Be careful about what dance moves you do in Saudi Arabia. Turns out the popular dance move dabbing will get you arrested.
Entertainer and singer Abdallah Al Shahani pulled out the dance move at a music festival in the south-western city of Taif. After authorities viewed the video of Shahani dabbing they reportedly arrested him. It is unknown if he actually was charged for it.
Shahani took to twitter to apologize for his dance move, “I apologize to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology.”
السلام عليكم .. اقدم أشد اعتذاري لحكومتنا الرشيدة وجمهوري العزيز على الحركة
(العفوية الغير مقصوده ) في مهرجان الطائف
تقبلوا اعتذاري ..
— عبدالله الشهراني (@Shaharani1A) August 6, 2017
Journalist and social media users both defended and chastised Shahani for his actions. Twitters users who were angered thought Shahani was being “provocative and was challenging authorities“. Those that were defending the artist said it was a “spontaneous” move and “he wasn’t aware of the meaning“.
In the conservative country of Saudi Arabia dabbing is banned due to its reference to narcotics and marijuana. The Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Commission for Combating Drugs banned the move and released a government poster warning people “about the dangers of this [move]on the youth and society, and is warning against imitating it”.
Dabbing first became popular in Atlanta, Georgia through America’s hip-hop culture where it migrated to popularity by celebrities, athletes, and politicians embracing it.