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Shaabi, which in Arabic means ‘of the people,’ is a popular genre of party music in Egypt. The songs are often light-hearted, with lyrics revolving around everyday life. The relaxed, casual feel of shaabi music translates directly into shaabi dance: As a dance genre, shaabi is a social dance that was brought onto stage by belly dancers who wanted to add the popular shaabi music to their shows. The performance version of shaabi dance is usually improvised and very open in terms of dance vocabulary. At the same time, there are many steps, stylings, and variations of technique that are firmly associated with shaabi.
In Shaabi Dance – Technique and Combinations, Shahrzad first introduces a range of dance moves that have this recognizable shaabi look and feel. Many of these steps are variations of classic belly dance moves styled to look casual, organic, and easy, which takes them outside the realm of Oriental Dance/classic bellydance which commonly feature precision of control and tight isolations. Shahrzad explains all the elements of technique and styling in detail and leads a practice of each move.
In the Combinations section Shahrzad teaches 8 shaabi dance combinations varying in length and complexity. The combinations feature typical shaabi dance hipwork, footwork, styling and sequencing. Shahrzad shares tips for capturing the authentic feel of shaabi dance by following its musical texture and tuning in to its emotional message.
The Choreography section offers step-by-step breakdown and practice of Shahrzad’s Shaabi Practice Choreography. This is a series of combinations demonstrating ways to weave shaabi steps into sequences that respond to and interact with the melody and lyrics of a shaabi song.