The Art of Dabkka (Traditional Dance)
The Jordanian Dabkka ,“stomping the feet” , is a traditional folk dance representing an important part of Jordanian heritage. It is also considered as a manifestation of public expression of joy which is performed during weddings and national occasions. The dancers form either a row, an arc or a circle. The line may consist only of men or only of women or both. The first person to lead the Dabkka should have extraordinary skills or as what the people like to call him “Al Dabeek”. He or she sometimes has to decide the rhythm, speed and type of the dance. Leaders of the Dabkka (Laweeh) normally perform extra difficult movements to show their distinguished skills. They will continuously alternate between facing the dancers and the audience. Dancers interlock their arms, tap and stomp with their feet, and sing or chant.
The Dabkka is normally accompanied with traditional musical instruments like Shubbabeh, Mijwiz, Yarghul, Qirbe or bagpipe, Tabla (a musical instrument like the drum). Sometimes the traditional lute accompanies the Dabkka.
The Dabka has well-known movements as follows: Al Shayla: It is movement that occurs during the Dabka, where the Laweeh comes out with a skillful jump together with various movements. Al Karja: It is also another movement where the dancer stomps the ground during walking and singing. It also has different types.
Dabket Habl Muwada: The whole different types of Dabkka, where men and women dance together. Al Dabkka Al Shamalya: It is said to be the most common variation of dabkka where the dancers have to start stomping on the ground with left leg and ending with the left leg. It is characterized by its rapid rhythm. Usually, a performance will start with the musician playing a solo on the Mijwiz or Yarghul.
Al Dabka Al Fradya: This is performed by the mother of the groom during the Zaffe (wedding procession that begins at the home of the bride and ends at the home of the groom) or at the Henna party before the wedding. The mother gives a piece of dough to the bride who will stick it to the door of the groom’s house. Sometimes this kind of Dabka is called the Dance of the Bride.
Al Dabka Al Jama’iya: Al Jama’iya is another kind of special dance for women only. It is normally performed by female relatives of either the bride or the groom during Zaffe. The women wear the traditional dresses during this type of dance. It is to be performed one day before the wedding. Dabkat Al Sahja: It is a type of Dabkka performed with songs coupled with harmonized various movements. This Dabka has different movements each has certain performance linked to certain rhythm and melody.

Dabket Habl Muwada
- Archives of the Heritage Directorate / Ministry of Culture
- Intangible Cultural Heritage in Al-Balqa Governorate - Ministry of Culture 2017
- Intangible Cultural Heritage in Al-karak Governorate - Ministry of Culture 2017
- Intangible Cultural Heritage in Al- Zarqa Governorate - Ministry of Culture 2017