Sunday, September 18, 2011

African dance party

One of the Egyptians decided there would be a dance party. Girls only, 16:00 on a Sunday afternoon. She was very insistent that the female tutors attend as well. Come the end of lunch today I wasn't really feeling in the mood for a very sober dance party in the ladies' wing, but it ended up being nothing short of epic.

When Scottish Emma and I showed up in Doaa's room, she -- a very rotund Arab -- had already gathered some followers, all of whom had dispensed with their headscarves and long dresses for the event. They were wearing jeans and t-shirts and cheering on the host doing some very impressive belly dance moves. She was ridiculously good, moving graciously and decisively despite the considerable mass she was moving around.

One by one Malagasy, Ugandans, Zambians and Basotho arrived, and the Egyptians, showing off their beautiful long hair, made us all dance. Even me. Cheering and clapping, tying scarves around everyone's hips and waving colorful headbands in sync (I assume there is usually some sort of proper dance accessory that is used for this, but alas, you make do with what you have).

No photos of the female dancers - instead, two of my fellow
tutors demonstrating Congolese dancing in the office.
The Moroccans joined in the belly dancing. The Nigerian rocked out, stepping and clapping and swinging her elbows. The Mosotho was stomping and swinging her hips. The Zambian, super shy sweet little girl, gave a show of textbook crazy African dancing, shaking booty and doing something with her knees that seemed to come straight from the 70s -- we all looked like frogs when we tried to imitate her. The Malagasy did a cute couple dance, standing behind each other, both facing the same direction,  holding hands and shuffling forward to traditional music. The Congolese taught us something that seemed very close to an African version of Macarena.

One of the Moroccans ran off to have a bath in the ocean, at about 12 degrees Celsius.

Unfortunately there are no pictures, because my Muslim students absolutely refused to have any taken -- it was lovely to see their hair open though. And 1.5 hours of vigorous dancing it a) superseded all my expectations and b) made my workout for the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment