Iranian Kids Reportedly Arrested for Distributing Zumba Videos With 'Western Dance Moves'

'Members of a network teaching and filming western dances' were trying to 'change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab,' the Guardian quotes official as saying

According to a Revolutionary Guards commander, Zumba is 'a serious issue.'
According to a Revolutionary Guards commander, Zumba is 'a serious issue.' Sanjit Das/Bloomberg

Six Iranian children were arrested for attempting to "change lifestyles and promote a lack of hijab" with their "western" dance moves, including Zumba, the Guardian reported on Wednesday.

"The members of a network teaching and filming western dances have been identified and arrested," a commander of the Revolutionary Guards was quoted as saying.

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

In a reference to Zumba, an exercise craze that originated in Colombia, he added that, "The promotion and teaching of dancing in the name of sport in women’s gyms is a serious issue."

Zumba, which incorporates dance and aerobic movements, was banned in June by Iranian authorities, who ruled that the popular fitness classes defy Islam and are illegal.

This is not the first time that Iranians have gotten into trouble for engaging in Western trends. In 2014, seven Iranians were sentenced to prison terms and lashes for producing a video based on Pharrell Williams' song "Happy."

The Daily Mail reported at the time that authorities objected to men and women dancing together and to the women not wearing the hijab.