El Raqs Hayati
Inspiration - Connection - Expression
Dance is a immense component in my life, where I can express the deepest emotions through movements. Every year I refresh myself by the sea breeze with new inspirations. Let's discover it together in the enchanted island of Puerto Rico. I invite you to my country and enjoy this unique experience.
Sal Maktoub is an acclaimed instructor and performer in Egytpian dance and folklore. His time spent within the Middle East and his own background bring to his dancing authentic and unique qualities that characterize his distinctive style. His dedication to the culture has made him a well-rounded artist with a great connection to the meaning behind movements and the music.
Most renowned for his Egyptian Tanoura show, Sal has mesmerized audiences around the globe with this beautiful and captivating presentation. Currently working as a professional folklore performer in Egypt, he has submerged himself in the traditions and language of the local people to gain a better understanding of the culture and practices of the folkloric dances of the region.
When teaching, Sal enjoys sharing his knowledge, experiences, and love of music and movement with his students. Living and working abroad have transformed his approach to teaching and performing, and it is his hope that his students are inspired to not only dance, but also to seek and wholeheartedly embrace the culture from whence these dances originate.
(Residence Teacher & Organizer)
Born in Puerto Rico, Natalie is described as bundle of beautiful energy tempered by technique and taste along her dynamic performances. She moved to New York City in 2012 and soon afterwards started performing and teaching, and has forged her memorable brand as solo artist and as artistic director.
Along with her most outstanding advanced students, Natalie founded Raks Al Zahra, an Oriental & Folkloric Dance Company based in New York City. Every year they present their show "Raks Al Zahra Annual Show" to share their new work in a theater setting. Furthermore, Natalie has been touring with Bellyqueen Company since 2013 performing in Asia, Europe and United States, including as a principal dancer in the theatrical dance show "Journey Along the Silk Road", directed by Kaeshi Chai.
In honor of her late sister Dayna Nazario, she created the DAYNA PASS; a Scholarship Program designed to enrich education and artistic training for free in Puerto Rico. She is also the organizer of “El Raqs Hayati”, an annual event cerebrated in Old San Juan since 2013.
Natalie has been visiting Egypt to experience and learn intimately the culture and the modern life of Egyptian people. As a result of this, she started learning Egyptian Colloquial Arabic in a Intensive Program Language in Cairo on January 2017. Therefore, she can connect on a deeper level with her interpretation of the dance.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico, La Isla Del Encanto or "Island of Enchantment", is one of the Caribbean's top tourist destinations with thousands of visitors arriving each day by air and sea. Puerto Rico's beaches are world famous, as are her many historical sites, her cuisine, her nightlife and her year-round tropical weather. Tourist visiting Puerto Rico for the first time are amazed this island holds so many wonders. From the centuries old cobblestone streets of Old San Juan with it's massive forts, to the vast metropolis of San Juan; to the splendor of El Yunque National Forest and the offshore islands of Vieques and Culebra, it seems there is never enough time to see everything.
El Yunque National Forest
Paseo de la Princesa
white and black flag
Old San Juan
Castillo San Felipe del Morro
Columpio en Ceiba