Friday 2 of December, 2022
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Yara Saleh: From Engineer To Trailblazing Dancehall Pioneer

Staff writer Farida El Shafie sits down with Egyptian choreographer Yara Saleh to discuss her love avair with Jamaican dancehall and the innovative drive that created a new dance community in Egypt.

Farida El Shafie

Having found success amidst oil rigs and pious engineers, Yara Saleh dropped everything and found greater purpose within Jamaican dance practice - dancehall.

There’s no bad blood between the dancer/choreographer and her former corporate career in oil rigs, in fact Saleh looks back on that part of her life with fondness. However, brimming with passion for dance, Saleh began to see a purpose outside of the confines of the corporate world and within the world of movement. The instant love affair knew no geographical bounds and through sourcing her knowledge from Los Angeles and Jamaica, Saleh transcended borders and became the first dancehall choreographer in Egypt.

What Saleh did not anticipate was the influx of mass support and genuine interest that befell her and her chosen craft. She found herself further captivated by the cultural upheaval and appreciation - whether it is from Jamaicans or Egyptians - in regards to the dance she calls home. Unbeknownst to her, Saleh has not only found a community of like-minded individuals but she has forged one out of sheer drive and devotion.

To see how her journey has gone (and perhaps how you can follow in her stylish footsteps without tripping over yourself), check out the video to watch the full interview.