The term “Golden Era” is often used to refer to the period of Egyptian cinema beginning in the early-mid through the middle of the 20th century. During this period, many actresses/dancers became popular, not only in Egypt and the Middle East but around the world. Many of these dancers are still recognized as the best of the best and are still a source for inspiration for belly dance enthusiasts today.

The list below is certainly not inclusive of all Golden Era dancers, but it is a list of some of the most popular. YouTube clips are provided to give you a look at the moves and movies that made these dancers famous.

Samia Gamal

Samia Gamal is an incredible Egyptian dancer and actress who gained fame in the 1940s and 1950s. She’s known as one of the most iconic dancers in the history of Egyptian cinema and was even referred to as the “Queen of Dance”.
Born in a small village called Wana in the Nile Delta region of Egypt as Zaynab Ibrahim Mahfuz, Samia Gamal began dancing at a young age and quickly gained recognition for her talent. 
Throughout her career, Samia Gamal appeared in numerous films, She was well-known for her graceful and sensual dance performances, which helped to establish the art of Oriental dance in Egypt and beyond.
In addition to her film work, Samia Gamal also performed extensively in theaters and nightclubs throughout Europe, the Middle East, and the United States. She was particularly popular in the 1950s, when she performed for esteemed audiences such as Winston Churchill, King Farouk, and Marilyn Monroe.
In 1949, Samia Gamal was proclaimed “The National Dancer of Egypt” by Egypt’s King Farouk, which drew attention to her talent in the United States.
Although she retired from performing in the 1960s, Samia Gamal remained active in the arts, teaching dance and choreographing for film and television. She passed away in Cairo in 1994, but her legacy as one of the greatest dancers of the Golden Age of Egyptian cinema lives on, inspiring dancers and fans all over the world.

Naima Akef

Tahia Carioca

Nagwa Fouad

Suheir Zaki


Zeinat Olwi

Naemet Mohktar

Zizi Mustafa

Samiha Tawfik

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