Iranian children arrested for teaching Zumba and ‘western’ dance

Six charged with dancing and failing to wear proper hijab after posting clips on social media, say Revolutionary Guards

Four boys and two girls have been arrested in Iran for teaching western dance moves including Zumba, a Colombian fitness routine, a Revolutionary Guards commander has said.

The members of a network teaching and filming western dances have been identified and arrested, Hamid Damghani, a commander in Shahroud, north-east Iran, was quoted by the news website Jamejam Online as saying.

The team attracted boys and girls, taught them western dances and published their video clips on social media apps like Telegram and Instagram.

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.

They were charged with dancing and failing to wear proper hijab Islamic regulations that require women to wear headscarves and ban revealing clothing in public.

Dancing is banned in Iran for women in front of men outside their immediate families, but in recent years Zumba and other dances have been banned even in women-only gyms, even if the rules are widely flouted.

The promotion and teaching of dancing in the name of sport in womens gyms is a serious issue, Damghani said.

In 2014, seven young Iranians were arrested for dancing to Pharrell Williamss hit Happy in a homemade video that went viral on the internet.

They were given suspended jail and lashing sentences.

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