Soheir  Zaki once said, she needed to dance like anyone needed air to breathe. Her passion for the dance started as a child. Soheir was born in 1944 in the city of Mansoura, Egypt. In 1953 she and her family moved to Alexandria. It was there that her dance career began. Soheir taught herself to dance by listening to the radio and watching famous dancers like Tahia Carioca and Samia Gamal, she started performing at nightclubs around the age of 11.

Zaki’s love for the dance was so obvious to those that watched her, inspiring her to move to Cairo and pursue a professional career. Souheir went on to be one of the most famous dancers of the sixties; she was even called the, “Oum Kalthoum of dance.” Zaki was the first oriental dancer to perform to Oum Kalthoum’s music and Kalthoum herself said that Soheir interpreted the music beautifully.

Soheir maintained that belly dance is not about learning steps and repeating them, but about a feeling, spirit, and sense of humor.

*Please note this video was not uploaded by The Belly Blog. It was found on


 Suheir Zaki  is perhaps one of the most iconic visions of oriental dance. I see her as the epitome of the elegant vintage belly dancer, complete with 60s-70s surfer guitar riffs that seem to vibrate and reflect off of her almost kitchy retro costumes!

Not only do I totally dig her sweet costumes, but her bubbly grins and facial expressions are the icing on the cake.

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