Dances that are home

Dancer: Laila

Dance Location: Aden, South Yemen

This is a dance that... reminds me of home.

In my country, Yemen, there are many kinds of dancing. In the North and South there are different kinds of dances, each with their own special clothing and music. I am from Aden, in South Yemen, and there we do a dance called al-Sharh. When I think of Aden, I think of this dance.

We dance all the time there, a lot of people want to dance, and from a young age you see other people in your family dancing, so you learn the movements. This dance can be danced by all women together or women can dance it with men too, but only from inside our family, our brothers, husbands, uncles. The women wear beautiful clothes embroidered with flowers, a bit like Jasmine but smaller.

It's danced to music, we move with the rhythm of the drum. Sometimes it is slow and other times it is strong, faster. Sometimes we have some singing. Faisal Alawi is a famous singer and his music is very popular for dancing to. Earlier today I took my phone and I played his music and I danced al-Sharh by myself and cried because I miss it: the dance, the people, the sitting with friends and chatting. For me, this dance is home.