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Salah (dancer)

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Title: Salah (dancer)  
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Subject: Hip-hop dance, La France a un incroyable talent, Sonya Tayeh
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Salah (dancer)

Salah Benlemqawanssa
Born (1979-06-26) June 26, 1979 (age 35)
Saint-Denis, France[1]
Residence Créteil, France[2]
Nationality France French
Ethnicity Algerian,[2] Morrocan
Occupation Dancer
Years active 1995—present[1]
Known for YouTube fame[3] and inaugural winner of La France a un incroyable talent
Home town Paris, France
Height 5'10"
Religion Muslim

Salah Benlemqawanssa (born June 26, 1979), also known as Spider Salah, is an award-winning competitive hip-hop dancer from France who won La France a un incroyable talent (France has Incredible Talent) in its first season.[3][4] He calls his personal dance style P.A.B.E. which stands for Popping, Animation, Boogaloo, and Effects.[1][5][6][7][8]


Salah started dancing in 1996 after he saw the dance crew O Posse practicing their moves in front of the mirrors of the Théâtre national de Chaillot.[9] Although he is best known for popping, he is also skilled in b-boying. As a b-boy, he won second place with The Family crew at Battle of the Year (BOTY) 1998.

"My life is dance and dance is my life. I sacrifice a lot for the dance. I am always practicing or performing. There is not much time for a personal life, but I love what I do! It takes a lot of inspiration, time and dedication to become a good dancer."


In 2006, the same year he won Incroyable Talent, Salah also won a 2-on-2 popping battle with teammate Iron Mike at Juste Debout, an international street dance competition. In 2008, he starred as himself in Beats Per Minute, an independent film about a French popper who discovers he can rewind time with his dance moves.[10] In 2009, Salah served as a judge at BOTY's international one-on-one b-boy battle in Germany. BOTY is a b-boy competition exclusively for b-boy crews; however, to celebrate their 20th anniversary they had a competition for b-boy solo dancers. He was also a judge at Red Bull BC One 2009 in New York City.[11]

In 2011, Salah led a digital project called Breathe the Beat. Through Breathe the Beat, he released a series of five video tutorials explaining how he takes inspiration from the world around him to create his P.A.B.E. dance style.[12] He also judged an online competition based on the principles of his tutorials to see which dancer could create the best one-minute performance. The winner, chosen by Salah, that created the best routine was James "AnimatedJ" Jimenez from the USA.[13] The project also featured a series of roadshows around the UK taught by Brooke and Roxy from Funkstylerz and Plague dance crews.[14] After Breath the Beat, Salah toured North America as a featured dancer in Cirque du Soleil's production Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.[15]


  • EuroBattle[16]
    • 2008:1-on-1 Popping champion
    • 2006:1-on-1 Popping champion
  • Funkin' Styles
    • 2010: 1-on-1 Freestyle champion
    • 2006: 1-on-1 Freestyle champion
  • Incroyable Talent[3][4]
    • 2006:Winner
  • Juste Debout
    • 2008: 2-on-2 Popping champions - Salah & Acky (Japan)
    • 2006: 2-on-2 Popping champions - Salah & Iron Mike
    • 2004: 2-on-2 Popping champions - Salah & Damon Frost
  • The Notorious IBE[17]
    • 2005: Stand Up Dance Battle champion
    • 2003: Stand Up Dance Battle champion
    • 2002: Seven 2 Smoke champion
  • Red Bull Beat It[18]
    • 2012: 1-on-1 Freestyle champion
  • UK B-Boy Championships[19]
    • 2010: B-boy crew champions[note 1]
    • 2007: 1-on-1 Popping champion
  • Urban Momentum[20]
    • 2004: 1-on-1 Freestyle champion


  • Film
    • 2012: Sur la piste du Marsupilami
    • 2008: Beats Per Minute[3]
    • 2002: Astérix et Obélix: Mission Cléopâtre[20][26]
  • Teaching
    • DanceKool[32]
    • Street Dance Kemp Europe[33]
    • Urban Dance Camp[34]
    • Broadway Dance Center[1]
    • Ones to Watch[35]
    • International Dance Festival Birmingham[36]
    • Giant Studio[2]
    • The Hip Drop Dance Complex[37]


Salah specializes in hip-hop, but he has also studied other forms of dance including African, salsa, tap, contemporary, and belly dancing.[9] Salah is a member of Vagabonds[1] and Massive Monkees b-boy crews. He is also a member of the contemporary dance company Montalvo-Hervieu.[20]



  1. For the year, see: (Bulgarian)

External links

Dance portal
  • Myspace
  • YouTube
  • Salah short biography at
  • Dance Unity documentary featuring Salah
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