By: Ashur Sada
Ever noticed that a lot of the good Assyrian dancers are often slim and in good shape? is that a coincidence? could be, but it could
also be that dancing helps them stay in shape.
If a scientific study was done on Assyrian dance (khiga) they would find so many health and social benefits. Let us go through some of them:
1-Get to see everyone dancing: when dancing, you will go through everyone else that is dancing, at least once. This is an easy and quick way to see people, without having to stop and chat to them.
2-See new people: related to the earlier point about seeing people you know, Assyrian dance, given its mobile nature, is great for people watching. It lets you see new people, new styles, new ways of dancing etc. You are observing others and seeing new things and faces.
3-Great exercise: when it comes to Assyrian weddings, most are held at big banquet halls. If you look at the size of an average hall, it is almost as big and wide as half a football field. Even one or two laps of dancing around the hall will help you burn so many calories and give you a much needed workout. All while having fun. And for those that dance a lot during the night, you can burn most or all the calories you just gained from eating at the wedding.
4-Music becomes more fun: ever noticed, music is more fun and enjoyable when you dance to it than just listening? and as the beat goes, so goes your body, and that all makes the experience that much more fun.
5-Great mind and body booster: dancing in general helps boost the mind and body. It is an exercise after all, and exercising is always good for the mind and body. In the specific case of Assyrian dancing, where there is a lot of mileage, you get to exercise your stress out and sweat your calories away. That all translates into feeling better about yourself and having a sharper mind. Anecdotally, I have observed that my friends, shortly after finishing a round of Assyrian dancing, come up with some nice things to talk about and usually sound more confident and open-minded. That, my friend, is the effect of Assyrian dancing.
As you can see, Assyrian dancing is more than just going in circles. It has a whole range of social and health benefits. And I didn’t even get into the cultural aspect of Assyrian dancing and how significant it is in that regard as well. So the next time you are at an Assyrian wedding or party, remember, traditional Assyrian dancing (be it Khiga, Khiga yaqoora, Sheykhani, Belati, Saskani, Toulama etc.) has a lot of benefits beyond the obvious ones. Needless to say, it will improve your health, boost your confidence and connect you better with people around you.