Mayyas perform for first time since 'America's Got Talent' win at Lebanon event

Founder Nadim Cherfan says Lebanese dance troupe will 'live on forever' during a Q&A session with the US embassy in Beirut

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Fresh from Mayyas’s America’s Got Talent win, the founder of the Lebanese dance troupe, Nadim Cherfan, has promised the group will “live on forever”.

During a special question-and-answer session at the US embassy in Beirut, Cherfan spoke of what life has been like since Mayyas won the US talent show last month and their future plans.

“I promise the girls I will be with them forever, that’s how I say it,” the choreographer said. “The girls will be changing over the years, some of them will be following their own dreams, but the Mayyas should live on, it’s not any more about any of us — it’s a national pride. So we have to keep on sending this message.”

Cherfan also spoke of the impact dance had on his life while growing up in Lebanon.

“As soon as I opened my eyes to this world and I started realising that there's something called theatre and dance and music, I was completely taken away from the first second,” he said.

Watch the full session at the US Embassy in Beirut below

“When you live in a country that has some struggles, you have to go deep to the heart to escape reality. I used to travel all around the world and experience a beautiful sensation that I can speak an international language and I can express myself whether I am angry or sad in this way, so I think dancing saved my life in a way.”

During the session, he named Egyptian star Sherihan and singer Beyonce among his biggest inspirations, saying it would be his dream to choreograph for the Single Ladies star one day.

He also said that winning America’s Got Talent was never something he set out to do.

“The thing is, when you connect with people around you, a certain relationship starts to pick up. We as dancers have an international language, we don’t need to talk a lot so we can connect together,” he said. “We are able to send messages and inspire people through our talent. So honestly, I never thought, I never planned, I never dreamed — I just did what I loved. I just went for it.

“I never focused on winning. I only focused on running away and creating beautiful images. Creating friendships, family and memories.”

The 45-minute Q&A session was broadcast on YouTube as part of the US Embassy’s Meet the Artist series.

It also featured a special performance by Mayyas — their first since winning the US talent show.

Mayyas on 'America's Got Talent'

The Lebanese dance company Mayyas won America's Got Talent season 17, taking home the $1 million prize and the chance to headline a Las Vegas show.

In June, the group made their America's Got Talent debut and impressed judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel and Sofia Vergara so much that they received Vergara's golden buzzer and a fast track to the live shows.

"Every single one of us in this room, I promise you, are going to remember this moment," Cowell said of their return to the show on September 7.

"This is not just going to change your lives, and this is going to sound very dramatic, this is a performance that changes the world. It was as good as it gets ... respect."

Watch Mayyas' first 'America's Got Talent' audition

The crew was founded in Beirut by Cherfan, who is also the act's choreographer. Cherfan started dancing aged 14 and attended workshops in the UK, the US and India. He launched his own dance classes in studios around the Lebanese capital in 2012, before forming Mayyas.

In 2019, the group appeared on the sixth season of Arabs Got Talent and went on to win the series. In the same year, they participated in Britain's Got Talent: The Champions, an international spin-off of the talent show on UK TV.

Their 2019 Arabs Got Talent win came with a new car and a 200,000 Saudi riyal ($53,333) cash prize.

Updated: October 02, 2022, 9:41 AM
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