Hayatem (Egypt)

Alexandria born Hayatim first made her name as a dancer. She has appeared in numerous Egyptian movies, initially as a bellydancer who did a bit of acting but later as an actress who did a bit of dancing. She was married for some years to Egyptian actor Mohamed Khairy.
Hayatim was a terrific dancer in her heyday, despite the sometimes eye searing ‘special effects’ that often featured in her videos. Hayatim oozes confidence and assurance but its not an ‘in-your-face’ aggression that we see from some of today’s dancers. Hayatem’s style is relaxed and fluid and she doesn’t attempt to beat the music to death.
She was featured in a series of Egyptian bellydance VHS tapes that introduced many Western dancers to famous Egyptian dancers such as Nagwa Fouad, Soheir Zaki, Mona al Said and Hala al Safy.

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Tulay Karaca (Turkey)

If we ever needed a lesson in Turkish dance or how to play zills or how to perform it all, well here it is! The dancer in this clip is Turkish performer Tulay Karaca.
If the rhythm is confusing here’s what Indrayu in Australia says ‘At a Karsilama workshop I attended, the teacher made the counting more accessible by “fruit salad” counting, app-le, app-le, app-le, ba-na-na (pea-ches pea-ches pea-ches straw-ber-ry) etc rather than 12-12-12-123. Worked a treat, especially at the end of a long weekend of concentration.’

Zizi Mustafa (Egypt) زيزى مصطفى

This is Egyptian dancer Zizi Mustafa in green and gold. She uses a veil throughout the piece and as you can see, the clip’s from a long, long time ago.
Trivia: There’s often confusion with the late Zizi Mustafa, an Egyptian actress who died in 2008. The former bellydancer Zizi Mustafa is very much alive and is the mother of actress Mena Shalabi.

Mona al Said (Egypt) منى السعيد

This is Egyptian born bellydance superstar Mona al Said.
Mona’s response to family disapproval of her decision to pursue a dance career was to flee to Lebanon and from 1970 to 1975 she danced at the Casino Lebanon. In 1975 she returned to headline at the Meridian Hotel nightclub in Cairo, dancing there until 1976. It was at this point that she went to the Omar Khayyam nightclub in London and she performed there from 1976 to 1980.  She has retired from regular performing and now teaches festival workshops and private classes.