Yara Saleh, a former engineer, has made a monumental career shift by introducing Dancehall into Egypt, providing choreography classes. The 29-year old professional dancer believes that the genre of music has the ability to unite people.
Dancehall is a genre of music and dance that originated in Jamaica in the 1970s and 80s. The name comes from music played in dance halls where people would gather in large numbers and dance together. The genre has its roots among the African diaspora communities and by the 1990s it had spread to the United States and evolved into sub-genres. Each move in the street style dance has a specific cultural meaning
In an interview with Egyptian Streets, Yara says she has always tried to find a balance between studying and her passion for dance. It was not until she was working that she decided to take classes in Afro-beats and then decided to consider choreography as a career.
She then travelled to Los Angeles to take dance classes and that is where she was introduced to Dancehall and learnt from local Jamaicans in the area. After a few months, she travelled to Jamaica where she engaged in further dance classes.
Back in Egypt, Yara started to give classes but many Egyptians were confused and did not have a clear idea of Dancehall and its origins. With time, people get along with the classes. Yara's advice is to be grounded and to let the body flow with the music.