American Journal of Dance Therapy

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 107–120 | Cite as

The Zar: An ancient dance of healing

  • Howaida El Guindy
  • Claire Schmais


This paper examines one of Egypt's oldest dances, the Zar. This dance, performed for the sole purpose of healing, is practiced by Moslems, Christians and Jews, in Egypt, the Sudan and Ethiopia where it originated. Dating as far back as the ancient times, the Zar has undergone some minor changes due to the various cultural influences that came through Egypt. Ritual and rhythm remain common aspects of Zar dances, wherever they are practiced. This paper presents a close look at the Zar's historical and cultural roots, and discusses those aspects of the Zar that make it therapeutic. Finally this paper discusses those aspects of the Zar which can be incorporated into dance/movement therapy, to make it more acceptable, effective and accessible to patients.


Social Psychology Health Psychology Cultural Root Ancient Time Cultural Influence 
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Copyright information

© American Dance Therapy Association 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Howaida El Guindy
  • Claire Schmais

There are no affiliations available

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