Prince of Egypt Hora Dance How To

Don’t you love a good story? The Prince of Egypt was a great story. It is an animated version of the film classic the 10 commandments. Zipporah was the princess of the Midian tribe, and wife the prince of Egypt, Moses. It is likely they would have danced the Hora as they traveled to the promised land. So, travel back in time with me for the Prince of Egypt Hora Dance how to.

Princess Zipporah

For our Prince of Egypt hora dance how to we featured Moses, Zipporah, and Aaron.  Our princess for the Hora is the wife of Moses, Zipporah. Her name can be translated as “bird.” She flew off with Moses heart and is the perfect princess for the Hora dance.

Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt was set around 1279 BC, during the reign of Ramses. Dancing was a vital part of Egyptian, and Jewish life. It was typically done in a circle of men, or women. The genders did not dance together. Dance groups performd at dinner parties, banquets, lodging houses, and even religious temples.

Roots of the Hora

The Hora dance dates to ancient Greece. It was a traditional circle dance known as the khoros. From there it traveled to Turkey and Romania becoming the Hora. In the early 20th century the Hora traveled to Palestine from Romania, where Zionist pioneers, or halutzim, adopted it as a Jewish dance.

When the Hora Became Jewish

In 1924 the Romanian Jewish dancer Baruch Agadati create a hora dance for a show at the Ohel theatre. From there it was adopted as the dance of celebration for Jewish holidays and weddings.  Orthodox Jews have men and women dance in separate groups called a mechitza.  The couple could connect to each other by holding either end of a handkerchief over the mechitza. The handkerchief also plays thematic roles in Jewish marriage ceremonies as a part of a ritual that seals the marriage contract

Hora Song Hava Nagala

The Hora is danced today to the song Hava Nagala. Hava Nagila began its life in Eastern Europe as a Hasidic melody.

“Idelsohn first published the song in a Hebrew song collection in 1922. Soon it was being sung all over the world, typically referred to simply as a “Palestinian” or “Hebrew” folk song, with no mention of its origins, Hasidic or otherwise.

In the decades after Hava Nagila first appeared, it became a world-wide fixture of Jewish life.” Writes

Prince of Egypt Hora Dance how to

I researched several sources for the Hora. From Jewish dancers in Israel, to footage from the 1920’s of Jews dancing two versions emerged. The first style is two kicks and a 4-count grapevine. The second more common version is like a Viking fire dance with livelier action. It has a side cross and two kicks. Both are delightful. We demonstrated them separating the genders as well as merging everyone in the same circle. Have fun experiencing both versions

Hora Grapevine version

Make a circle holding hands. Step side with your left foot, kick your right foot forward. Step side right foot kick left foot. Step side left foot, forward and across with your right foot, side left foot, cross right foot behind left foot (grapevine). Repeat until the end of the song.

Hora Traditional version

Make a circle holding hands. Step side with your left foot, cross right foot behind left foot, Step side with your left foot, kick your right foot forward. Step side right foot kick left foot. Repeat until the end of the song.


Hava Nagala by the Hit Crew


Moses- Craig Tomazin

Zipporah- Holly Tomazin

Aaron- William Hooker

Holly Collins Tomazin
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Archival Footage: Jews Dancing the Hora in Munkács

Hora – Israel