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agt, the mayyas, mayyas dance

10/10. The Mayyas dance.

We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

“Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”


The Mayyas went on to fulfill their promise of a truly hypnotic performance. Starting in a single file line, the women created magnificent shapes while moving in flawless synchronicity. At one point the group even became a pair of eyes (a major crowd pleaser).

According to ET Canada, Cherfan blended moves from both Chinese and Lebanese folklore. It made for a wholly original celebration of cultures, not to mention one breathtaking spectacle. The judges—and the audience—were left dumbfounded.

It was no time at all before judge Sofia Vergara leapt up to give the Mayyas their well-deserved golden buzzer. “There are no words to explain to you what we were feeling over here. It was the most beautiful creative dancing I’ve ever seen,” she told the team.

Howie Mandel added, “You said you were going to hypnotize us. When we sat here and we watched the movement and the perfection and the time and effort that went into that, we were hypnotized by what you did.”

You can watch the Mayyas’s spellbinding act below. Prepare to be hypnotized yourself.


Photo: Jason DeCrow for United Nations Foundation

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