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]