift dress is more molded to the figure and made of a sturdier fabric than the top dress. The shift is not adorned with beading/embroidery and usually is worn in contrasting color to the top dress, thus enhancing the sheerness of the top dress and also to create nice color variations. 

The top dress is called Thobe; it's embroidered down the center and of extreme wide shoulder parts, also adorned at the hemlines. You really can't call this cut to be with sleeves, rather it's a wide slit in the square cut fabric. The Neckline also is beautifully enhanced with enchanting beading and yarn embroidery.  The Neckline also is beautifully enhanced with enchanting beading and yarn embroidery. Ideally the top shirt would be of sheer silk, but the present being what it is polyester has found its way into that dance, too.  It's one advantage is that this polyester fabric usually is not translucent, so that you don't really need to wear a shift if you don't want to.  

Rhythme / dance figures
A hobble step is used as basis for this 2-count rhythme. That's all there is needed to create alively dance tune that all spectators will gladly support by clapping their hands and/or tapping their feet. And when just one women of the crowd gets up to start dancing, she's usually not left alone for long. Line and circle figures create themselves almost without planning.

The top dress not only is required to be very wide, but - according to our cultural background - it's also way too long. Which means that at least one hand is constantly trying to lift the hem of the dress some, so that you don't step on it while dancing. The results thereof are sassy dance poses, as this very wide and long dress helps you to play hide and seek with your audience. The hand vibrates with wide-spread fingers at the arm stretched out to the side - sometimes the hand hints at holding the right nostril closed. That particular dance move dates back from pearl divers and of course it's always the right hand, as the left is considered impure.

If the original garments are too costly....

.... then you may try looking in the internet for sheer chiffon sari and sew a Thobe with them. Patterns can be found aplenty in the internet, even though most tend to be in English. But the pictures are self-explanatory and easy to follow.

Our best wishes for the industrious seamstresses!