Phoenix Belly Dance

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Moroccan Tray Dancing
by Melissa Gunn

(Also known as Raqs Al Seniyaa or Seniyyadda)

A folkloric dance. This is dancing while balancing a tea tray –the tray can be removed and used as a prop (just as Saiidi canes are used as more than just a stick). This dance probably originates in Morocco as a dance interpretation dance of the Moroccan Tea Ceremony. The tray may be balanced on the head with cups of tea on the tray, or with candles or flowers for a more dramatic effect. Floorwork may be incorporated in modern interpretations (click here for an example). The tray is usually metal (traditionally brass or similar).

Most references are to women doing this dance, but some video footage of men as well (a video review on refers to a man balancing a tray of lit candles on his foot!).

There are some useful tips on performing tray dances with accessories (eg cakes, candles, teapots etc) on this website. For example, stick the candles on; put a doily under a birthday cake.

Hip circles and figure eights are some of the easier moves to perform while balancing a tray. Zills may also be used with the tray for a fusion act.


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