Phoenix Belly Dance

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Tahia Karioka
by Rachel Boyle

Tahiya Karioka (Mohamed) 1919-1999 bn. Ismaileya, Egypt.

Began dancing in Badia Masabni's Casino Opera troupe at the age of 14, after leaving home to escape her overbearing brothers. She learnt ballet and also a samba dance called Karioka, where she got her stage name. She was known for her stage presence, including puns, playful gestures and ironic flirting. Famous for soulful musical interpretation and heartfelt demonstration of Egyptian style dance, and also for incorporating latin footwork and beats into her performances. Tahiya stopped dancing in 1952 to become an actress.

Signature moves: half circle with dip, latin high step, lower body camel with arms up. She kept her arms up more than half the time she was dancing.