Amanda Wight, Zeebah

It'd be hard to miss these lovely belly-dancing ladies anywhere because you usually hear them before you see them. You know who I'm talking about, Zeebah. Meet Amanda Wight, the head of Emory's all-girl belly-dancing group. When this NBB major isn't lighting up the stage, some of her other hobbies include hiking and watching movies. Read up on how they dance with swords on their heads (CRAZY, I KNOW!) and some of their performances!
 
Her Campus Emory (HCE): What is Zeebah?
Amanda Wight (AW): According to our mission statement, "'Zeebah' means "beautiful" in Farsi. We are an all female dance group that performs a wide range of dances from Iran and surrounding areas. The group was founded in order to bring the unique style, culture, and flair of traditional Persian dance to Emory University. While educating students about Persian dance, the women of Zeebah work together to master the art of choreographing." 
 
HCE: How did you get involved with Zeebah?
AW: Freshman year, I went to the Student Activities Fair and saw a student decked out in a full belly-dancing costume, balancing a sword on her head and walking around like it was nothing. I was so awestruck and impressed and intrigued all at the same time, and went over and started talking to her. She told me all about Zeebah and how much fun it was and encouraged me to try out the next week. So I got one of my friends to go with me, and we tried out (mostly just for fun), and by some miracle I got in.
 
 
HCE: Did you belly-dance before you got to Emory?
AW: No! The group was started in 2007 by a group of women who had belly-danced before and did have quite a bit of experience with it, but for most of our current members, auditions was their first introduction to belly-dancing. We've learned most of what we know from members before us and from watching quite a bit of YouTube.
 
 
HCE: I noticed you guys perform with swords; where is that tradition from?
AW: I'm actually not entirely sure. Some websites say that dancing with swords is an ancient skill in the Middle East, and that the women who danced with swords on their heads carried the honor of their husbands. Others say that it began with women who were slaves, balancing a sword on their heads while dancing as a way of saying, "you may hold a sword over my head, but I am free in my soul." Still others say that the sword is more of a modern, Western addition to traditional belly dance.
 
HCE: Does Zeebah have any performances this semester?
AW: So far we don't have any confirmed, but we typically perform at Dooley's Games, AHANA, Essence, Dance Marathon, and a variety of other events in the spring. In the fall, we perform at Diwali, AHANA, Theta's Greek Physique, Best in Show, Best of Emory Live!, and many others.