Feeling grateful today for my bellydance teacher Najia Arts.
Thank you for planting the concept of beauty in me, five and a half years ago.
For embodying beauty, and reminding your students of its power, every single class.
Beauty in our movement, beauty in our words.
Sometimes, in my dance, I get a very acute sense of that beauty.
I feel beautiful, and it brings a smile to my face.
It may only last for a few seconds.
But it's enough time to feel its power.
To feel a sense of confidence that I, too, can embody beauty.
That I, too, can choose to spread it.
With the simple power of that same smile.
France Petitclerc - Havertown PA - originally posted on Facebook
I loved how you talked about your dance research in Egypt and how you showed that dance is so deeply
connected to the human experience. I like how your teaching is not all about technique, but
emphasizes the roots and soul of this dance and its powerful healing properties. Thank you for
a great night!
~ Dina C. from Manyunk, PA
There are few people who I feel truly lucky to have met, and Najia is absolutely one of those people.
She is a wonderful person and teacher who breaks down the essence of belly dancing and teaches it as
an art and form of exercise. I love that she also encourages her students to explore the history and
traditions of belly dancing, making her class a cultural experience. I recommend taking classes with
her to anyone (beginner-advanced) who is interested in belly dancing!...
Z.L. from Philadelphia (originally from Jordan of Middle Eastern descent)
When I started Belly dancing I was 266 pounds........... I attended Najia's class and was mesmerized and
captivated by her passion for the dance. When you study with Najia you learn the true heart of the dance
as well as technique. I attended all of Najias classes and was dancing 3 hours of Belly dance a week, then
6 hours, and finally 9 hours a week. Najia invited me to dance in both of her dance troupes despite my size.
While I was in Najia's dance troupe I experienced everything fro m Haflas to Regional Troupe Competions.
It was a privilege and honor to study with Najia and I am thankful to have had the opportunities to study
with Najia's mentors as well........Najia so graciously shared her knowledge with me. I am truly blessed
to have had her as a teacher, to still have her as a mentor, and honored to have her as a friend.
Danielle from Philadelphia, lost 98 pounds with Najia’s classes
I want to thank you so much for your amazing classes...... I cannot begin to explain to
you how your classes have affected me in nearly every way every day. I have gained
confidence, sensuality, femininity, and grace. I have lost nearly 50 pounds…and I have
never felt more alive, and more myself than when I loose myself to the music and just
dance from the heart.
Laura, North East Philadelphia
(letter from a belly dance student after studying with
Najia for just a few months.)
I just wanted to thank you for being such a kind, patient, and inspiring
teacher. Last June when I heard about your class I was really excited to learn
to bellydance, but at the same time I was afraid that it was too hard for me
to ever be able to do. Here I am, 9 months later, a complete bellydance
addict. I had no idea that a class could enrich my life so deeply. I would never
have experienced the passion of Middle Eastern music, the complexity of Middle
Eastern culture, the beauty of finally being able to shimmy , and most
importantly met some of sweetest people I know. Also- and this is big- I never
have thought of myself as a dancer.
Thank you for helping me find happiness and meaning through dance.
Jenaya from Media, PA
Najia has been one of my biggest inspirations in dance ever since I started taking classes from her
at age 14. Not only is she a beautiful dancer, she is one of the kindest people I have ever known.
Her nurturing spirit, talent for dance, and never ending support has helped me to become the professional
dancer I always dreamed of being. Her willingness to share her knowlege and to fully encourage and support
her students makes her one of the best teachers you could ever hope for.
Claire a.k.a Sharazade originally from Delaware now based in Maryland
It was such an honor and a blessing to have you as an instructor. Your experience in the art and your passionate
approach to it was an inspiration to me from the very beginning. You gave me the eyes to see dance as a language
of the soul as well as the techniques and the dance vocabulary that enabled me to dance from my heart. I would
have never had the courage to dance in public if it wasn't for the wonderful experience that I gained as a troupe
member. I was able to participate in a variety of events with sweet, supportive, and inspirational dancers from
the troupe. Also, I was taught about the connection of Middle Eastern music to the language of bellydance. Thank
you so much for the beautiful experience of being part of your troupe.
Michelle from Northeast East Philadelphia
This lovely person, Najia Bellydance. A little over a year ago I signed up for Belly Dance lessons.
(my Mom and us girls used to clean the house to belly dance music and dance when I was a kid) I went
to class....I enjoyed it. I have no great talent.....by any means as a dancer.....but Najia always
encouraged me to be a goddess. We talked, became friends. I had tough times, she had tough times....
I haven't always been able to do classes. I got to know her and her Mom and her friends. I tried new
things such as vegan food. This woman is an artist, a photographer, a great friend, a great daughter,
a dancer a teacher, a chef..... She does everything with kindness and grace. Normally me being an
alpha female I wouldn't like this in a person who is exponentially prettier than I could ever be.
But somehow.....she gets a pass. I will be going back to.classes in January. Anyone want to meet
this.lady and come to.class with me? Women only....sorry guys.
Maureen Kelly Kilmartin-Carreno from Folcroft, PA
I have to tell you I love what you are working on in the workshops. It is what I have needed in dance right
from the beginning but it doesn't seem that anyone I have studied with really works on that in the way you do.
It is the hardest thing for me and the very thing I need. ..You have such a nice group of ladies there :)
Jennifer from Frenchtown. N.J.
I love your teaching style. You not only go in depth technically, but also bring energetic & spiritual
aspects. Great cultural history, and background on why certain movements are done a particular way.
The class sisterhood is inviting. Your commitment & passion is so very influencing. ..........
Truth!! Pure beauty, compassion & strength. A fabulous multi talented teacher/artist; she
encourages & guides us to access the confident wise woman within. Thank You!!
Zoe Brown from Conshohocken, PA
I seen many dance instructors over the years but you are without a doubt, the very very best.
S. from the Philadelphia and Ardmore Classes
Thank you for having me
it's always a pleasure to come to your events! …... I thoroughly
enjoyed ever minute of the Red Tent. When women come together on love and support and joy, the energy is truly
powerful…….The energy in that room was amazing and I just let it take me, you taught me that!:) It was a truly
wonderful night, the performers were incredible and a credit to your special brand of teaching which is to unlock
the creative and inner goddess:)
from Natasha in North East Philadelphia
"I feel that American's don't understand how unsurpassable, how unparalleled Najia's dance and teaching are,
and I'm making a distinction here. Her work as a dancer and a performer is as excellent as her teaching. Education
is my metier and I know what I'm talking about.
I am also from the Middle East and there we breath belly dancing. It's everyday life and we know it as well as
Americans know jazz. In 2003 I was living in Beirut, a middle eastern mecca of art and beauty, desperately looking
for someone who could teach me belly dancing. It was a hard call and I was finally very fortunate to find a world
class artist who was willing to help me. For years I used to compare all my dance teachers to her, but now I
compare everyone to Najia.
It is very difficult for me to fathom that Najia is not from the Arab world, that she doesn't have oriental dance
in her blood. I think it's because she has it in her soul.”
Video interview from Farnaz Perry ~ professor at Swarthmore and Bryn Mawr
It ( Your classes) has really done so much for me; changes the way I eat, improved my self esteem and has even
retaught me how to breathe.
Love Najia's classes. I have lost over 50 pounds taking her classes. And also eating well.
I have been mis-taken for being much younger than I am. She is an amazing teacher. You don't
need arobics class. She teachers you slow sensual movements that burns the unwanted fat off.
The more you practice the more the weight comes off quick. She nurtures her students with
history and kindness and never leaves a student behind. You are not a face in the class room.
You are a person with a name and all of us women we welcome you with love in our class. Come
and dance and feel the work out. You will look amazing in just a few weeks.
Gale from Broomall, PA
I also want to thank you for being such a warm and welcoming person and such a patient and generous
teacher. When I talk about you, I always describe you as gentle, talented, warm, welcoming, and
beautiful inside and out. . . I feel blessed to have met you and taken classes with you. Thank
you also for putting together the goddess nights - I find them energizing getting to know different
people and learn.
Mary M. from Media P.A.
There are many ideal qualities a student looks for in a teacher. Especially when the student
is seeking guidance in an art, like music or dance that is infused with personal creativity.
Talent and knowledge are necessary criteria; along with patience, respect, and a positive attitude.
One often overlooked quality is the teacher’s ability to be supportive. Some teachers only offer
support conditionally. Once a high level of skill is attained by the student, they often become
distant and protective of their knowledge. A teacher who is secure enough to mentor a student to
the point of becoming a colleague is extremely hard to find.My bellydance teacher, Najia, has been
more supportive than I would have ever expected...........
......... Najia has helped me in other ways too numerous to mention here. I am eternally grateful.
Without her unprecedented support I never would have been able to achieve what I have in dance. I
probably would have quit years ago. Her encouragement has seen me through the stages of student,
performer and teacher. She has exceeded her role as a teacher by becoming a mentor, friend, and
sister. It is nearly impossible to find a dancer who will share their secrets. When someone does,
she must be reciprocated with a level of loyalty and respect rarely practiced today. Najia has also
taught me so much more than how to be a bellydancer. She has taught me that supporting someone to
reach their dreams is just as important as showing them how to do it.
Jenny, studied with Najia in her Mainline and Philadelphia locations, and semi private
lessons in her troupe class. Jenny and Najia balance swords for their SPLURGE television reality
show. Jenny's splurge in bellydance lessons transformed her life in ways she never dreamed of.
The most intense, ground-breaking private lessons that quantum -leaped my bellydancing.
Najia's musical technique finally allowed me to access the feeling of dancing from the inside
instead of moving just my body. My dance completely changed in just an hour but it continues
to evolve at such a high level this last month. I am so grateful to her at this point in my
life and this far into my dance career that I can learn something so wonderful.
Dalya Amira, performer and teacher from Doylestown, PA.
Hi Najia!! My pants are getting so baggy :) Whatever we're doing let's keep it up!
Blessings from Aquili
I worked with Najia for approximately three years - and at the time was not even particularly
interested in taking belly dance - but I had taken so many other types of dance I thought I needed
belly dance to round out my portfolio. Was I in for a surprise! Not only was Najia a great teacher,
breaking everything down so anyone can comprehend, but more importantly, she shared all of her
amazing tips on her incredible style. Let's face it - learning the moves is one thing - teaching
and sharing a unique, exciting and engaging style is yet another. All done in a completely patient,
fun and "user friendly" way. She also brings in belly dancing icons from around the world for
workshops - a true gift! Not only can you learn to dance, but also learn the culture and history
behind the dance. Last but not least, you walk out of her class being a pretty good dancer
yourself - with tight abs!!!!!! ....
Patty H. from Wayne, PA
I'd first like to start off by saying that I was in a car accident two months ago.
I was rear ended and it caused my neck and back to spasm. I have been going to the
chiropractor and to physical therapy since the accident, yet I've still been in pain.
I just came back home from a private session with Najia and this has to be the first
time that I've felt this great since. Not only did I learn how to do proper bellydance
moves, but it also helped to loosen up my back muscles and align my spine. Najia is
the best dance instructor. I'm still in disbelief as to how my body feels. It is just
like I came back from getting a massage! I highly recommend learning from Najia.
Through bellydancing I have been able to mix both my passion for dance and moves that
help to heal my body. Najia is amazing!
Once again thank you!
Rebecca student from Media PA who took her first private belly dance lesson.
Learning to dance with Najia is an amazing experience -- she is exceptionally talented as well
as warm and welcoming. She teaches you to understand and feel the music, and also breaks downs
the various movements in ways that are easy to follow. The space, energy, and music are all
beautiful. Taking classes with Najia is good for your body and soul.
Mary K.from Rose Valley, P.A.
Thanks for all of our talks and your kindness and wisdom with me. I appreciate all the time you put into not only
teaching me the beauty of belly dancing, but also helping me reach within myself to build my confidence and find
embrace my feminine side. Thank you for all you continue to do for all of the women who cross your path. You are
a beautiful, gentle, and loving soul. I am so blessed to know you.
Kathy from Philadelphia
Najia is an amazing belly dancer. I bought an 8-class package, and as soon as my first class
started, it was evident that she has an exceptional amount of experience. She is thorough and
puts a lot of love into her lessons, which are focused on alignment and technique so that you
get the full effect of the movements. She stresses the importance of proper form to avoid hurting
yourself. Very fun and freeing, and man, my abs hurt!
Rebecca from Philadelphia
The best thing I've done for myself in ages!! My original intent was to lose a few pounds and have some fun.
I didn't realize how much more was about to change! Najia is an excellent teacher and a wonderful motivator!
With her unique way of sharing & caring, & her genuine love of belly dance, Najia has caused me to remember
and helped me reclaim that part of me that I had tucked away so long ago! That softer side . . . that
innate femininity & sensuality! With responsibility of families, jobs, etc. , we women tend to put ourselves
last. We often forget how special we are! Najia teaches us to embrace, enjoy & celebrate being women!
She encourages us to love our bodies (whatever shape or size) ! There is a Goddess inside every woman!
Najia can help you find her!
Miss B. from North Philadelphia
I first started studying belly dance with Najia in January 2010 and after the first class I was hooked! I was a
little nervous to start since I had never taken a dance class before, but Najia's warmth and ability to teach to
a wide range of levels put me at ease immediately. Your fellow dancers are always just as fun as the teacher and
every class is a joy! Najia's approach and knowledge of so many different styles of belly dance help you to grow
as a dancer in leaps and bounds and means there is never a dull moment in class. Plus, it never hurts to embrace
your Inner Goddess on a regular basis... :-)
Meredith Q.from Villanova
You are a very kind and gentle soul. It's been great getting to know you and learning the art of belly dance from you.
S.from Kimberton, PA
Several years ago I joined Najia's classes at a tumultous period in my life, and I credit
the art of Bellydance for helping me find balance, peace, and an avenue of creative outlet
and expression. I love to dance and I've found that learning with Najia has helped me to
blossom and tap into my inner rythms, and I'm really enjoying this journey.
I like the energy you exude, your fluidity, expression & approachable style. I love the music that
you selected. I loved the way you taught shimmy on the floor. Great teaching technique.
Shelia - Persian dancer from Delaware
I've been taking classes
with Najia since January 2011, and I love going. It fits perfectly into my schedule and is an excellent way to add
something extra to your weekly routine (not to mention great for the waistline!) She uses an holistic approach to
learning belly dance. You learn the steps and techniques, but also how to listen to the music, add in artistry, and
about the different cultures the dance comes from. You get not only a wonderful workout, but a lesson in culture and
the evolution of an art form. Highly recommended!
France P.from Havertown, PA
The classes were particularly aerobic, using basic bellydance
movements. For the fat burning class, our arms are lifted above our
hearts (to keep heart rate up) as we do shimmies, pelvic and chest
isolations, traveling steps, movement layering as well as other
movements. There is also aerobic floorwork. At the end of this
class, my hair and entire torso is drenched with sweat. Najia also
offers alternative movements to those who have difficulty keeping up
with the class. ....... You do not know what a treasure you have
teaching at your school. Najia is a thoroughly respected, integral
part of the bellydance community in this area and abroad........... I
would just like to end by saying that I love Najia's classes and the
women who have remained in the classes love them as well. I look
forward to enrolling again for Najia's class, and it truly is a
privilege to be learning this beautiful and health enhancing art form.
Najia, thank you so much! You are a genius! I look forward to coming again.(referring to Goddess
Night class ) This is so much what women need, to gather together in this sacred way. I enjoyed
the entire experience so much!
Z from Delaware
I am still new to Belly dancing but absolutely love Najia's class!
I am constantly amazed with her knowledge, both
technical and cultural, as well as her kindness and generosity. Najia makes everyone feel like they can learn, improve,
and enjoy themselves all at once. She is a beautiful person inside and out, and a real joy to be around. She brings
out the best in all of us. I cannot say enough about her class and her as a teacher, and that is also true outside of
this post, anyone who asks about how my belly dancing class is going gets an earfull!
"Najia, I love that not only are you a gorgeous dancer, but that you are generous with your gifts and time to both
people and animals. Such a sensitive and gentle soul are you! :o)"
Emily from New Jersey
"Last night was totally AWESOME! Wildly different, yet absolutely wonderful! Did you notice that I actually
participated the entire night!? . . . ...I had used muscles I didnÕt even know I had! (lol) I was so tired
(but a good tired) and I slept so-o-o well! I woke up today ready to take on the world. Like IÕve been renewed
or rejuvenated! I am so psyched! CanÕt wait for next week!
B.P. from Philadelphia
I have been dancing with Najia off and on for the
last 3 or more years. Before I had my son, during the pregnancy and after. Its a great work out. Specially for
the pregnancy. Najia makes the same class so interesting, Her Goddness nights are always a treat. To watch Najia
dance is watching a butterfly swaying in the wind. Its magical. The first time, she did this twirling and moving
with two different scrafs, it left me spell bound. Her classes are great and she brings out the DIVA in us.
Shubdha from Ardmore, PA
I LOVE class structure this semester! The lecture segment is a wonderful way to learn about the
history of bellydance and Middle Eastern culture. Knowing more about these things brings students
closer to the dance and fosters a deeper appreciation of the art. Watching dvds of diffrent bellydance
genres and seeing the costuming particular to each is a nice addition to the lecture. Most people are
only familiar with "restaurant style" bellydance and have no idea that such a wide variety of bellydance
styles exist. It's fascinating to see what's out there - even if some of the performances do seem a bit
outside the "norm". The dance part of class is, as always, a complete delight!
Joy (Malvern, PA comments on a Najia's special course "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Bellydance")
I just had my performance a few hours ago, and everything went really awesomel. I actually won second
place out of 10 performers!! I also have a schedule set for dance classes as well. I start in January.
I am feeling really good about all of these new developments, and have been working really hard to get
things together. I'm dancing all the time now. Teaching the class makes me a bit nervous, but I have
a few weeks to pull things together more. I'm really excited! And of course, I wouldn't be doing any of
this if it were not for you. I want to thank you for everything that you've done for me. I would not
have been a dancer if it were not for you! Thank you for teaching me, loving me, encouraging me, and
putting up with me. I can't wait to study with you again.
Kim, Richmond, VA formerly from South Philly
I seen many dance instructors over the years but you are without a
doubt, the very very best.
S from Philadelphia and Ardmore, PA class
By the way, last week's class was a real KICKER! It was great! That's what I call high octane belly dance!
I look forward to coming back to classes in January.
Mary from Royersford PA
I never felt so alive that day! I felt like a Queen out of Egypt......................... To see myself
like that is just unbelievable. Thank you agiain for letting me be a part of your show, and a part of your life.
Love Gale from Broomall, PA
Najia , Well what can I say! I lost fifty pounds taking
her class and learn to eat properly. Excellent teacher and brings in only the best teachers when we hook up for special
events. I know have a sence of great posture and grace thru her regular lessons and private lessons. She's fun and also
serious when you take her classes.
P.S. Loves CATS!
Amar from Pa.
I haven't forgotten about you! You are in my heart always. I hope all is well. .................. but I
think of you often and I miss you very much. ......................... I hope you know that your voice is
always in my head, you are such a mother spirit and you've made a huge impact on me.
Gia formerly from Villanova, PA
I just wanted to thank you again for asking me to model for the show on Saturday. It was such a wonderful
experience to wear a gorgeous costume and perform. I enjoyed it so much and I can't wait until the next
opportunity to get on stage. .................. Thank you again for being such a thoughtful, caring teacher.
Lydia from San Francisco CA studied with Najia in Havertown and Philadelphia, PA
Najia of Philadelphia Bellydance, THE ALL TIME BEST
I take lessons with Najia and I have seen her dance. She is breathtaking. Najia does not perform the dance.
Najia magically greets the dance, romances the dance, clothes herself in the dance and then becomes the dance.
She is truly awe inspiring. Najia is helpful, engaging, encouraging, smart, patient, funny, and a Good communicator.
The location is awesome.
The classes are fun and a great value for the price.
Suz from North East Philadelphia.
Thank you so much for offering the belly dance basics + veil. It was the perfect workshop to get me involved in
class and the local belly dance community. I loved the workshop and can't wait to take the art of finger cymbals
workshop in march. You're an amazing instructor and a gorgeous dancer, I look forward to taking weekly classes in
the summer from you! Thanks again and take good care.
Mariana from West Chester
I like Najia as a teacher because I can see she loves bellydancing.
I like that Najia teach us about the Middle Eastern culture, music, and food.
It is important for us to learn how to play zills. I stopped practicing zills
when it was not a part of the class. I'm glad she included it in her class again.
I like the women I meet in Studio classes. Najia attracts women from diverse backgrounds.
I feel like part of a small community of women who share the same love of bellydancing.
I rarely socialize with my women friends. I look forward to coming to class to talk to
the women I have met. Sometimes there is no time to talk to them. I am happy just to see
them and Najia.
I have learned lessons from her that extend beyond bellydancing. She is a sweet person and a good friend.
I have grown to appreciate the value of your classes. I think you are a wonderful teaher and human being. I
always look forward to every class. I come tired and leave inspired. What more can anyone ask for.
Najia is an experienced teacher, and her dedication to Egyptian movement has made her very aware of
subtle movements and how they originate in the body.
Her sensibilities as a visual artist and attention to detail have given us a unique atmosphere to dance
in, at Studio, and at the haflas (bellydance parties) that she arranges. Rich detail, beautiful color
in costuming and venue are
hallmarks of a "Najia event".
She is willing to introduce us to the entire dance community - and doesn't engage in politics.
She is open to my creative meanderings.
She is willing to evolve.
Najia is a good, generous friend.
We speak the same language - the language of art.
She is willing to try new things.
When she is down and out, she just pull out all the stops and just "becomes" - which is an exciting thing
for an audience to watch in a live performance, and an inspiration to me as a student.
Om Helena, Havertown, PA.
Najia….I have missed your kindness and spirit and I feel like dance has given me a much needed break from the
stress and issues that life has thrown at me over the past year. .... I would love to come back to you!!!
Love and respect, K.P.student from Bucks County
Najia is a great instructor. She takes the time out to get to know
each student. She is always respectful as instructor, never scolding,
and always nurturing. She keeps a careful eye on her students to ensure
no student injures herself -- that is very important to me. I have been
in classes where the instructor did not make sure that the movements
were being done correctly and often a student suffered a painful injury.
The environment at Studio is warm and welcoming. Not only is Najia
welcoming and friendly, but the students are as well. The atmosphere at
Studio is beautiful and artistic. I look forward to class each week --
after one class I was hooked! Bellydance has truly transformed me.
J, law student, Villanova, PA.
As a feminist, before I began dancing I had a stereotype that belly
dancing involved women pandering to men. Once I became involved with
belly. dance I saw it was the exact opposite and that in fact belly dance
is an extremely woman-centered, woman-affirming art form. My experience
is that belly dance has made me feel more appreciative of my womanly body
and more feminine in a way that is not connected with the limited images
of women offerred by the popular media. I am also enjoying a community of
women who I have met through studying dance with Najia.
I am very picky about who I study with and can't say enough about how
fortunate I feel to have found Najia. Najia is a master of technique and
what's even more important, she manages to convey her knowledge in a
manner that is warm, helpful and never critical. She is also a true
artist and an inspiring dancer to watch. She is highly attuned to her
students, able to address what someone needs next to evolve as a dancer
and to tailor choreagraphy to each student's ability. Lessons with her
are always motivating and fun. She is also committed to seeing that her
students have opportunities to perform that feel safe and supportive. I
must say that dancing at her haflas has been some of the most exhiliating
fun that I have had as an adult.
Andrea, clinical social worker
Najia has a continuous desire to help all of her students and pay each close attention to each person.
She is always ready to take risks that she thinks will be advantageous, and she is supportive of everyone.
Najia maintains a sense of humor throughout the class. She incorporates her own personal opinions
and stories so that we feel comfortable with her. She makes us feel good about ourselves, but is honest
if we need correction or constructive criticism.
-17 year old student Lynn, Philadelphia, PA.
Belly dance and Najia together have helped me remember that I am a woman,
especially given my professional demands, which sometimes leaves little time for
me to feel like one...
Najia's ability to break down the elements of belly dance, put it in a
historical and anthropological context, weave it in to a choreography, and
create an enjoyable, relaxed environment for learning are excellent. While
living in another city, I had two other (very well-known) teachers, but Najia is
by far my favorite!
SS, Grad Student, Philadelphia, PA
Thank you so much for giving us opportunity to experience Jehan! (at Najia's "The Masters of Bellydance" Workshop Series)
There is no words to explain what one feels when she dances - I was moved
so much I want to cry!
You are an exceptionally gifted and talented dancer and
artist. Your incredible eye for beauty goes into everything you do and so does your love. You really could do
anything Najia with your talent. It is everywhere. It is in your decorating ,your food, your dance, your art
(referring to drawings). I`m honored to know you. You`re so very
giving and beautiful inside and outside......
Love, Elena Lentini (Master teacher and performer, visit her website www.ElenaLentini.com.
I have attended several of Najia's belly dancing halfas at Casablanca restaurant, and every time that I have
gone it has been a great learning experience! It is a wonderful way for anyone interested in the belly dancing
community to immerse themselves into this culture, while being in a positive and supportive environment. Anyone
can benefit from it, and everyone is included! From the casual observer, to the new student, to the experienced
professional, Najia make sure that all of her guests have a fun time.
As a shy student, the haflas have been tremendously helpful for helping me get over my stage fright, and because
of this my dancing has improved both in class and in public! Dancing at Casablanca has also helped me build confidence
as a dancer, because I have been able to apply all that I have learned in class into an authentic Middle Eastern
environment, which has made me realize how far I have come, and that all of my hard work has been worth while.
Watching Najia perform is always a treat, and she is an inspiration. I am honored to be the student of such a
beautiful artist and dedicated teacher, and I encourage anyone who can to attend one of her haflas.
“Their aren't words to express how much I have gained from classes with Najia. She is a wonderful teacher who
knows how to breakdown the techniques by giving clear instruction to help students of all levels. She teaches
students in a way that respects the cultural aspect of bellydance to help us achieve authentic movement.
Najia is a nurturing and caring individual who encourages each woman to look and feel feminine and beautiful.
She continually encourages us to grow by bringing in master instructors as well as growing through performance
opportunities. I have thanked her on many occasions for all she has given me. I didn’t begin my lessons with
Najia, therefore, I truly understand the value of having a teacher of her caliber. Thank you Najia for being
such a wonderful teacher, mentor & a beautiful performer!”
I am still watching Najia's newsletter and am intrigued and thrilled to see her synthesis of bellydance, vegan cuisine
and photography. That is one of the most important things Najia ever taught me, to make your world beautiful!
"When I have a chance to call you I have to tell you about my class last night -- it was the best ever. Twelve students
-- three of which have all been dancing for about four years, and they had the most amazing things to say about my dancing,
and also about my class. They say they've never heard about any of the things I taught! I was so touched by their words that
I nearly cried -- these women have been studying with one of the local teachers who has been dancing for around 20 years.
They never learned how to isolate, or do a figure eight ... they've invited me to their part of town to teach, will find me
a place to teach, and have ten women lined up to start taking classes. I am simply floored by this, and cannot thank you enough
for being the wonderful, amazing, precise teacher you are. Mike constantly points out to me that I've had a level of training
that most of these dancers here have never had... and I forget ... I've been so lucky and "spoiled" I guess by having such a
knowledgeable teacher and mentor. So thank you, thank you, thank you! Again and again ... this makes me strive to do even more ...
Okay, I've written a novel -- I'll talk to you soon!"
Love, Kim (used to live in South Philly, PA before moving out of state)