Today! Bellydance with Neon
review by Dina
of this DVD makes it clear that the intention is to teach.
A solid white backdrop starkly contrasts Neonís
bright outfit (read: loud) so you can undoubtably see every
movement that she executes. With this setting, World
Dance New York presents another Neon video called Dance Today!
Bellydance with Neon.
really have to love or be dedicated to learning bellydance
to watch this video in its entirety. You have the option
of choosing to learn two dances with or without music. Without
the music, Neon demonstrates the movements for her choreographed
routine and she focuses on precision and fluidity. With the
music, you have the benefit of her unique counting system,
and you may look similar to Speedy Gonzales while
you dance (I will speak more on that later). There are two
demonstrations she offers, a slow mid-tempo song and a faster
drum solo routine. She also has a bonus performance and gives
information on where to buy the music if you intend to perform
her routines for the public.
personality is patient and soothing. She reminds me of the
cast members of Sesame Street or Mister Rodgers when she
teaches. Itís like learning how to count again. Or
maybe itís like learning how to write in cursive for the
first time. Either way, her education style harkens back
to the days when I carried a Wonder Woman lunch box every
morning, my best friend was invisible and nap time was the
best part of the day.
assumes that the student is a beginner and she creates such
an art form from her patience that I donít feel like the
worldís dumbest student when watching her dance. Little
girls may love this video.
however, was not insulted. Go ahead Neon, clap your hands
and count from one to eight as if I just stopped teething
yesterday. I donít care; I want to learn how to be a
better bellydancer and if I learn effectively from a professional
performer who reminds me of my kindergarten teacher, then
so be it. However, others who have racked up considerable
skill and experience may want to pass this video by. For
those who are willing to put aside their egos and learn very,
very basic yet cute moves (like me) then read on....
choreography is set to slow tempo danced as a sensual, serpentine-like
routine. It was difficult for me to follow along with Neon.
She dances the combinations as she teaches them, then as
you progress to combo #3 or 4 she will perform that combination
and then do the routine from the top to where you last left
off. The sequence of the demonstrations does not flow smoothly. It
felt as if the editing needed some work because when I tried
to do the demonstrations, I was stopped abruptly each time
she began from the top. I hope that I donít sound crazy,
but that is the best way I can describe what she was doing!
is in slow to medium tempo and there is a counter that goes
up to the number eight to let you know when to execute the
next move. I think that it was Neonís intention for the viewer
to be aware of the music as well as the choreography. Good
innovative idea. The problem is that throughout this 120
minute video, Neon forgets to mention the purpose of the
counter in the first place. She is very thorough in
her instruction about the beats in the music, how to align
your body, and basic technical application of the dance,
but she says nothing about that funny looking counter on
the left side of the screen!
choreography Neon teaches is set to a drum solo; she warns
the viewer that this is intermediate level and she will go
a little faster. The choreography is a bit faster and she
emphasizes more shimmies, kicks and undulations. When
she performs the dance, she does pretty well. My concern
was a pelvic thrust she does a couple of times in the middle
of combo #5 and combo #11 in her routine. She tells
us that it is merely a pelvic drop, but it sure looked like
a thrust to me. I was taught that you donít do that frontal
with the audience. It looks suggestive. At least, it sure
did to me.
point, I decided that my best bet was to perform her drum
solo without the music. With the music, the sequences
stopped too abruptly and I felt as if I was overdosing on
caffeine from all the hopping I was doing. When Neon dances
her drum solo routine, she is very clear and precise. I just
wish that there was some background music or maybe a flying
monkey playing cymbals walking past to break up the monotony
of her speaking. She smiles, gives it all sheís got
and looks to be having a good time, so if you donít mind
just hearing her talk and execute movements for thirty or
more minutes, then this video is for you. If you donít mind
bellydancing to music with an instructor who not only reminds
you of your kindergarten teacher but also a kangaroo on speed,
then this video is definitely for you. Like I said earlier,
my intent is to learn and she is an efficient, capable and
talented instructor... and I like kangaroos.
if you are an experienced dancer, then I donít know if this
video would be useful for you, unless you are a fan of Neonís. But
for all you beginners out there, this might not be a bad
investment for you. The video is thorough, precise and innovative
in teaching. The video is also monotonous, awkward during
its faster moments, and if you have a big ego, a little Playskool-ish.
are not extremely difficult to perform, even if this is the
very first bellydancing video that you had ever watched in
your life. Neonís video is a decent choice to break
a person into the art of bellydance. She wants to teach
you to dance, thatís it. No frills. She doesnít bother with
giving any warm up or cool down. Just the facts maíam, and
the fact of the matter is that she gives the bare bones of
bellydance according to her experience, talent and interpretation.
finale, she gives a performance against a black background
with a plate of candles on her head. Neon does the dance
to some Mid-Eastern fusion song that sounds like Enigma meets
Enya. Miss Neon does her thang with the candles on her head,
and even though she is sweating and moves very cautiously
in a skirt that looks too long for the dance she is doing,
she succeeds in her routine. It came across flawless, professional
and entertaining. Before the video ends, you can see a much
relieved Neon gingerly take the candles from her head and
mouth the words ďthis is hot!Ē ĎNuf said.
available here:Neon BD DVD
a comment? Send us a
Check the "Letters to the Editor"
for other possible viewpoints!
12-9-07 Dynamic Belly
Dance, The Joyful Journey of Dancemaking and Performing by Ramona Reviewed
by Dina Peace
This book would
be excellent when coupled with a good dance instructor or Ramona
herself. She is thorough with her information and was successful
creating a book that people can enjoy, if their wallets were big
Bellydancers... I AIN'T SCARED! Bellydance Superstars-
Introduction to Bellydance DVD review by Dina
The ladies seem to enjoy each other’s company (except for an occasionally
withdrawn Sonia) and the chemistry that they have with each other comes across
well in their instruction. That is if you don’t get bored or tired before
the video ends.
Adventure " Prop til ya Drop" The San Francisco
Chapter of MECDA Gala Concert Dec 3, 2006 Reviewed
by Renee of Australia
A stage presentation is totally different from dancing
at a restaurant, party entertainment, school concerts, haflas and
At these venues you do not necessarily expect all of the above. The stage gives
dancers the opportunity to strut their stuff in an entirely different light.
Review of 2005’s Tribal Fusion Bellydance, Yoga,
Isolations and Drills: a Practice Companion with Rachel
Brice, review by Erica
Overall, this is a fantastic workout that I recommend
to anyone. It will tone and strengthen your abs like a lying-down,
crunches workout cannot do.
the Scenes of " Bellydance Workout" by
television crew said that in the control room it was dead silent
during filming as they strained to listen to what I was saying
so they’d know where to aim the shots.
Experience with Mahmoud Reda: A Little Aloha goes a
Long Way by Tammy Yee
the end of the evening Ric, Walid and Mr. Reda were huddled together
like little boys, telling naughty jokes. Ric, of course, telling
jokes beginning with "There are three friends, an Egyptian,
a Lebanese, and a Filipino..." These jokes, surprisingly,
initiated my Mr. Reda himself, who from the workshops I had taken
to be a distinguished and refined gentleman. They laughed like
Profile of a Costume Designer by Michelle Joyce
When I asked her if she would soon retire, she just frowned and said that there
are too many mothers who need her to stay in business for the good of their