Belly dance makes people smile! Whether at a restaurant, a birthday party, a senior center or any other show, the dance and music bring people together. If I can make someone's day a little better, or their big celebration even more exciting by sharing my art with them, then I know I've put on a good show. I love to dance, and feel like my world would be so empty without it. Being a dancer is the job of a lifetime, and I love being able to do what makes me happy, while making my clients happy as well!
I am passionate about presenting belly dance in an entertaining, culturally-informed light. I use my knowledge of dance, culture, history, music and more to put on a show that audience members will remember for the rest of their lives.
I started dancing when I was about three, and studied modern, jazz and theater dance until age 12, when I became frustrated by the cliques of dance schools.
A year later, I received a brochure from a local dance studio and decided to sign up for "Middle Eastern Dance." I had no idea what this kind of dance was, but I knew and liked the teacher. When I got to class, I was the only one in the beginner level, so I was thrown right into the advanced level class.
Over ten years later, I'm still hooked!
Paris...the experience of shop after shop of belly dance costumes near the Metro Barbes Rochechouart was unbelievable.
I would love to go to Cairo, the city that first got me interested in art history back in elementary school.
Song (for right now): Shik Shak Shok
Costume: Purple Pharaonics Venus Ma'at
Dance quote: "Dancers are instruments, like a piano the choreographer plays." ~George Balanchine
Post-gig food: peanut butter
Dance style(s): Egyptian, raqs sharqui, cabaret, belly dance
Najla is an Egyptian-style belly dance performer and instructor who brings the spirit of the Middle East to New York City and beyond through the beautiful art of belly dance. Her performances focus not only on the joy, entertainment, and excitement of dance, but also on presenting Middle Eastern dance in a positive, culturally-informed light. She has been featured in The New York Times, The Village Voice, NY1 TV, Jareeda, HipMix.net, and Woman Around Town, and performs and teaches at various venues in the New York City area. Her research on Middle Eastern dance history has been presented at the Theatrical Bellydance Conference and on the esteemed belly dance website Shira.net.
Najla has been practicing the art of Middle Eastern dance since 2001, and also has over ten years of training and experience in modern, jazz and Broadway-style dance. She was the president of and an instructor/choreographer for the Yale Belly Dance Society for four years and taught private lessons and group classes at Yale University's Payne Whitney Gym. She currently teaches belly dance classes as an independent instructor and coach in New York City and in Princeton, NJ.