Six Zumba instructors were arrested in Iran for trying to “change lifestyles” by teaching the fitness dance.
Four men and two women were charged by Iranian officials for the dancing and because they allegedly “attracted boys and girls, taught them Western dances”, and posted videos to social media, according to the BBC.
Iran arrests six for Zumba dancing https://t.co/THszE6wqcE
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 9, 2017
“The members of a network teaching and filming Western dances have been identified and arrested,” Hamid Damghani, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said.
“They were arrested by the Guards’ intelligence forces while teaching and creating video clips… as they sought to change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab,” he said.
Wait, what? I thought the hijab was liberating and empowering? Why would they want to disregard it?
— Mickleshake (@Mickleshake) August 9, 2017
What!!!! 😂😂😂… Unbelievable! Innocuous dancing is prohibited but BOMBING is not! 😕💣💣💣💣💣
— Neha Sharma (@neharider) August 10, 2017
In a country that adheres to laws restricting dancing, the Latin American fitness routine has proved controversial. Women are banned from wearing clothing contrary to hijab rules in public and dancing with a member of the opposite sex is prohibited, except in the company of family members.
Dancing as a sport “is a serious issue” according to Damghani.
That’s what happens when there’s sharia law…
— Jeremy (@jeremyy1219) August 9, 2017
coming to a city near you folks soon
— Colin Coulter (@collizconnor) August 9, 2017
Six Iranians arrested in 2014 for dancing along to Pharrell William’s song “Happy” were punished with 91 lashes and prison, according to the BBC.
Where is the outrage from Hollywood?
— Pom Mom (@Pommom1121) August 9, 2017
Iran’s sporting federation in June said Zumba included “rhythmic motions and dance and are unlawful in any shape and title.” But the aerobic style fitness dance has become popular in the nation despite the statements by the government, which many have ridiculed on social media.
“We need to have these classes,” one gym manager told the Aftab-e Yazd newspaper. “We have been teaching Zumba for 12-13 years and if they ban it, we will continue our class under a different name.”
“Zumba is one of the most profitable activities and the clubs cannot ignore Zumba,” he added.
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