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"Dear Soraya,
To my sister in dance, you have become my muse and my inspiration".

"Salam Aleikum Habibi… Soraya is a gorgeous gifted respected Middle Eastern dancer with professionalism and complete class. With my love of sacred Middle Eastern dance, Soraya is a complete inspiration". She holds a BA degree in cultural Anthropology/Sociology in Arabic studies. She has started dancing at the age of 4! Since then, she has traveled the entire US and the world dancing in select, shows and tours with famous Arabic singers such as: Amr Diab, Ihab Tawfik, Warda, Ragheb Alama, Nour Mehenna, George Wassouf, and more. She also had the rare invitation to perform at the palace of his late Royal Majesty King Hassan and the Moroccan Royal Family. How exciting! She has also performed extensively in India in five star hotels with her band and singers on the tour: "Soraya's Night at the Casbah". She has a large video and DVD collection that she offers all over the US and overseas.
You are gorgeous and so talented. I will only strive to perform as classy and beautiful as you. You are such a natural. You are a complete inspiration. Thank you so much"!

- Rose "Khlaalida" Kali

"Soraya has a very unique choreographic infrastructure and warm personality, and thus creates a wonderful relationship with her band and audience…"

"I own the total collection of Soraya's belly dancing DVD's and no matter how much I watch them, I always find myself trying to figure out how she can move her body like that! Soraya represents belly dancing at its best. Her dance style is fiery and in perfect control, yet infinitely feminine and delicate. She gives 110% *all* of the time, in every step, movement, pose and gesture she makes. Her stamina and energy levels are unsurpassed. Many are jealous of her talent and wish they could be just like her.

Her natural feeling and choreographic genius is unparalleled, passionate and envied worldwide. Even towards the end of her shows at the complex drum solos, her dancing is always just as powerful, vibrant and fresh as when she first entered the stage. You can learn a lot by studying Soraya's timeless dancing - her flawless and seamless transitions in her signature movements are tremendous. I love the way in which Soraya's arms and hands beautifully frame her precise hip movements and her perfect isolations. I can't stand it when a dancer looks like a nervous bird in a relay race or a limp string bean with no lift! Soraya has fabulously poised spins, and the glue that makes her work all the more amazing is the ease that she can successfully blend the Egyptian style improvisation (which is felt and can never be formally taught) into her masterful performances.

Soraya has a very unique choreographic infrastructure and warm personality, and thus creates a wonderful relationship with her band with audience.

Soraya has fabulous emotional expression, beautiful smile and a dynamite stage presence that mesmerizes all that witness her exciting ethnic artistry. Her dancing is always new and on the cutting edge yet she remains dedicated to preserving tradition.

There is only one Soraya and she is the essence of what Middle Eastern belly dancing is".

- Carolena "Zara" Johnson

"Soraya is one extraordinary talent and seasoned professional. She is sophisticated, poised and dynamic in her art. Her natural understanding of the beat, range of musical understanding and stage presence goes way beyond any other. Whenever Soraya is on the stage, everyone in the theater is immediately frozen and entranced by her delicate sense of timing, entertainment virtuosity and her captivating Arabic beauty. There is only one Soraya, and she is the best!"

Mr. George Al- Assadi, Tabla percussionist, Cairo, Egypt,
New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA.

"What makes an Egyptian dance truly great is that everything in the music is felt. We do not dance stiff, look like we counting steps or thinking too much, that is for the Western and European dancers. The true essence of the "Bint al-Balad" is knowing how to properly improvise inside of the Egyptian genre. Anybody can simply jump around a stage, but they do not know how to dance. A dancer that does not fully posses the feeling, cannot fool an Egyptian audience; they will know the difference immediately."

-Madame Raqia Hassan, Egypt

"Soraya's consummate artistry as an ethnic dance performer and outstanding creativity as a choreographer are matched only by her tremendous skill to be able to naturally improvise within the Oriental musical compositions and truly internalize the music just like a native Egyptian.

When Soraya belly dances it is clear to the viewer, that her amazing abilities lie in the ease in which she presents her movements and step combinations in a clear, complete and concise manner. There is nothing worse than a dancer being predictable, unexciting, counting steps, being overly American/European or dancing like a robotic fashion that is devoid of art.

Soraya's bellydance video and DVD collection is in such high demand in the US and throughout the world that satisfies those searching for the true essence of Egyptian style devoid of all Western influence. As a cultural Anthropologist, Soraya strives to preserve the rich cultural traditions before they completely vanish from the earth. It is her goal to keep the authentic traditional dances and styles alive and well in 2004 and well into the future."

- Michelle Fazel, New York City

Soraya, Belly Dancer Extraordinaire and Entertainment booking agent.

"When you're planning that (once in a lifetime event) you only get a single opportunity to make every detail perfect. That's why companies such as Trump Taj Mahal, Bally's, Showboat Casino Hotel Atlantic City, Caesar's Palace, The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Johnson and Johnson, and Ford contacted Soraya when they needed the perfect theme entertainment to make their special events spectacular.

Whether you're seeking the best in energetic and authentic professional belly dancing, an elegant quartet to play background dinner music, a ten-piece high-energy orchestra with singers or a fully staged production stage show, Soraya's Mid-East Dance and Music Productions will happily accommodate all of your entertainment needs and personal requests with finesse. Soraya's entertainment agency takes great pride in offering a plethora of versatile, diversified, unforgettable and impressive ethnic dance and music talent for events of the highest regard".

- International Event Planning and Catering

"Soraya has a vast movement repertoire
that keeps on flowing like a beautiful waterfall".

"This is the great natural gift of true Egyptian improvisation. Many desperately try to obtain this amazing quality through years of study
but, cannot seen the grasp it nor the Middle Eastern essence. This is what Egyptian dance is and cannot be taught in any classroom. It is passed down
through generation to generation and occurs naturally. This is common knowledge to all Egyptians and authentic dance enthusiasts. This is just one of the many aspects as to why Soraya is always the first choice for the top shows, concerts, and weddings in which the client requires the best representation of the art.
For Egyptians, they want to be able to boast that the performer they have hired is 'is the best one'. This is so because of the reputation of the families and the ability to impress their guests is paramount.

A true artist never wants their show to look overly rehearsed or mechanical, like you see commonly see with dancers that are not ofArabic heritage".

- Sharifa Nagi-Thompson

"…If you are looking for the real, authentic "over there" style and feeling of true Middle Eastern style belly dancing, then Soraya's DVD's and videos are for you!"

- Fatima Mizrahi, Philadelphia, PA

"Hi. Allow me to say that you are the most beautiful woman in the world. I don't say this to a lot to women. I am not from this kind. But I really liked you the first time I saw your picture and wonderfully talented video clips. Your face has been tattooed on my head."
Mansour A. Kadasa, Saudi Arabia
IT Network Support - RT
"Anybody can simply memorize rigid steps (like a well trained monkey), which is not the essence of true Arabic dance. With European and Westernized American dancing, that is to be expected. Too much Memorization it is not the way with ethnic dance forms and Middle Easterners know this from the first minute of watching a performance. To be boring and uninteresting is not true Arabic dance art, it is mechanical. However, with real Egyptian dancing, it flows naturally from the soul. When I find out that Soraya will be dancing, I get so excited, because the entire band knows the show will be the best it can be."

-Tamer Rashid, Professional tabla drummer, Egypt

The true Middle Eastern style is all about the power of improvisation, FEELING the music, something that too many American and Europeans have a very hard time grasping, because this is not learned in a classroom it is understood, which is a huge difference.
A great dancer is born with "it" already inside, "it" is in our blood. As children we dance because we feel the rhythms in our soul. Oriental dance should always be natural, flowing, and innate and never be mundane. A true star only comes along once in a great while and feels the dance so naturally all while knowing how to mix this gift with her own distinct choreography, this is real art. When this perfect blend is mastered it is magic on the stage and envied worldwide. This natural gift will makes others very jealous. However, some will not be as threatened and praise it like they should. Only a real Arabic dance star knows how to really work it all while using correct, form, poise and masterful technique the essence of Arabic dance.

- Ibrahim "Bobby" Farrah, (the late great dancer chororeographer), NYC and Lebanon.

"....Improvisation is intuition in action, a way to discover the muse and learn to respond to her call. The creative process is a spiritual path. This adventure is about us, about the deep self, the composer in all of us, about originality, meaning which is fully and originally ourselves."

-Stephen Nachnanovitc, famous dancer and choreographer

"Soraya is the total package, she has it all!

"Soraya is the consummate professional belly dance star with the right formula. She successfully and masterfully blends all of the elements of the essence of real Oriental dance.
Soraya uses the correct technique, posture, magnetic stage presence, beautiful facial expressions, personality, precise movements, choreographic control, lavish costuming, confidence, and most of all her natural feel and timing for complex Middle Eastern music.
Soraya's natural sense of rhythm is impeccable as she layers her movements without missing a single beat in the music. Wait until you see her effortlessly perform a 'traveling camel' with a nonstop 'shimmy walk'! Soraya's movements can be small and precise or large and dramatic. It is obvious that the Arabic music flows inside her every cell without question. All of these elements and more add up to Soraya achieving performance excellence. What makes Soraya so incomparable is her masterful ability to mix her technical expertise, tight choreographies, as well as her vast dance vocabulary with her natural gift of Arabic improvisation (the essence of Egyptian style bellydancing). So many other dancers try so hard to achieve this and cannot. However, for Soraya, it as easy as breathing…

She truly understands this unique balance of not only encompassing and capturing the formula for technicality but to also achieve the delicate balance of being an exciting and passionate entertainer."

-Rweida Nasri

"Dear University,
I just wanted to tell you that I enjoyed the
International Festival starring Soraya last Saturday night. The
highlight of the evening for me was seeing Soraya
belly dance. I have several of her videos and I knew this
was a rare public performance for her so I jumped at
the opportunity to see her live. I drove an hour and a half
from New York and it was worth the trip. Soraya is a
wonderful dancer and is really a joy to watch. She
fully enjoys what she does by the smile on her face.

I had the chance to meet her and her husband, the good doctor.
She is a very nice and gracious person as

Thank you for the chance to see this beautiful dancer
in person!"

Barry A. Rogers, New York

"The Art of Improvisation is having the great skill to be able to dance freely, with no choreography getting in the way. This is far from easy…This is Arabic dance."

"The dancer must first learn to properly discipline her body with much difficult choreography before she can open up her repertoire to freely express her soul. It means that you must first train yourself so well with technique that your body will flow when the time comes to improvise and will allow your emotions to shine; there is nothing greater than that in ethnic art. A lot of dancers can't accomplish this great task which is the intangible and amazing essence of real Oriental dance".

- Ibrahim Farrah, the late great Lebanese dancer, Fazel's NY, NY

Dear Soraya:

"My wife and I have been fans for few years now. I visited your site about three months ago and was awestruck by your beauty when I saw you in your costumes. I thought about contacting you and I am so glad I did. You are a wonderful, sweet, understanding and very knowledgeable person on the subject of bellydance and culture.

I ordered your "Soraya El Malika, The Queen Of Belly Dance" DVD and was astounded by your talent, your sheer love of bellydance which shows in your performances and on the smile on your face.
We are so glad to be associated with you! You're an inspiration to bellydancers all over the world and have made us even more dedicated fans to the beautiful, sensual art of bellydancing!
Keep up the beautiful work and never, ever change. It is clear why others are so jealous of you because of your fairy tale life, true happiness, and great success. Take it as the greatest compliment my darling. We hope someday to see you perform live which would be a dream come true for both of us!
We truly are your "Bellydance Fans for Life"
Mike & Lisa Chicago, IL.
P.s. Thank you so much for your 8x10 Picture... We Love it!

SORAYA: The pure artistic transcendence of art at it's best!

"It is not often that one can observe a belly dancer who is not just going through the motions of the dance, but is able to express in his or her person the mystery, grace, humanity, and love of life that is at the heart of belly dance. Soraya's performances capture the delicate moments of transcendence, when art and artist become one. She is the only belly dancer that we will ever use for our events and parties!

Dr. Waleed Mounir,
Princeton, NJ

"You are a sister to every woman out here dancing!!!"

"Soraya, I found what you wrote on your website about the dancer not belittling herself by accepting low pay or a bad work environment to be so supportive! I am seeing that you're so sweet and approachable! But, you have such a rich history in your work... Your photos just speak volumes about your ability, but what you've written on your's powerful and honest and...just...perfect! It really touched ME! Soraya...Well you are "it" when it comes to authentic perfect dancers my dear! I can't think of anyone better to promote this dance!!!
You require GREAT praise on a hourly basis! I bow humbly to you Soraya!

You deserve all this praise and more!"


To Soraya and Dr. Rob,

"I am so overjoyed that two such kind souls met and will
find happiness with each other for all of eternity. :o)
It makes me feel better about the world!!!"

-Laura Bryant, Professional Photographer

"Hello there,
Soraya, I LOVE your is so informative and really very well done. Your costumes are out of this world. Do you happen to have any for sale? I would like to order your DVD's! Thank you very much!!" Soraya Blessed be!

Yours in Dance,

Hello Soraya,
Soraya, I heard about you many years ago and I've seen your lovely
photos. I am also aware that you put out a number of videos and DVD's that are all so professionally done. Reading about you on your website, which is very tastefully done, makes me feel very proud that we have professional artists and talents like you, of Middle Eastern heritage, who know how to blend in with the western culture and educate them through arts and entertainment. Blessings be upon you.

Most sincerely, Harry Saroyan of Saroyan Mastercrafts
NOTE: (Soraya proudly endorses all of Harry Saroyan's fine Mastercrafts)!

I was just doing search on gypsies and I found your web page. Then I see you are married! Oh well, may you live long, prosper and be well!
Your photos and costumes are just stunning. Your body has the best moves I have seen in dance.

Gosh, you're so beautiful!
Warm regards,
Charles Wildbank, The Hamptons, NY

"…It is never honorable to work in restaurants and nightclubs, (especially in Egypt), it is considered low class. Name recognition and reputation is created by performances at only the most upscale weddings and other fancy shows and events. Soraya has never compromised her integrity and I admire her so much for that as well as her incredible natural dance talent (being a natural balady dancer, is truly an Egyptian quality). Soraya is such an incredible artist and is the only one that I have seen that is able to successfully mesh her jaw dropping technical ability with an awe-inspiring natural movement vocabulary that captivates audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats!"
Keep up the great work girl; you are the best inspiration for all artists!

Love, Nour, Cairo, Egypt

"Soraya is electric…."

"I have seen dancers all over Middle East and around the world, it is my business. Soraya is a rare performer who embraces and perfects the art of this dance with all the talent, charisma and heart we long for....
Soraya's beauty transcends borders and her style is owned by her alone...
Soraya is one of those rare, exciting performers who is both a vivacious entertainer and intense artist. Her mastery of authentic Egyptian dance, its character and depth coupled with her instincts and feeling makes her the leader in the Middle Eastern dance world today."
Mary Issam, Pharoah's Imports,Egypt and New York, NY, USA

The party doesn't begin until Soraya dances that's for sure!

Soraya has the talent, creative innovation, and musical focus, that makes an audience go wild. Soraya can command and awaken even the most sedate audiences into a clapping frenzy! She is a spellbinding and gregarious performer whose passion for dance amazes audiences everywhere all over the world.

- Mahmoud Zaki

Uncontrived and unguarded yet always proud she exposes the many archetypal facets of her true personality and history.

The main characteristic of the dance is improvisation - there is no story line within the Oriental. As with so much Arab art the dancer's performance is abstract.

Weaving spontaneously between rhythm and melody, Soraya experiences the music fresh and exciting in each moment.

Raqs Sharqi has its roots in ancient times yet Soraya knows how to bridge the sacred with the modern and acheives artistic perfection.

- Carrie Jawaad, Writer
Cairo Times

"Soraya's dynamic, exciting and educational program highlights
all of the distinct rhythms and deep emotions of Middle Eastern
Mediterranean dance and musical arts.

The Faculty and students experienced the true essence of a different culture that celebrated ethnic awareness week.

Soraya performed, instructed and gave so much to the students and used her Anthropology degree to educate the children with her own cultural truth of what real Egyptian belly dancing is.

She also enlightened us to Spanish Flamenco, Andalusian, Gypsy dancing, Judaic, Coptic Christian and Islamic dances so nothing was left untapped.

Soraya was readily prepared during the discussion portion of her program and even discussed Kabbalah (Cabala, Qabalah,) and her experiences dancing in Beverly Hills, CA, and what it was like being selected to perform for Kings, Royal families, Dignitaries and noted celebrities.

Unlike other art forms, these traditional ethnic dances do not tell stories but instead portray feelings, history and emotion. Soraya's terrific technical expertise
and conservative classical style amazed everyone (faculty and parents included), to standing room only.

- The Goddard School

"Soraya Nour al Ayoun" (The Light of her eyes) says famous Egyptian percussionist Gamal Magdy.

"It is beautiful to see a dancer really understand the beat even BEFORE I play it, she feels it inside like an Egyptian dancer should".

The Egyptian belly dance style is based on natural free flowing improvisation blended with specific technique. Soraya has the highly unusual, rare and unique ability to master all facets of true Egyptian dance. This style of belly dancing is the kind that is not taught in a classroom because it cannot be taught, it is felt in the soul of the dancer. Anyone can teach boring redundant steps, but you can't teach feeling, all true ethnic artists of all genre's know this. However, the Western and European dancers struggle with this.

Soraya's dance flavor is a spectacular mix of exotic free-sprited Egyptian improvisation with the perfect balance of strong technique mixed with her own delicate, feminine, and soft movements. Soraya is an artistic paradox and can also be very powerful, and direct with her choreographic dynamics offering her audiences the best of all worlds combined.
The Egyptian music dictates Soraya's specific movements, and emotions which determines how she will decide the interpretation of what she hears. Soraya has a higher feeling and understanding for the music than the American or European dancers, it is a fact. Soraya's technical mastery emanates from the core of her being.

The successful artistic juxtaposition
of Soraya's small yet powerful dance movements is incredible to behold. The way in which she internalizes her dancing to match the exact Egyptian musical compositions shows her innate passionate control.

Soraya is a gift to Oriental dance and we should all be lucky that she so freely shares it with us. She has a well trained ear for all Arabic music, rhythms, time signatures, beats and the subtle changes and it shows in her conscious control of choreographic phrases. When the Egyptian music calls, Soraya promptly and appropriately responds with her timeless dance.

This is just one of the many reasons why the American and European dancers that cant seem to grasp these qualities are so jealous of her.

I chose the smart thing which is to appreciate her essence since I find Soraya to be so fascinating as a person and as an International dance performer/trend setter. She is in such great demand with Middle Eastern clients wanting the best that it leaves the others baffled when it is so obvious to those in the know. Soraya doesn't dance like the typical foreigner trying so desperately hard to dance like an Egyptian. Soraya is the real essence of the ideal "Bint Al Balad" of Egypt who has become "The queen of Oriental belly dancing" all rolled into one magnificent package of dynamite.

- Dave Ayyoub
Beirut Times