ADC will be having its annual convention this weekend. When I think of the ADC convention, I think of all the great speakers. I also remember their dance parties where many young and old Arabs flaunt their moves and get their groove on, often in hope of finding a mate. I reflected back on those dance parties and other dance parties that involve a substantial number of dancing Arabs. There are many signs you are at an Arabic dance party. From the field research I conducted, I discovered the 18 essential markers that scream “Arabic Dance party”:
1. The first guy to volunteer to start up the dance is a middle-aged, mustached, bald man wearing a Hawaiian shirt. I do not care where you are or whether it is a wedding or a social mixer. This random bald guy will mysteriously show up and jumpstart your party.
2. Arabs like foreign objects. Swords, daggers, sticks, canes and candles are all items that make a guest appearance at Arabic dance parties. Old, young, male or female, they will pick up their prop and swing it at your dance. Join in at your own risk and watch your head.
3. Kaffya may symbolize the resistance and struggle of a people, but on the dance floor no one resists the idea of wrapping that colorful scarf around their waist or head to improve your dance floors’ reputation. Like we just got back from a Lebanon rally, let’s put those scarves to good use. I am sure wanting attention has nothing to do with utilizing those scarves.
4. Arabs seldom dance as couples; it is mainly a solo act or with a friend. If a guy dances passionately with a girl, she is his first cousin; if they are really intimate and into it, then they are siblings. But not to panic, we’re not judging.
5. Arabic dances are more democratic—everyone is welcome to dance. The fatter you are the, sexier your moves will look. Tall and small, young and old, straight or not they can also look good moving those hips—and as we know hips do not lie. Unlike other dances, everyone is equal.
6. The Lebanese might not have many things to unite them, epically in politics, but nothing brings them all together holding hands and acting in a unified manner as debka ring. When the speakers blast “al Tanoura” song or whatever Fares Karam is singing these days, the Lebanese—and I mean all Lebanese—will come knocking with a case of happy feet. No one can keep up with them then.
7. The DJ has an advanced graduate degree in social work to compensate for his insecurities of being looked down upon by the unsatisfied older and younger Arabs whom he sends away without playing their favorite Nancy Ajram song.
8. Arab guys at the dance floor have only two moves. The first is the hand twist, and the second is the wandering finger. Sorry dudes, but the ladies got the best moves. Any attempt to match their moves you risk being called names (Ask for my emergency landing move.)
9. Arabs must have invented outsourcing; you could have 50 Arab girls in one room, but the only dancer who has her dance outfit on is a white girl from Cleveland that speaks no Arabic, but has a weird vintage Arabic name. Unfortunately most Arab women are in a handicap situation; dance or not dance is a lose-lose situation.
10. If you are a girl on the dance floor and guy tries to put money in your pocket then you are trying too hard, step it down a bit. I think men from the Gulf and Morocco often make that mistake. If you are a guy and another guy gives you money, could it be because you are dressed like a pimp?
11. It’s a safe rule: the hairier the Arab dude, the better dancer he is — underlying the laws of aerodynamics. Their dancing skills are proportional to the density of the hair on their chests. It’s only natural you work with what you have; since undewear modeling is out, dancing is the next natural move.
12. Getting Arab men to dance is like asking them to donate a kidney—they want to help, but are unsure how goofy the idea seems. Arabs are very self conscious; more so than the Mormon kids I know.
13. By the end of the evening, the dance room will smell like a fusion of your favorite leather and wood fragrance and garlic-cured lamb. While on the subject for reasons unknown 3 out of 4 Arab males wear Hugo Boss!
14. With the exception of the fun-loving people of Lebanon, no two Arabs dance alike; everyone has a unique style and distinctive moves. So if you want to learn how to dance, ask only one person, but watch everyone else. Otherwise trying to find conformity in the Arabic dance floor is like herding cats.
15. Some guys at the dance parties will be overdressed (and I mean dressed in a manner that screams, “hey, I am late for the business meeting!”). They dress and act like they’ve got something important to do when in fact they do not, and the only call they will get on their flashy phone is a call from their mom asking if they’ve met anyone special. Not with that attitude, they won’t!
16. The thinnest guys at the Arab parties are the players in the house. Their confidence in their looks and charm makes them overlook that fact that they are being complete jerks by being so damn cute. You might have to constantly remind them that this is not a strip club because they look at the women like they’re at one.
17. Arabs at a dance might not give the bartender a whole lot of business, but they sure love their Red Bull and Coke. A modified a snow cone stand will do, easy on the brain freeze Ahmad.
18. Despite everything they do, most Arab girls at dances are not lesbians, they just grind on each other and shake themselves on each other because they’re feeling frisky but the family and its spies are watching. Do not be surprised if you see all-girl dance circles—they are just being good Arab girls.
[Tarboush Tip: Maggie, Don, Ru]Filed Under ADC, arab world, Arabic, arabic music, Hanitizer, pop culture