Years ago when I first became interested in Belly Dance I attended a show in Albuquerque, NM called Oriental Potpourri with a friend. I had taken a few classes at my local Spa and had some private lessons with a Turkish Folk Belly Dance teacher. As I sat in the audience and watched dancer after dancer and troupe after troupe I began to understand that there were so many different styles of Belly Dance and I was thoroughly entertained by all the dancers and I thought there was beauty to all the styles. However there was one dancer that stood out from the rest and I was captivated and in awe. Leyla Najma stole the show in my eyes. I had to know who this performer was.
I looked through the program and found her name and went home and immediately searched the web for her in hopes that I could learn how to dance from her personally. I found her contact information and luckily she was accepting students! I spent some times taking group lessons from her while I was living close to where she held the classes. After some time I moved and it was no longer convenient to drive an hour to the classes.
A couple of years later I missed learning dance from her so much I asked if she would give me private lessons and she agreed. For a year I would travel to her house every week to learn choreographies with my dance partner. I learned so much about Belly Dance including the history and technical terms as well as about the pioneers contributed to the evolution of the different styles of Belly Dance. After some time my dance partner moved out of state and life circumstances didn’t allow me to fit the classes into my schedule. I was missing my teacher and friend Leyla and the lessons she had to offer.
Then Leyla started up Belly Dance Village and I was so excited that I was able to keep up with the lessons remotely and even better they were super affordable! Now I am able to watch the videos at my convenience, do the drills, pause the videos to practice the move at my own pace and replay them over and over. I have found that the convenience of Leyla’s online Belly Dance videos and workshops have allowed me to really internalize all the moves and perfect them to a level that I had only dreamt of before. My favorite part about Belly Dancing Leyla Style is that she really trains dancers to “work opposition” and develop the strength, skill and technical precision with both sides of the body and it really makes me feel balanced and whole as a dancer. I also believe that is the reason why her style had me so captivated when I first saw her dance. When you watch Leyla dance it is not predicable and it always has the viewer anticipating her next move.
Many of these combinations and cosmically inspired ideas I consider as real gems. I am confident that with the way I chapter and organize everything that you will get the help you need or at least feel free to take from my ideas.
If you are really familiar with Leyla’s dance vocabulary, this will be fun. I had to look up several terms to understand what move was being explained. A great way to practice at home and come up with your own versions. Mary J. Powell “Nevermore”
It was really good to learn the posture while dancing an the hip movement required while doing so.I would love to learn more from you…Shalini
I have decided to give it (The Divine Unrest) 5 stars, plus another 5,000 stars. It is magnificent! Leyla’s writing is of the finest and most profound, a true milestone, in the history of dance literature.. Barbara Harmon
WOW! WOW! That’s all I can say after viewing your Hip Phylosophy DVD. You are such a skilled dancer Leyla. I feel so fortunate to have met you and to have you teach me, I hope our dance community realizes what we have here.
Thank you so much for teaching. From Shemara, Albuquerque, NM
I just received and viewed your Hip Phylosophy DVD and I want to thank you and let you know how very pleased I am with your product. You are an excellent teacher and I am certain that the students who view your DVD will be inspired by your technique and style. (for Hip Phylosophy DVD)
I’d have to say you guys have the best deal running with cost, content, and customer service. What I like most about the site is the organization. I like the way the video categories are set up, both by level and below by topic.
I also like that the videos that are there stay there and don’t disappear. I know where to find them whenever I go. The layout is very pleasing (for BellydanceVillage)
Awesome.i did chapter 1 tht’s fantastic.leyla-najma is my god mother of belly dance
I love the way you are showing how to do these moves. By showing the moves from the side, it makes it easier to see what you are doing . You have tremendous talent. I look forward to trying to learn more.
Thank you, Pam
Thank You, Thank You
I just watched teh video and started practicing and I love it…………I love how you explain. Finally I think I can do it because finally I get to understand.
Thanks a lot
I love her videos and how she explains things. I wish I lived closer, as I would definitely be begging for lessons in person. I have lost over 10lbs so far with her free beginning videos online. I wish I lived closer, as I would definitely be begging for lessons in person. 😀
I feel like I’m in a serious dance class actually learning the art of BellyDance; you appear serious about the instruction and are not trying to be all cutesy (which is nice). Granted I’ve only seen Hip Mastery 1 , it does cue me into how the others will be delivered; I will be getting to them as soon as I can do the first DVD’s moves quickly…Zumba ain’t got nothing on you! Is there anything I can do to help get the word out, because Leyla these are good and need to be in every dancer’s library. Kimberly
I just I wanted to say thank you so, very much for provided to me the beginning belly dancing on line videos. I feel so lucky to find your site and make my dreams cames true. You are the greatest belly dancing teacher Good bless you. After I finished practicing and enjoying the 6 on line belly dancing video, please guide me how to follow it up.,.,,,,,, Isabela
I’m a first timer in belly dancing (in dancing in general actually). this video is so easy to follow and I enjoy learning it.
…Ghzeei for Belly Dance Basics DVD
Thank you so much for your incredible DVD. It is exactly what I had hoped for. You have done an incredible job of organizing hip work and making it practical. I am so inspired!
From Donna, of Michigan for Hip Phylosophy DVD
Leyla , I really liked this video. I could feel the muscles being worked. I like how you broke it down and so that someone who has never belly danced before can follow along and actually learn the moves….Deanna
Hello Leyla & Dan
I just wanted to say Thank you. One morning I was online and suddenly I found Leyla. And it was awsome. I like how she dances. And Bellydance Village is everything I need. Thank you very much Leyla and Dan!
Dayse, From Germany
I’m 23 and have wanted to learn how to belly dance for years. Unfortunately here are no classes in my area. I have tried many times to learn with DVDs as well as online videos and have never had any success until I came across your site. I’m finally understanding!!! the way you break down the movements and the details you go into are amazing and exactly what a beginner needs…I am so happy I came across this. cant wait for the next video!
I just watned to say that this is probably the best 10 minutes I’ve ever spent. Even though this is only beginning moves and it was a short amount of time, I can really, really feelmy core and muscies….and not in a sore way either.
This is so helpfuful. THANK YOU!
Hey Leyla! I am SO happy I found your website!!! I used to have a problem with back pain but since I started your lessons, it’s gone way down! When I have back pain I practice dancing & it goes away! It’s also helped with my posture & helped me lose weight which has helped with my confidence!! Ari Feb 9, 2012
I am doing pretty good and have pretty much everything down, except I am having some trouble with doing chest circles. I can do them to the left but going to the right is difficult for me for some reason. Any ideas on how I can help make that easier?
Thank you so much Leyla! <3
Hi Leyla and Dan,
I am very glad I did your online home study course. I will do the next one for sure. This form of study gives me a strong motivation, and sense of duty fo attend and to do my excercise on Saturday……nevertheless the DVDs from both classes are must have items. Thank you so much for your leadership, and for sharing and caring. I am looking forward to next classes!
Very detailed and specific instructions.I’ve viewed a few beginning videos and you were the only one who gave specifics for how to hold arms-fingers, and pelvis. Most just tell you to slightly bend knees and hold arms out.
Belly Dance Village! is the one place where I can go to not only get instruction but support that is above and beyond! Having access to all video’s is very important and the fact that I do not have to wait for a DVD to be delivered to my front door means that I can work on my dance right away! Leyla has helped me with my dance in making everything she does easy and in a way that you can understand! have been a part of other online instruction and I will tell you that no one can hold a candle to them.
I first ran across Leyla Najmas website not long after I started dancing. I ordered the Hip Phylosophy and started using a couple of the combinations to practice. I live in small-town, Texas, with no local teachers. After quite a frustrating spring and summer driving two hours one way to attend weekly classes, I called Leyla.We visited quite a bit by phone and email about what I wanted out of video classes.She then went to work and produced made-to-order video classes for me.Leylas videos have been wonderful.They address issues that are specific to my needs and the production quality is great – I feel like I’m in class with her. She is available by phone and email to answer my questions or address my concerns and always calls after a new class to make sure I understand everything that she has taught.I can access any of my videos by computer any time I like. Leyla is truly a wonderful and uplifting teacher and I’m very grateful to have her (and Dan) as a part of my dance journey!
Leylas DVD is wonderful. Easy to understand and follow., since my english is not too good. The music CD is of great help for practising. I have already already started using them.. 🙂
” Today I got the free 25 min lesson and I learned more about how to put moves together in that video that I have in my two years of independent study”.
I am so happy I decided to have a personal video made just for me. I started by filling out a little questionnaire on Leyla’s web site describing what level of dancer I was and just what I was looking to achieve from my class. About 30 minutes later Leyla called me on the phone and we talked in depth about everything. In about four days my video was up and running and I was in shimmy heaven!
“I have been dancing since 1993 and over the years, I have studied with many dancers and I have purchased many videos. After all the wasted money spent on worthless videos that promise to teach how to break down the moves and then use them in choreography. Until now, I had given up hope of finding such a thing.”………….
Love it Love it Love it. It is so awesome that it was made just for me. I really like the amount of repetition and I like how Leyla does things facing front, side, and back. Yeah!!! I love that the first 2 combos (haven’t watched the whole thing yet) involve ami’s. I know how to do them but I rarely use them. (Not sure why). Now I get to really practice and use them.
I have searched for many Belly Dancing teachers for 2 years now but you are exceptional and you do stand out from the rest”…Karamia
“Viewing your videos have inspired me to continue with belly dancing .you have shown a professional motivation and care in teaching” Thank you for your assistance, Shadow
I have looked at and bought other belly dance DVD’s….. Even the last one looks like an amateur compared to Leyla. I will stick with Leyla and I’m planning on purchasing all her available disks” Shelly
I just wanted to thank you, I love your combinations and breakdown from slow to fast and from the back makes a huge difference in learning. Nancy
Now when I am m going to learn Leyla’s style& combinations I have to say I really love them. I think combinations are very good because I really can learn to use different directions natural way. I really love Hip Mastery Vol 2 soft combinations!I can see her movements are very sensual and I think more close that old fashion authentic BellyDance style what I love. Very good day both you and Leyla! Blessings Minna (from Finland)
PS: I just finished Hip Mastery Vol 2 and started Hip Mastery 3 and boy are my hips are tired. I’m getting more flexibility and movement in many, many years.
As for the new Belly Dance Village website – all I can say is WOW ! It is one of a kind will be of great benefit to any belly dancer anywhere in the world. and as far as the DVDs and videos are concerned I think they are the best and most user friendly ones I’ve ever come across
Tania, South Africa
This is not your “everyday” same ole style of teaching/instruction, not the same moves taught over and over. The clarity of instruction is outstanding. Leyla breaks down move with all 4 sides demonstrated with each drill broken down clearly and in detail. If you’re a beginner you will love the introduction to new steps. intermediate dancer learn new combinations and build core strength and strengthen your legs and quads.
Anglia Dickenson, Georgia (for 6 Combinations for Speed & Balance DVD)
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