The Gilded Serpent presents...

Antoinette Awayshak/Khoury


Antoinette was one of the first dancers in Hollywood, she started her career at the Fez in 1961 and was the featured dancer there for many years. She was the first dancer many future dancers saw. She was instrumental in changing the format of the shows.

Antoinette and Najeeb Khoury set up routines such as individual solos with each musician, special drum solos, and different rhythms of the dance, whereas prior to this the dance format was fast. slow, fast. She also incorporated singing in her shows. Her authentic and original style appealed to both the Arabic and American audience. Antoinette performed at many clubs in Hollywood, including the Egyptian Gardens, Port Said, Seventh Veil, Greek Village, and Shakers. When the Ali Baba opened in Hollywood, she and Najeeb (who she supported while he went to medical school) hired the musicians and dancers for the show. Among the dancers were Dah’ad, Xchelle, Nadia Simone, Feiruz and Jacqueline. Being raised as a “Bint Arab” (Arabic girl ) gave her the ability and knowledge to express the emotions of the Arabic culture through her dance. Antoinette also danced in San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Mexico, and appeared in several films.

Antoinette chose to stop dancing in the early seventies. She enjoyed her career but felt it was time to move on. She was a make-up artist and consultant for Revlon Cosmetics and then she continued her education at Cal State Los Angeles. She moved to Las Vegas and set up and managed a weight control clinic and was the technician for a hyberic oxygen chamber. In the late 70’s she returned to California and became a clinic director for outpatient medical clinics. She set up several clinics, trained, hired and promoted many women in her 26 year career.

She traveled extensively hrough Europe and the Middle-East and many other countries, she enjoys painting, and writing and loves to cook. She has two sons, two stepdaughters, and three grandaughters. She has been married to her Dutch husband for 30 years.

Antoinette retired in 2005 and moved to Henderson, Nevada, where she currently lives.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by Antoinette

  • Inspiration and a Push from the Stars, A Dancer's Destiny part 1
    Around this time, my mother was singing at Mahrajan’s when they held Arabic functions and there was a dancer by the name of Kanza Omar, who was my idol
  • A Dancer's Destiny, Part 2: A New Dancer Emerges
    Lou Shelby had told me to begin that Friday night. (The Fez only had entertainment on the weekends at that time.) An Egyptian dancer, Maya, and a Las Vegas dancer, Cozette, were working there; so I was the third dancer on the program. I came in early for a rehearsal; Lou’s idea was to have a real Hollywood-like production: I was to emerge in a flood of colored lights amidst smoke from a smoke machine and open his show.