Leyla’s Updates

Hip Mastery Connects The Dots ! Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

Hip Mastery 6 Video Series

This morning I was thinking about what I would write in my blog and I thought I would bring the subject up of my Hip Mastery videos only because I haven’t really mentioned them much. I tend to create videos and edit them, give them to Daniel and then move on to the next project. The funny thing is that if Daniel asks me a question regarding a video I usually have to go back and look at it because I have made so many besides my curriculum classes that I am not sure how to answer him sometimes.

There are 6 videos in the Hip Mastery series that focus just on the hips. But the best part is that each video connects to the next one. So I didn’t want students trying to figure out how to work in movement and combinations without a guide. It just seemed to me that most women who are passionate about this dance want instruction that will help them get results.

I realized that living the life style of a belly dancer day in and day out means that there is no rest for the choreographer. I constantly think of combinations and different choreographies to share with dancers, it’s almost like a calling. I would rather make videos for dancers or teach workshops then perform because seeing women in the glory of their movement is where the spirit of belly dance lives for me. It’s in the learning process of moving within our bodies where I see the epiphanies come alive for women. To me the stage is the end result of a beautiful journey but it is so much fun watching women learn and grow along their path before they achieve their goals.

Hip Mastery is my answer to the questions that women have asked me about thrusts, mayas and shimmies. Add in soft moves, traveling steps and you can see why this is a 6 video series. To me they make “Belly Dance sense”.

Here’s the website in case you want to check them out. www.hipmastery.com

Drum Solo Choreography”Jibber Jam”

The drum solo choreography “Jibber Jam” is coming along and I am almost finished with it. My daughters first day of school is coming up so I will be able to finish the choreography and get it videotaped. I have to laugh though because I put together what I thought was a simple drum solo choreography and it’s not as simple as I thought. I am excited to offer music never heard before, text and a step by step choreographed video in a way that will make it easy to learn. This will be so cool once I get it done but as with all my projects it is taking a little longer then I thought. Hopefully within the next two weeks it will be done and I can blare my bugle and sing a song but only in the shower!

Practice Tip 1. For the Serious Student

Bely Dance Practice Tip #1 -  Leyla Najma's Belly Dance BlogRecently Daniel came to me and asked me if there were any tips I could share with dancers not only for their dancing but also for their practicing and drilling. So I thought about it and decided I would give tips that will help make a difference in the training aspect of dancing. It’s really in our preparation of dance that we start to understand ourselves so we can then go out and dance for the masses with confidence.

The tip that I am going to share with you is broad but it came to me because it is a common problem that we all have when we first start out dancing.  How we focus and work within our body starts out the habitual way we train. Most of my students won’t look at the whole enchilada (body) only a specific part of the body depending on what I am showing them. After you get the move down into your body then look at your image in the mirror and see how the rest of your body looks while you are working the combination or movement. When my students can’t see the whole body they have what I call “blinder” focus. It’s almost as if they are afraid to see how it looks in the totality of the body. Read more