Meet the Mayyas, the Lebanese dance team that wowed the judges of “America’s Got Talent”

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The Lebanese dance company Les Mayyas took America’s Got Talent by storm this week, impressing judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara so much that they received a golden buzzer and a fast track to live broadcasts.

However, the successful audition was not the all-girl cast’s first appearance at a talent show.

The crew was founded in Beirut by Nadim Cherfan, who is also the number’s choreographer. Cherfan started dancing at the age of 14 and attended workshops in the UK, USA and India. He launched his own dance classes in studios in the Lebanese capital in 2012, before forming the Mayyas.

In 2019, the group appeared on the sixth series Arabs have talent and won the series. The same year, they participated in Great Britain has talent: the champions, an international spin-off of the British television talent show.

Appearing on America’s Got Talent, the group is now aiming to take home the coveted $1 million prize. Their 2019 Arabs have talent the victory came with a new car and a cash prize of 200,000 Saudi riyals ($53,333).

Although he did not make it past the semi-final on Great Britain has talent: the champions, Cowell – a judge on both shows – described the act as “brilliant” and fellow judge, English comedian David Walliams said: “It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s one of those acts where it only works if each of you does your piece perfectly and each of you has done it.

On Great Britain has talent: the championsthe Mayyas were one of 45 artists who competed in a field made up of global talent from the UK, India, the Philippines, South Africa, Spain, Singapore and more.

Talk to The National after their Great Britain has talent: the champions experience, Cherfan said he was satisfied with the experience. “We wanted to go out there and show what we can do because it was important to us,” he said.

“The best part of it all is that we’ve been invited alongside winners from all over the world. To be included in this is special.”

Mayyas on

MBC’s Mazen Hayek said their time on the show and their international success was an inspiration to the entire region.

“They are the symbol of resilience,” said Hayek. “Reach Great Britain has talent: the champions is another example of proof of this resilience and an example of the fact that nothing is impossible when there is talent and determination. They are the perfect embodiment of Arab youth for whom the sky is the limit.”

During their America’s Got Talent audition, the band explained their name, saying it’s “a word in Arabic that means the proud march of a lioness.”

Vergara also asked the group about life in Lebanon at the moment, to which they replied, “Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we are living a daily struggle.”

Another dancer said, “Unfortunately, being a dancer as an Arab woman is not fully supported yet.”

Asked about their dream, they said being there “on the biggest stage in the world” was their “only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we lead”.

In 2019, Cherfan had his eyes glued high, telling Arab News: “I would like to choreograph for Beyonce one day.

“She’s a huge inspiration and an incredible dancer, and she’s the number one artist in the world.”

Watch the full Mayyas America’s Got Talent audition here:

Updated: June 24, 2022, 2:10 p.m.

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