By Merril Diniz:
US-based choreographer, artist and teacher Amirah Sackett is passionate about two things – her faith and hip-hop.
Amirah, along with her fellow dancers Iman and Khadhija, perform a hip-hop style known as “popping”, fully clad in hijabs and abayas. While all three have a passion for dance, Amirah’s vision is to use dance as a way to encourage conversations on several issues of importance.
Conversations between people of different faiths. Conversations about being Muslim in America. Conversations about being a Muslim woman. Period.
Here’s an interesting example of one such a conversation. “A little boy at a middle school said he hadn’t talked to any Muslims before seeing us dance. After he saw a performance he asked to learn how to do that! I think it made a bridge between us, and he actually thought all Muslims dance like that,” shares Amirah.
The trio has performed across the US and their videos posted online have received a mixed bag of responses, ranging from praise and admiration to vitriolic speech. However, the positive outweighs the negative. In fact, their ensemble ‘We’re Muslim, Don’t Panic’ has become quite a hit, and Amirah was even invited to Bangladesh to collaborate with legendary Baul singers.
Watch this video to check out Amirah’s, Iman’s and Khadhija’s dancing chops!