Raqs Assaya (men's stick dance)



Raqs Assaya (mens stick dance)
Egyptian Stick Dancers

There are two types of Saidi stick dance. Raqs assaya and Tahtib. The word Tahtib means dancing with sticks and it was originally a kind of conflict with sticks between men to show their power.
 
Tahtib is the oldest form of Egyptian martial arts to have survived. Tahtib dancing is a product of Egyptian martial arts from the Pharaonic times. The Pharaohs painted this kind of dance on their temple walls, and their soliders learned it.
 
The stick itself is about four feet in length and is called an assaya.  It is often flailed in large figure of 8 patterns across the body with such speed and violence that the displacement of air is loudly discernible.
 
Stick fights have been used to settle disputes between members of rival families, mostly in the Egyptian countryside. The mens stick dances are very dramtic and manly, and often performed at family occasions, as well as practised by the men as a pastime.
 
Tahib has changed over the years to be just a kind of dance with a stick. The stick dance belongs to the folk dances. The stick is regarded as a symbol of masculinity.
 
Although the dance form originally started as a male-only dance, there are women who perform it dressed as men and dance with other women.
 
Any guys wishing to attend a Raqs assaya class, please contact Samirah using our contact page.