SOURCE: Dick Oakes learned this dance from folk dance groups around the Los Angeles, California, area. Dvora Lapson published piano music for Mayim in her book, Dances of the Jewish People.
BACKGROUND: Mayim is said to have originated on a "Kibbutz" on the shores of Galilee. According to Jane A. Harris, Anne Pittman, and Marlys S. Waller, in their book Dance A While, wrote that the movements in the dance "express the joy of finding water in arid land and emulate the motion of waves as they break upon the shore." The choreographer is Dov Seltzer, the lyrics are by Isaiah, the music is by E. Amiran.
MUSIC: Folkraft (45rpm) 1108-A
Folkraft (45rpm) 1475
Elektra (LP) EKS-7186
Israel Music Foundation (LP) LP 5/6
Tikva (LP) 106
Folkraft (LP) 12;
World of Fun (LP) MH 119
Israel Music Foundation (45rpm) 114
FORMATION:Cir of mixed M and W with hands joined and held down in "V" pos.
STEPS/STYLE: Style is happy and lively, as would be expected upon finding water in the desert.


 Varies from recording to recording. No action.
 This step is also referred to as the "Mayim Step" or "Tscherkessia Step" in some Israeli dance notations.
1Moving CW around the cir, step R across in frnt of L (ct 1); step L swd (ct 2); step R across in back of L (ct 3); low leap L swd, accenting the step (ct 4);
2-4Repeat action of the meas 1 three more times.
1Low leap R twd ctr, bending knee slightly (ct 1); run L twd ctr, beg to raise nearly straight arms fwd and up (ct 2); run R twd ctr , continuing to raise arms upward (ct 3); run fwd twd ctr, ending with hands raised high overhead (ct 4);
 NOTE: In many areas of the United States, dancers clap hands on ct & at the end of the first meas.
2Run bwd 4 steps, gradually lowering hands to orig formation pos.
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2.
1Beg R, move CW in RLOD with 4 running steps.
1Facing ctr, leap onto R, touching L across in front with straight leg (ct 1); hop R, touching L diag fwd to L with straight leg (ct 2); hop R, touching L across in front of L with straight leg (ct 3); hop R, touching R diag to L with straight leg (ct 4);
2Repeat action of meas 1;
3-4Repeat action of meas 1-2, clapping hands in front with straight arms on uneven cts and swinging arms out to sides at shldr height on even cts.
 Repeat entire dance from beg.



/ Ushavtem mayim besason
Mimayaney hayeshu'a. /
/ Mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, hey mayim besason. /
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
/ Mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim, mayim besason. /
  Ladle water with happiness
From the wells of salvation.
Water with glee!
Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Water with glee.

Copyright © 2012 by Dick Oakes