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

Belly Dance Video Playback Help – New Player Version

Belly Dance Video Play Back Help -  Leyla Najma's Belly Dance BlogToday I received an email message from Maxcast about recent video player issues. Apparently a recent browser upgrade to Firefox caused some conflicts which has caused playback issues.

To resolve these issues they have issued a new version of the player.  Everyone should install this new version.  Here’s the exact instructions

In Firefox, select Tools, Options >General Tab (at the bottom there is a Manage Add-Ons button to select).  When the new Add-Ons Tools window appears, select the Extensions icon/tab at the top.   Scroll down in the list until you see Move Media Player.  Choose disable then choose unistall, unless it it grayed out. Then shut down firefox and then restart Firefox.

2.  After the above uninstall of the player, install MoveMediaPlayerWin_071701000002.exe.

Here’s the link to the download of the new media player—New Media Player

Browse to the saved download and double click to Run.  Go back to Firefox and navigate to a Maxcast channel to confirm it worked.

Please post any questions you may have in the post and I’ll respond promptly.


The Belly Dance Husband

Floralia Belly Dance Festival for the Goddess

Floralia Belly Dance Festival - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

I keep thinking to myself that Floralia is months down the road and looking at my calendar today……’s just around the corner! This is a very exciting Dance Festival for me because it is produced by a very special friend of mine Selena Kareena of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. Selena is one of the most down to earth belly dancers I know and this Festival really tells a lot about her and her giving heart. The story of Floralia is as follows; The Floralia, also known as the “Florifertum,” was an ancient Roman festival dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers and vegetation. Floralia symbolizes the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. So be assured there will be plenty of dancing, eating, laughing and enjoying the change of seasons.

You can put on your dancing shoes or come bare foot and enjoy live music by James Yousif of Andaluse Entertainment. This year Selena personally invited dancers that she felt have unique and different qualities that offer a change for dancers from the normal workshop venue. I am honored to be one of those instructors who Selena has personally invited this year along with Farasha of Las Vegas, Saz’hrah of El Paso, Raksanna of Chicago, Helena Vlahos of Phoenix, Nadia Yousif (James Yousif’s wife) from Albuquerque. One thing for sure, with the caliber of teachers at Floralia, I will be taking classes myself besides being an instructor.

A little info on my workshop class:

I am so excited because the class I am teaching on Sunday is my favorite kind…….. a mix of my restaurant secrets and tips on how to work a room especially those spaces that are small, confining and suggestions on how to handle those occasional grumpy diners. You will be learning combinations that work best for restaurant dancing and a different kind of layering with sharp and soft hip combinations. There is a mind set that is required for restaurant performing because we are closer in proximity to customers and we can unintentionally invade their space. So there are a few dos and don’ts I will be sharing with dancers who are ready to venture into restaurant dancing. Plus the little secret I’ll be letting you in on will be my techniques for getting good tips from customers that are easy and rewarding to say the least! All in all it will be a very exciting 4 days!

The best part of all will be making new friends and meeting dancers from all over the US. So I’m looking forward to seeing all of you at Floralia and doing what we all do best which is having fun, laughing and of course dancing! Information to remember; Floralia Belly Dance Festival for the Goddess is April 29th-May 2nd, 2010 in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

For more information on Floralia watch the video interview I did with Selena and then visit the links. If you’re interested in attending get in touch with Selena at the number below.

Selena Kareena 575-743-2048

Download The Floralia Belly Dance Festival For The Goddess, Flyer

The Belly Dance Routine

How To Practice Belly Dancing - Leyla Najma's Belly Dance Blog

The hardest part about belly dancing is knowing where to start on a daily regimen for training and practice. There are different areas to focus on and most women don’t know that each area should be worked on equally. I wasn’t taught this methodology of practicing on specific areas separately and to this day I wish I would have. I think that practicing everything together can muddy up movements and the completion of moves. It can also keep a dancer from seeing that she really doesn’t have the moves down. This happed to me because when I look back at my first videos, all I see is a bird getting ready to fly out of the nest!

Another case in point; Remember not to over practice a choreography! I have a student who just recently lost her rhythm because she over practiced. She could not hear the beat of the music because she forgot to listen to the music. I had to ask her not to practice for a week so we could get her back on track. What was surprising to me was the fact that she said she felt off in certain areas but she did not do anything about it. So if there is robotic repetition in practice, the danger can be that the dancer won’t know the difference or if she does, do nothing about it. There definitely seems to be a need to put in a work schedule so that weekly practicing will keep you fresh, graceful and relaxed. Read more

Back Corner Thrusts With Pistons – Free Belly Dance Video

Back Corner Thrusts With Pistons, Free Belly Dance Instructional Video

This free 24 minute Belly Dance video called “Back Corner Thrusts With Pistons” will help you develop some really nice moves and with practice balance and sharpen and balance your hips so you won’t favor one side over the other.

Don’t be shy. If you have a question about this video or want to share some feedback (which I love) then you are invited to leave a comment below.

If you have any questions about this video after watching, feel free to leave a comment below.