Jamila’s first tray dancer was Meta who balanced a tray on her head throughout a performance that included floor work. Then, inspired by a Time-Life Moroccan cook book with a photo of male dancers dancing while balancing trays on their heads, Jamila was the first to introduce the male Moroccan tray dance to the United States. Jamila continued using men in the soloist role until the Bal Anat Reunion of 1990, during which three of the surviving male tray dancers performed the dance as a trio. One of the trio, Tom “Rashid” Ryan, was the last tray dancer specifically picked by Jamila to be a Bal Anat tray dancer.
When Suhaila revived Bal Anat, Tom was once again cast in the role of the Bal Anat tray dancer, continuing until he passed away in 2012. Other men were appointed to the role. But for the 2018 Bal Anat 50th anniversary, Suhaila expanded the tray dance for a larger cast not based on gender.