Egypt has been leading the region in several diverse forms of art since forever. One form of art that flourished during the early 20th century and remained solid and dominant through the years is belly-dancing. And now, not just Egypt and the Arab World are interested in belly dancing, but the entire world.
There are dancers from all over the world who have taken belly dancing as a passion and profession, that’s why you’ll see countries like Russia and Ukraine producing real talents that compete even with Egyptian dancers. However, the industry that accounts for millions of dollars across the world now, was shaped by a few women in Egypt’s golden age of belly dancing.
The Syrian Badia Masabni is known for not only being an influential bellydancer but also for being a successful businesswoman who opened several clubs in Egypt during the 1920s.
Arguably one of the most popular and iconic belly dancers in history is Samia Gamal. She was also a successful actress, and she’s known for being the first belly dancer to ever dance with heels.
Naima Akef was born in Tanta in 1929, and she was a famous actress that starred in many movies in the Egyptian golden age. Both of her parents were acrobats in the Akef Circus, one of the most popular circuses back then.
Taheyya Karioka is, by all means, a legendary belly dancer and actress that had a strong career in both professions. She’s one of the artists that shaped belly dancing as we know today, and she helped to promote it in the Arab World by performing in nearly all the Arab States.
Soheir Zaky was also one of the women that influenced the art of belly dancing. Throughout her career, she appeared in more than 100 movies!