Morocco is well known for its rugged geography, exquisite cuisine and its rich and vibrant dance culture. There are several types of dancing that are performed by the Moroccans and the most popular of these styles of dance is the belly dance. Belly dancing, performed mostly by women, has become a strong part of the cultural traditions that form one of Morocco’s biggest tourist attractions and many hotels and popular resorts employ belly dancers to instruct guests who are eager to learn this form of dance.
A type of dance, which can be considered as the real Moroccan belly dance, is shikat. Shikhat is performed during parties, especially wedding parties, by women called shikhat (which means women of authority and experience). Shikat are hired to play at parties and the movements of this type of dance include a lot of chest and hip movements. Since shikat wear wide and long robes (with a hip scarf tied around their hips), the movements of their bodies are usually bigger and more energetic than in cabaret belly dance, in order to be visible in spite of their clothing. Also, the movements of the shikat are highly suggestive and provide a sort of sexual education for the bride to be, at wedding parties.
In addition to belly dancing, there are several other kinds of dances that the Moroccans practice. Of these, the most popular is the houara dance. The houara dancers are traditionally from the Inezgane region, and the dance itself is one of the most traditional dances of the country, with men and women both having an equal share in the steps.
Another popular dance is the Guedra; this dance style is associated with the Goulimine village located in the southwest desert. The name Guedra, which literally means pot, is derived from the name from a certain kind of Moroccan drum that is used during the performances for rhythm. Other dances include the Awash, from the Ouarzazate area, which features a circle of women who dance around the men, who are in turn dancing around a fire. The Dekka dance, which is danced mainly by amateurs in Marrakech, is another very famous dance from Morocco. Many of these types of dance are rooted in Berber traditions, who are the indigenous inhabitants of Morocco, before the Arabs arrived.
If you are planning to go to Morocco, you can get there easily by air, with Moroccan Air flights leaving from London, UK, or it is possible to get ferries from the most southern tip of Spain.