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Published on Mar 21, 2007
Lois White: "Debke" is a Middle Eastern folk dance. It is a line dance. That is, people hold hands to form a line with the leader at the right end of the line. There is at least one notable exception, which is the Palestinian "debka", in which the leader is at the left end of the line so the line moves in the opposite direction. "Debke" can range from very simple (Step-step-step-kick-step-kick) to very complex. It is NOT done in Egypt, but you'll find many variations throughout Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine. It's found in Iraq too, I believe. It is done by both men and women and, depending on local tradition, the lines can be women-only, men-only, or mixed. It is closely related to the Greek Fast Hasapiko (Not Vari Hasapiko), Macedonian Oro, Bulgarian Horo, which are all based on the same Step-step-step-kick-step-kick pattern. Some folk dance specialists call this the generic Mediterranean three-measure dance.