Soraya International Arabic Belly Dancer - Margate, New Jersey
Meet Soraya International Arabic Belly Dancer
How I came to Hipness
My name is Soraya, and I have been performing the art of Middle Eastern belly dancing since early childhood. I feel very fortunate to have grown up constantly surrounded by Arabic culture, parties, and celebratory Mediterranean dance. My love of Arabian belly dancing stems from my rich heritage, and earliest memories. Thanks to very open minded, Artistic, and creative parents who always encouraged me to accomplish everything I set my mind to, I have made all my wildest dreams into a reality. I could not be happier and feel very blessed in my life. I began Middle Eastern dance at around 3 years old, then intensive ballet classes, tap, gymnastics, and competive figure skating. Since then, I have traveled all over the globe performing in beautiful concerts, on tour with many Middle Eastern superstar singers such as Amr Diab, Fares Karam, Warda, Nawahl Al-Zougbi, Ragheb Alama, Assi el-Hellani and more. I have performed in fabulous shows for Arabic royalty, such as his Majesty King Hassan, events all over the US including the greater Los Angeles, California area, as well as enjoying many gorgeous holidays with my incredibly supportive husband Dr. Rob. I hold a B.A. degree in cultural Anthropology/Sociology with an emphasis in Middle Eastern studies and Egyptology. I am heavily involved with a lot of charity work with both human medical organizations and animal rights. I love giving back into the world in many different ways and sharing my joy with everyone around me. Learn more about me in HipMix.net's article.
My cultural heritage, my parents, the love of having fun, enjoying personal self-expression through dance, interpreting ancient musical time signatures that are syncopated, funky, and polyrhythmic...and of course getting to be creative and wear glamorously beaded feminine costumes! "S" ;)
I have been all over the United States, Europe, parts of the Middle East, East India and Mediterranean performing professional belly dancing or enjoying personal vacations with my wonderfully amazing and supportive husband, Dr. Rob. Some of the many exotic places I have been to include being personally invited to perform Raks Sharki for his Majesty King Hassan and the Moroccan Royal family at the Palace in Casablanca, and Rabat, Morocco. I have also traveled to East India for a spectacular two week tour of India's beautiful five star hotels with my show: "Soraya's Night at the Casbah". This was an another great experience that I will always cherish. I frequently belly dance at all of the Atlantic City casinos and have performed Arabic dance in Las Vegas, NV as well. I am a professional entertainment booking agent, producer, make-up artist and choreographer. Soon, Dr. Rob and I will be heading back to Europe on holiday. This time we are heading to London, England, and Rome, Italy. We are also planning to visit Prague in the Czech Republic and enjoy Chicago, IL again. ;) Everything has been a real dream come true for me in every way. I could not be happier and more satisfied both professionally and personally. I feel very blessed in my life and hope my infectious happiness makes everyone smile, feel inspired and shimmy right along with me.
Touring throughout the US, and the world with numerous Middle Eastern superstar singers such as Amr Diab, Fares Karam, Warda, Nawahl Al-Zougbi, Ragheb Alama, Assi el-Hellani, Samira Said, Melham Barakat, Najwa Karam, Hany Mehanna, Diana Haddad, Doris Farhat, and many more. I frequently enjoy traveling out west to belly dance in beautiful shows throughout the greater Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, California areas. I enjoy being very selective with the Arabic concerts, shows, parties, and wedding hafli's I take. I like to base all of my performance decisions on whether or not I feel there is a strong artistic nature to the event in question. I have been asked to participate on many reality TV shows but turned them all down because I feel our craft would not be portrayed in the most creative, honest, cultural, and artistic light possible. I will never debase belly dancing in any way, and enjoy striving to keep the cultural aspect of Raks Sharki alive and well and always professionally represented.
Instrument(s): Sagat (zills), Riq, Tabla, Dohollah (frame drum)
Soraya performs various styles of Middle Eastern percussion from Sagat (Zills) to multiple styles of hand drums. Understanding Arabic rhythm identification, time changes, musical time signatures, Egyptian, and Near Eastern beats
Internationally reknown professional Middle Eastern Dancer, entertainment booking 'talent' agent, upscale concerts, beautiful Arabic weddings and shows emphasizing numerous Raks Sharki styles, cultural Anthropologist, entrepreneur, philanthropist.
All Egyptian dance technical aspects, Raks Sharki, understanding Arabic music, Arabic language/lyric interpretation, Lebanese belly dancing, various folkloric dances from the Middle East, Mediterranean regional performances from the Magreb, musical identifcation of multiple rhythms, historical lectures and Egyptology.