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Folk Dance Federation of California, South, Inc.

Types of Israeli
Non-Partner Dances

By Loui Tucker

Loui Tucker


Loui Tucker's Israeli Dance Chart

Slow / Very Slow – 25%

     Examples: Ma Navu, Erev Ba, At Va'ani, Kvar Acharey Hatzof.

Walking dances, expressive arm movements, graceful turns. You won't break a sweat doing 15 minutes of these. Usually music has lyrics. Includes some waltz rhythm. European roots. Israelis love to sing along!

"Energetic" – 40%

     Examples: Tzadik Katamar, Sulam Ya'akov, Tfilla, Hora.

A fast walk, with occasional triplets, skipping, leaping. You'll be warm, maybe slightly sweaty after 15 minutes of these. Mostly music with lyrics. Rarely waltz rhythm. European roots, but more recently music has lyrics in something other than Hebrew.

Horas (Fast) – 15%

     Examples: Mayim, Haroa Haktana.

Running, leaping, skipping. Three in a row and you'll be sweating. Frequently no lyrics; either the music is an instrumental version of a song with words, or it is only music. You need your breath for dancing, not singing!

Debkas – 15%

     Examples: Shoofni, Tarbouka, Eshebo, Debka Oud.

Never very slow, rarely very fast, mostly "energetic." Frequently instrumentals or the lyrics are in Arabic or something other than Hebrew. Instrumentation is usually Middle-Eastern, particularly drums and flute.

Grid (Line) Dances – 5%

     Examples: Sapri Tama, Hameantezet, Shalon Al Israel.

Especially popular with the younger crowd. The music is a subset of just about all the others, except the Slow/Very Slow. Trend recently is for these dances to be choreographed to American pop tunes (Michael Jackson, Madonna) or Latin club dances, step-sisters of the Macarena.

Used with permission of the author.
Reprinted from the 2003 Stockton Folk Dance Camp syllabus.