Stress relief and cultural dance: Iowa State’s Arab Dance Night

Mike Brown

Iowa State’s first annual Arab dance night on a night of fun and cultural dance to Iowa State students.

President of the Arab Students Association, Natali Jouzi spoke about why she chose to start Arab Dance night, saying that because people expressed a lot of interest in the dancing that took place at Arabic Night last year, she decided to bring back Arabic dance in it’s own event this year.

Jouzi said that she likes to bring dancing to as many of the Arab Students Association events on campus as she can, as dancing has not only been a hit at Arabic night, but according to Jouzi, it is a fan favorite at nearly all their events.

From 6-10:00pm in the sun room of the Memorial Union students will be able to experience various Arabic dances from a variety of cultures. The event is open to all, and entrance will cost $3 per person, and students can also receive henna, costing $1 for a small henna and $2 for a large henna, as Jouzi explained that Arab Dance Night is also a fundraiser for the Arab Students Association.

Jouzi spoke about her her other goals for Arab dance night as an event at Iowa State, and different approach to Arabic culture it will be taking in comparison to Arabic Night.

“We had Arabic Night, and this year we focused Arabic Night more on the culture,” Jouzi said “what we want to bring to this event is the arts.”

A professional dancer from the same Ankeny belly dancing troupe featured in the first annual Arabic night will be returning to Iowa State’s Arab dance night this year. According to Jouzi there will be roughly a 15 minute performance, and afterwards the dancer will then begin teaching the guests.

Jouzi said after the performance and instructional portion of the event are completed, the dancer will begin moving through the crowd and there will be a “belly dance party” where students will be invited participate alongside the dancer.

Jouzi said that there will be a variety of different dances taught at the event, including belly dancing; dabke, a traditional line dance; khaleeji dance, a dance from the gulf region, and egyptian dancing from some of Iowa State’s Egyptian students.

The event will also provide complimentary water from Iowa State catering, to help students stay hydrated throughout the night of different Arabic dances from the various regions and cultures across the Middle Eastern region.

Jouzi also hopes the event can be a stress reliever for students. With dead week coming up students may find themselves stressing about end of semester projects and grades, and Jouzi hopes Arab Dance Night can help students unwind.