Phoenix Belly Dance

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Shik Shak Shok
by Shelley Halverston

The Meaning of Shik Shak Shok

Shik shak shok as far as I know are not Arabic words and have no meaning. They are similar to the verbal sounds one might make when imitating a drum beat like bing bang boom. You may have heard a tabla player refer and communicate their sounds to each other as doom taka doom taka doom taka tak. This is the simplest explanation I can give. But since I can't keep anything simple, here is more. 

As a student new to Egyptian belly dance, I'm not aware of all the slang in other dialects, and left to my own imagination. Kinda like a rapper might say "yeah yeah yeah," "shik shak shok" could be interpreted as "shake it baby shake it." I often hear singers sing "shic shic shic" in the microphone to the beat of the background music representing the sound of the symbols on the tambourine or the sagat or anything metallic that clashes together. Imagine a dancer with metallic beads on her hip scarf that make a shik shak shok sound as she shakes her hips. The singer "could" be referring to that "nice" sound if you take it the context of the words of the song, where she states "I'll make you forget the rap and rock" and refers to the "baladi" dance. If you listen carefully, I believe that she deliberately made the last beat "shok" to rhyme with "rock" (she pronounces rock funny) and the Arabic word "shoq" (they sound the same) which means "sharply pokes" as in a "thorn shoq(s) me in my side." 

Here are the official lyrics (translated into English):

Shik shak shok

shik shak shok

shik shak shok 

My darling, I'm going to make you forget about rap and rock

Shik shak shok

shik shak shok 

My darling, I'm going to make you forget about rap and rock

Come, let us dance baladi (our native music) 

How beautiful! 

This baladi is the light of my eyes (ie it's so dear to her) 

come let us dance baladi 

this baladi is the light of my eyes 

In the heart it pierces 

shik shak shok


Suheir Saki performing to Shik Shak Shok in the Egyptian movie Yomhel wa la Yohmel.

Didem does an amazing entrance performing to the Nancy Ajram modern version of Shik Shak Shok.

Louchia, (also performing to the modern version) uses hip accents, chest lifts and drops, as well as height changes and lots of travelling.