Registration open for Belly Dance with Veil at the Princeton Adult School (Princeton, NJ)

It’s time to get hip in Princeton again! Join me this fall for a three-week session that will introduce you to the beautiful world of belly dance with veil.

Register at the Princeton Adult School’s website

Najla Belly Dance NYC with veil

Class description:

Tuesdays, October 2, 9 & 16, 6-7:30 pm (**the PAS website says 7 pm end time, but this is a typo!)
Community Park School, 372 Witherspoon, Princeton, NJ

Veils are large pieces of lightweight fabric (usually silk) used by belly dancers to create flowing, atmospheric dances. The veil dance may be a distant cousin of North African and Middle Eastern shawl, skirt and handkerchief dances, but veil dancing as we know it today has its origins in theatrical performances from the 1940s by Egyptian dancers. This course will introduce dancers to basic veil holds, turns, and combinations using a single veil, and will integrate veil performance with the fundamental movements of Egyptian dance. Some belly dance experience required. Participants must bring their own 3.5-4 yard veil, preferably silk.

(also available for purchase on the instructor’s online shop.)

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2011 New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference Recap

2011 Theatrical Bellydance Conference

2011 Theatrical Bellydance Conference

It was really a pleasure to attend, perform and present at the 2011 Theatrical Bellydance Conference. The main event was a 4-day marathon of classes, panels, talks, and stellar performances from 10am-11pm daily! I’ll admit I’m feeling a little separation anxiety after all that quality dance time, but I’m also feeling totally refreshed and inspired by everything I learned and by the incredible (no seriously, INCREDIBLE) people I met at this conference. A big thank you to co-directors Ranya Renee and Anasma, as well as their team, for a wonderful experience.

In lieu of a detailed recap, I pulled some of my favorite workshop notes and pictures from the conference. Hopefully there will be lots more photos up on the official conference site soon. Enjoy! (and share yours if you have them)

Selected workshop notes

  • be a peach
  • no struggle!
  • belly dance is 20 moves + your essence
  • a pose is the punctuation for your movement
  • feel energy, don’t just move planes through space
  • be simple
  • come out like a slingshot
  • the veil will ALWAYS upstage you
  • you have the power to change the mood of the audience
  • stack your body
  • follow through from top to bottom in whatever you do
Najla and Aszmara

Najla and Aszmara

Najla and Ranya Renee

Najla with conference co-director (and fellow Yale alum) Ranya Renee

Wendy Buonaventura, Hanan and Najla

"Orientalism and Dance" panelists Wendy Buonaventura, Hanan and Najla (not pictured, DaVid of Scandinavia and Andrea Anwar)

Najla and DaVid of Scandinavia

Goofing around with DaVid of Scandinavia

Beatbox Guitar Jebon

Dancing to the music of Beatbox Guitar at the conference after-party at Jebon