Info about Moroccan Dance
The kind of dance Aicha Hatim Morelli teaches is traditional Moroccan dance. It draws on Arab, Berber and African influences.
Dance is integral to the culture in Morocco, far more so than it is in the West. Both men and women dance, but it is mainly something done by women. It’s a way of women sharing and being together, and displaying themselves in public in a way they don’t usually do in ordinary life. It is joyous, sensual, and energetic, and is performed mainly at weddings, parties and rituals such as circumcisions and baby naming ceremonies. At these gatherings the women wear beautiful dresses when they dance; long, flowing and colourful, with belts around their waists.
Moroccan dance includes aspects of Middle Eastern belly dancing – rotating the stomach is a common element – and other styles such as Gnawa (an African ethnic group who became part of the Sufi order in Morocco), where the movements involve jumping and hair tossing, and tribal dances from the Amazigh (Berber) regions – which vary widely.
Many of the movements in the dances have symbolic meanings. For example, recently Aicha taught dances from the Rif mountain region of Morocco, which show women waving their men goodbye; greeting them on their return, then performing a sensual dance for them – before going down to collect water from the well the next morning. Sometimes walking sticks and other props are used as part of the dance.
About Aicha Hatim Morelli
Aicha Morelli is a qualified sports instructor. She is an engaging and patient dance teacher, and does not expect any prior knowledge of the art form.
Born in Fez, she has been dancing since she was about four, and began teaching aerobics, sport and dance in her late teens. She has also won several kick boxing competitions.
Aicha’s late father was a member of the Issawa Sufi brotherhood, and played the drum.
“He was always calling me to dance,” says Aicha “When I was dancing and he was very happy. I loved dancing since I was small. Everything I feel is in the dance. I can feel my body; I feel like I am flying.”
*Available: by appointment
*Minimum no.of people required: 2 people
*Single Supplement available
*Clients will be met at their Riad in the Medina and escorted to and from the workshop