Be a whirling dervish: How far can you go?

We had the pleasure of seeing a stunning Whirling Dervish performance during a desert safari a few days back. The whirling dervish, performing the traditional Egyptian folk dance Tannoura is something you wouldn’t want to miss. It is spectacular and will leave you in awe.

He started slowly turning along with the soft music:

Whirling Dervish

The performer “turns” or whirls endlessly while manipulating skirts in a colorful display.

Whirling Dervish

The dancer continues to turn round and round faster this time, keeping up with the faster music beat. Amazingly, he did not stray far from his original position meaning, he didn’t feel any dizziness or disorientation.

Whirling Dervish

Ten, 15 minutes passed and the music refused to die down. The dancer is still alive, ecstatic and obviously NOT dizzy at all! Then the lights were turned off and we wondered why.

Whirling Dervish

The lights on his colorful skirt lit up, creating an illusion of human kaleidoscope! Pristine thought it was a UFO.

Whirling Dervish

The whole show, which lasted for TWENTY MINUTES  was magnificent from start to finish and left me breathless. Then the whirling dervish asked for volunteers. He was heavily sweating but still very articulate, smiling and looked very normal.

My friend Rose bravely took on the challenge, put on the colorful skirt with the help of the dervish, gave a big smiled and took off. She turned and turned and stopped after less than 10 SECONDS.

Whirling Dervish

Everyone who took on the challenge did not last long and had to grab hold of the dervish so they might not fall down.  How can he stay sane in TWENTY long minutes!? I can only imagine the concentration and training required.

Try turning round and round. How long can you go without getting dizzy?

Note: There are several travel operators providing desert safaris but they don’t offer the same type of entertainment at the camps. Ask your travel operator if the desert safari includes the Tannoura dance before making your reservation if you want to see this spectacular show.

18 thoughts on “Be a whirling dervish: How far can you go?

  1. I tried it. 2 minutes later I crashed into the wall. I can’t imagine doing it for a living. But then again I’m sure it looks amazing (judging from the pics) so I’m glad someone enjoys doing this. I’d love to see a video of this.


    • 2 minutes!! Are you sure you did not train for this? hee hee. I think that’s a great feat! I think I can’t survive more than 10 seconds. BTW, I wish I took a video of it! Next time!!


    • You have a very good point! Anti-dizziness meds!! But I personally asked him after the dance and knew that he trained since he was 5 years old!!


  2. i was watching his performance and got entertained at the sight of the effects. was never really caught in awe until i tried it myself. it’s so hard even to simply keep turning without feeling dizzy. how much more if you’re also busy removing a few clothing, showing some artistic effects (taking and throwing them one at a time, replacing them with something else, turning on and off some switches, etc.)?!?! he’s like Japan’s geisha but his performance is way beyond!

    i agree, a video should have been perfect!

    roses last blog post..took my breath away


  3. Brilliant write-up … I thought this dance was MUCH more amazing then the gorgeous belly dancer 🙂

    Cheers to Arabian Nights, we had a great time on our day-out in the desert!


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