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Video Credit: Creative Avenue Productions


The word Khaleegi (or Khaliji, Khaleegy) is not just a dance style but describes anything of the Persian Gulf culture it represents. It is a warm, inviting vibe that brings people together to groove and celebrate. 


Comprised of modern and folk movements representing the countries of the Persian Gulf: Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, each region has its own khaleegi rhythm, mostly 2/4 time signature.


This dance has a feminie, noble essence (men dance it too, but their version looks very different as they use rifles or swords). Characteristics focus on upper body movements, rhythmical hair sways and grounded, distinct footwork. Saudi Arabian style hand gestures come from aspects of the Bedouin and Nubian tribes. Costuming is a very important aspect of this style; dancers show off their beautifully embroidered thobe Nasha’al by dancing with the fabric as a prop, either as an apron or using the sleeves as veils/ hoods to frame their head movements. This dance is especially beautiful when performed in groups. 


Sources: Khadijah,  Mellilah, Ahlam Dance Theatre

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