When Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Howie Mandel, and Heidi Klum of America’s Got Talent heard from a group of dancers onstage that they were going to be mesmerized, they had no clue how accurate it would turn out to be. But that is exactly what the Mayyas—an all-women dancing group from Lebanon whose name means “proud walk of a lioness”—were able to do on Tuesday’s (June 21) program, garnering a gold buzzer moment from one judge and rare praise from another.
“Unfortunately, being a female Arab dancer is still not totally accepted,” one of the dancers stated before the performance, which was choreographed by Nadim Cherfan. “Standing on the world’s greatest platform is our sole chance to show the world what Arab women can achieve, the art we can make, and the conflicts we can fight.”
When it was time to perform, the dancers requested that the judges move closer to each other for the best experience. The ladies then formed a single-file line and began to construct forms with their arms and hands, occasionally utilizing props like feathers to create the appearance that a couple of dozen pairs of arms were growing brilliantly from the one dancer in front.
The line then parted to show the audience all of the Mayyas women’s faces, which were partially hidden by dangling jeweled masks. The audience applauded as they placed their arms together to make rippling figures, including a pair of eyeballs with one dancer at the middle of each representing the pupil.
The judges were taken aback when the group ended their act by reorganizing into the original single-file line. “There are no words to express to you what we were experiencing over here,” Vergara added after all four gave the Mayyas a standing ovation.
“You said you were going to mesmerize us,” Mendel pointed out. “We were mesmerized by what you did as we sat here and observed the movement, the precision, and the work and effort that went into it.”
“This truly, truly will make a difference in so many ways,” Cowell said. “It was possibly the finest dancing act we’ve probably ever seen. And it’s an honor to have you here.”
Then it was time to vote, which three of the judges did not get. “I would be very pleased to empower you even more on this path because you deserve it,” Vergara said before smashing her once-a-season Golden Buzzer, sending a shower of confetti to fall on the stage. “I’d like to be a part of this!”
Watch the Mayyas’ transfixing dance routine below: