What is Layering?

About Belly Dance Layering - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

I get asked a lot of questions on belly dance but one that I have found that I don’t get asked  often is regarding “Layering” and what it really is.

Looking at our dance field today, it has changed into an accumulation of personal interests and the pursuit of  relevance for each individual dancer. So layering can be sharp to soft movements or upper body to lower body and many other interpretations in-between. Without layering our dance tends to look a little flat almost one dimensional and you can usually tell an experienced dancer from a novice by her ability to layer in movement.

Layering is also the focal point for the audience that prepares them for each chapter in a story that a dancer tells through out her dance. It’s the dramatic or subtle change in the phrasing in the music interpreted by the dancer. Read more

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