7 Most Iconic Belly Dancers in Egypt's History

By Vintagemode - April 01, 2020

Historically, belly dance, also known as Arabic dance, originated from Egypt. However, the dance, which involves twisting, shimming, and rolling of the belly, has become a global art as it is practiced in different nations.

In recent years, belly dance has been dominated by foreigners, most especially women from Eastern Europe. Among some of the foreigners dominating belly dance includes Alla Kushnir (Ukraine), Diana Esposito (America), and Ekaterina Andreeva (Russia). Nevertheless, Egyptian dancers remain as one of the best dancers in the game.

As a matter of fact, the New York Times reported that although foreign dancers have introduced athletic and high-energy sensibility to the dance, the Egyptian belly dancers have a certain charm around the art. To support our claim, below are the seven most iconic Belly dancers in the history of Egypt.

1.Samia Gamal

This reputable dancer was the first woman to perform belly dance in high heels. More so, Samia Gamal was well-known for her ability to make mesmerizing moves. Among belly dancers, she was a great film star who performed in several movies, even alongside the popular Farid al-Atrash. During her film career, she played the role of a dancer in the American film titled, Valley of Kings. So, choosing Sami Gamal as one of the best belly dancers from Egypt is no rocket science.

2.Taheyya Kariokka

Taheyya was born in Ismailia. During her childhood, she experienced several tortures and abuse from her older brother. However, with the help of her nephew, she managed to escape to Cairo, where she started her belly dance journey. Eventually, Badia Masabni, who owned one of the top night clubs in Cairo, found her and offered her a position in her troupe. After Taheyya started dancing, she became famous as a solo dancer. During her dancing career, she performed in about 300 Egyptian movies. In her time, Taheyya always made her opinion known, most notably when it comes to political matters.

3.Zeinat Olwi

During the mid-20th century, Zeinat was one of the best performing Egyptian belly dancers. With a stage name known as Zurah, she performed in some top Egyptian films in her time.

4.Soheir Zaki

At the age of nine, Soheir, who was born in Mansoura, moved with her family to Alexandria. Soheir learned her first belly dance moves by watching films in which Samia Gamal and Taheyya Kariokka performed.

Although Soheir started her dancing career by performing at weddings, before long, she started playing minor roles in some films. Eventually, she was recognized as one of the best dancers during her time. Soheir appeared in over 100 movies and was well-known for dancing to the songs of Om Kolthoum, the legendary singer from Egypt.

5.Nadia Gamal

In 1937, Nadia was born to a Greek father and an Italian mother in Alexandria, Egypt. Within a short time, she became a superstar in the belly dancing industry. In fact, she was credited as the originator of the modern style of belly dancing. Undoubtedly, she was one of Egypt's belly dance icons.

6.Nagwa Fouad

Nagwa was famous during her time as she left her mark in the belly dancing industry. During Egypt's Golden age, she was so iconic that a composer known as Mohammed Abdel Wahab wrote a complete musical piece for her belly dancing show.

7.Fifi Abdou

Fifi was one of the most prominent dancers in modern times. During her time, Fifi was really iconic that her name becomes synonymous with belly dancing. Fifi held many workshops in several countries to teach bell dance.


So, there you have the top seven iconic belly dancers from Egypt.

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