Belly Dance Workout Volume 1
DVD review by Monet
Total time of
DVD is 43:10
is well made and has nice graphics, sound quality and good cinematography.
She has selected very good music which includes Mary
Ellen Donald and the late Mimi
Spencer. She uses a standard disclaimer to
consult with your doctor before starting any exercise regiment
and to stretch well prior to beginning.
beginning of the video I immediately like Azar.
has a nice calm demeanor and is clear and concise in her speech.
reminds me of the actress Geena Davis. Her purple
ensemble is a nice contrast to the neutral “Egyptian” style living
room in the background.
first section is “alignment” which I was thrilled to see. Far
too few teachers stress the importance of proper alignment.
She has three
basic alignment positions she teaches: Basic #1, Basic #2 and
Basic Hip Lift Position which will be the foundation for all of
the movements she will be teaching. She mentions that she
will be covering 8 weeks of beginner belly dance class material
and to take your time and not rush. This is key to the beginner
dancer or someone who is using this video as exercise. Since
the time in a video is short I found it refreshing that she mentioned
she is condensing 8 weeks into 40 minutes. An enthusiast
can choose to go as fast or slow as they want or need.
Next we move
into the Workout section. While Azar is focusing on the
movement a voice over instructs what to do. The video shows
several angles and views. She reminds the student to breathe
and to go slow. This section begins with basic movements:
head rolls, shoulder rolls, chest stretches, and a triangle stretch.
to chest circles starting side to side which she offers a quick
explanation then quite a few minutes of practice. This is
shown from several views. We repeat with hip circles.
Belly rolls are next and the explanation is very brief as is the
focusing on alignment including elongating the neck are discussed.
Big, small, fast and slow are shown. Next up are the downward
the infinity as a guide, she explains the concept. I know
most new dancers find that comparison very helpful.
walk section is perplexing. It is a sway walk and I really
have not seen it used much. I keep going with the hope that
she will explain it better later or add movement.
walking with a drop accent and other drop variations are explained
then practiced. The front back step with a walk looks like
a basic ¾ shimmy but it is missing the shimmy accent.
She adds the sway walk to the front back step. I get it
now. She is showing it as it progresses so it will be easier
of the Egyptian hip lift is easy to understand and she continues
with variations. Grapevine step with hip variations and
carousel turns with mixed hip lifts and accents are also covered.
Then we move
onto the shimmy section. She covers basic side-to-side,
front back or washing machine, up/down, ¾, chest and shoulder
shimmies. She very quickly goes over chest drops then moves right
into shimmy variations and layering shimmies. The final
movement taught is the hip freeze.
into a “dance set”. She shows one way to combine the movements
for an aerobic workout. It is only a suggestion and shows
that the possibilities are endless and that you can combine just
encourages the dancer to really let go and have fun at this point.
fast movements first then shows how to do a slow (or Taksim) section.
She also includes a drum solo section, which a beginner or someone
who is not familiar with Middle Eastern Music or movements might
find a bit challenging valuable to include nonetheless.
final section is Azar’s performance. Her costume is beautiful
and she looks lovely. I found her a better teacher
than performer even with her excellent use of zils.
was hard to really feel her performance as a lot of the shots
were overhead. She does show the movements she covered in
the video so it is worthwhile for a new student to see it all
put together. After the credits roll she also includes some
great basic and well-known belly dance resources which any new
student will appreciate!
I would recommend
this video to a beginner with little to no knowledge. It
is a good quick overview that would benefit a beginner or someone
looking to belly dance as a form of exercise.
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for other possible viewpoints!
DVD 21 shimmies and 1001 variations Review by Monet
IAMED production. I would recommend this video. This video is
very long at about 2 hours and 15 minutes running time. You certainly
get your monies worth.
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Interview with Safaa Farid by
found the foreigners to care about the quality of the work and
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What's in a Name? A Dancer's
Response to Margo's poem "Much, Much, More" by Erica
of the UK
apologize to anyone who feels diminished and tarnished by Western
appropriation of their cultural heritage turning its labels on
them. I cannot speak for anyone else female or male. This is how
The Road to Heck is Paved With…
Good Intentions and Stone Throwing? by Nisima
the conflicts of interest seem obvious, why cannot the parties
involved negotiate these conflicts -- or avoid them in the first