Leyla Amir

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Leyla Amir

International Performer/Instructor/Choreographer/Promoter of Egyptian Raks

Leyla Amir began her journey into music and dance as a young child. Her musical repertoire of study has included piano, accordion, flute, guitar, voice, and later tabla and sagat. In the early 1970s the lure of the Middle Eastern music pulled her into the dance. She became a quick study with the dance movements and her interpretation of the music and was soon performing professionally in Arabic nightclubs in the USA. By 1981, Leyla fulfilled her dream of performing professionally in Egypt. She became one of the first recorded American dancer to be licensed to dance with a 5 star rating, in Egypt's major 5 star hotels, weddings, high end night clubs of Cairo, Alexandria, and throughout Egypt. She performed regularly until 1990.

Dancing on the stages of Egypt with her 15 musician band pushed her style to a new level, incorporating the Egyptian technique of interpreting music through dance. In her dance career, she has chosen to specialize in performance and instruction of Egyptian Raks only and currently travels world wide to perform and teach that specialty.

Her love of the Egyptian music and dance is evident in her elegant, charismatic and entertaining interpretation of the music. Many of her dances were filmed in Egypt and broadcast on TV as a performer for heads of state and government sponsored special events. She has also appeared in commercials and on numerous magazine covers in Egypt and USA promoting her art.

Leyla's world travels and dance have taken her to Turkey, Morocco, Greece, Arab Emirates, Jordon, France, Spain, Italy, Costa Rica, Hungary, Holland, Mexico, Malaysia, Lebanon, Syria and theUnited Kingdom with always more on the horizon.

Her traditional, classic, and modern style of performance and teaching places a strong emphasis on emotion and presentation, technique of movement and progression to the music with in the style, along with correct costuming and music choice for the style.

Leyla currently spends part of her year in USA, Egypt and traveling with select performances and as an Instructor. She also does her Dream Tours To Egypt to promote the dance and culture of “The Motherland of Oriental Dance”.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by Leyla Amir

  • Is the Bedlah from Hollywood?, The Origin of Our Costume
    As long as I can remember, the origins of the bedlah (the two piece costume of Middle Eastern dancers) has been widely controversial and debated among the artists of Raqs Sharqi (belly dance). The dance itself, along with the costume, has gone through many centuries of changes and name identifications in accord with period fashion as well as contact with outside influences.