The Mechanics of the Uyghur Dance
The Uyghur dance tradition like none other. No celebration, either religious or otherwise, takes place without a bit of loud music and a dance floor. It really is a treat for the eyes even if your ears are collateral damage and I’ve taken the liberty of catching some of it on film for you.
Before you take a look at the video, though, read this brief overview of the Uyghur dance
Breaking down the Uyghur Dance
You’ll notice two things right off the bat when you watch this video.
- It is very common, if not expected, for men to dance with men and women to dance with women. Co-ed dancing still occurs, of course, but it seems to be less frequent. Thankfully there’s no contact involved in the dancing, however I still find myself laughing when I get on a dance floor and I have another man twirling, singing and flailing his arms all around me! It’s more than a little uncomfortable for those who have never done it before.
- This dancing looks easy, right? Just shuffle your feet and move your hands in constantly reversing arcs and you’ll be fine. Wrong. It’s deceptively difficult. All it takes is watching one foreigner make a fool out of himself “mimicking” what he sees on the dance floor and you’ll know that there’s a little more finesse involved. The women are even harder (or so my wife says) because they have to move their hands and head in slow, exotic movements while keeping their torso somewhat straight and their feet constantly changing.
I love Uyghur music…I think perhaps I like it so much because of its similarities with various Middle East styles… although its clear that the dancing is unique! dancing in big circles is something that is not seen in my culture, but I have observed it in various Pakistani and Afghani dances. ahh the world is quite diverse, and that makes incredibly wonderful. thanks for posting!
I am trying to learn the Uyghur dance moves for a few songs at my wedding to a Uyghur woman. Do you have any male dance videos I can watch to learn?
Josh Summers on June 7th, 2018 at 11:45 am
Hey Steve, unfortunately I never got to learn much myself! I wanted to make a video but never got around to it.