It’s All In The Company We Keep

Fulfillling Your Belly Dance Journey - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

I wanted to write a bit about the belly dance journey and to let you all know that every once in awhile the rose colored glasses come off and reality starts to set in even for us belly dancers. Sometimes women think that self fulfillment will happen magically with this dance and to be honest with you it takes work. But it’s the kind of work that feels more like an entrepreneurial quest. We make the journey what it is, a success or a spiraling drama. At times they kind of go hand in hand but how much really depends on you. Read more

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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.

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!

New York; Vintage Charm with a Modern Twist and Classical Elegance

Leyla Najma's New York Travel Journal - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance BlogNothing prepared my daughter and me for our amazing trip to New York. Just the trip alone was exciting but once we arrived in New York I must say our journey really had just begun. Our taxi cab driver was the first of our “We’ve arrived” moments when he literally took me at my word when I said it should take no longer then 12 minutes to get to our destination. And let me tell you it was a white knuckle ride the whole way!

Our destination was the apartment of Noora, dancer extraordinaire and costume designer and owner of Decotach; Creative mix and match costumes. As we entered her apartment we were greeted by 4 of her 6 cats. Since my daughter and I are animal lovers, we definitely were in heaven! Our day ended with an evening out at a local restaurant not far from Noora’s  house. But that evening the rain started and it kept coming down the whole time we were there.

We walked the streets the next few days and I literally saw umbrellas scattered on the sidewalks in every direction. I asked Noora about this and she said, “In a few minutes you’ll understand.” Just five minutes after she said that the wind took my umbrella and swept it up and tore it to shreds. Nothing like laughing in the rain and getting wet! At one point I was wet from my tippy toes up to my waist. This was because I wore my New Mexico style clothing and it just didn’t work for the New York winds, rain and busy life style. And just so you all know, we went through 4 umbrellas in one day!

There where many high lights of the trip, one was going to Serena Wilsons’s studio and videotaping a class in session. Our main goal was to videotape  Noora and her dance friends in a group along with solo discussions on belly dance issues and we had a wonderful evening of  just straight belly dance talk. I will start to edit this week and I am looking forward to viewing what we were able to get on film.

Another highlight was watching videos of Noora performing at different venues such as a wedding and a major dance project that she collaborated with Tamalyn Dallal. I was awe struck at her dance ability and truley believe Noora is one of the best dancers we have here in the United States today. I cannot recommend her highly enough to any dance teachers who want to bring in a highly talented, educated master dance teacher and performer. Noora is the definition of everything you would expect from a dance master and I feel so honored and fortunate to have spent time with her.

Noora is also an amazing costume designer and I was able to be fitted for a new costume that she is making for me.   It is the red dress that Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell wore in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I can’t wait until it is finished and I will be wearing it at the Floralia workshop and show I will be teaching and performing at April 29th-May 2nd 2010. There is nothing like a sexy, classy red dress to lift a dancer’s spirits and this one is definitely going to help me make an entrance.

Unfortunately after we arrived back to N.M. safely I battled the flu and for a while there thought I had brought back the bubonic plague. Plus I shared it with Savanah and Daniel (which they didn’t appreciate) so we are all just now getting back to good health again. But all in all it was a great trip and I highly recommend New York to any dancer who is serious about her dancing. New York should be a rite of passage for all dancers and once you experience the dancers back there you will totally understand why.  They are of the highest caliber of integrity, talent, friendliness and some of the most educated dancers of today. New York was everything I expected and more!

A note of importance; in the costume designing world Noora is known as Angela Lambru. She is world renowned by both names!

Check out Noora’s website at or [email protected]