Fifi Abdou grew up in a village outside Cairo. She was determined to become a dancer and at the age of 12, she ran away from home with a neighbour’s daughter who was a dancer in a folklore troupe. She then became a soloist at the age of 13 and began dancing at weddings and performing at 5-star hotels. Fifi Abdou claims that she never had a dance teacher. Her business sense and willingness to work hard made her extremely successful – she was considered the best of the “Big Three” dancers along with Dina and Lucy.
Her dance style is controversial; many consider her work to be too provocative and vulgar. Her style is very loose and improvisational. One famous performance was her “Shisha” dance which was a dance with a water pipe. Fifi Abdou’s performances usually lasted around two hours. She is often criticized for her limited repertoire of movements, however she is well known for her stage presence and involving her audience. Fifi Abdou stopped dancing in 2004, however still remains one of the most well-known Egyptian dancers.