The best formulaic Arab dance is, without doubt, the dabka. Nothing is more engaging and exciting, and more inviting to join in the dance that the Laventine dance pioneered in the modern age by Palestinians.
The dabka, for those unfamiliar, goes like this:
But then there is another dance, the Arabian sword dance. Think of it as a slow moving dabka, expect with only one pace (back-and-forth), while the dancers (and in this case only men) hold swords in their hands. It is very boring.
And it goes like this:
I do not want to in anyway disparage the sword dance (whose name in Arabic is ‘Ardah) which I do not care for personally but I respect whatever someone wants to do provided it is peaceful, but I will mock the buffoonish Saudi royals who dance it in their buffoonery. These guys are so awful they just look even more silly and stupid when they dance.
Look at Prince Salman (emir of Riyadh) (the guy next to him is a Lebanese MP, one of several bought by Saudi oil money):
Of course, the royal buffoon of them all the Saudi king with his counterpart and equally stupid buffoon king of Bahrain (right):
Do they think they are endearing? Lousy leaders.
For the record, none of these dances are widely performed by Arabs. In fact, most do not know how to perform them. The dabke is only done in the Levant (Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria) and the ‘Ardah only in the Gulf countries. Iraq and north Africa are entirely foreign to these dances.
H/T: Angry Arab.