Gilded Serpent presents...

Strong and Sweet: Neon Serves Up a Dance Fitness Video

DVD cover

Hard Candy, The Bellydance Workout by World Dance New York

DVD Review by Surreyya
posted November 15, 2010

There are not enough words to describe how much I love Neon’s videos!  I still access Neon’s "Curves" video when looking for a great practice companion and early morning coffee warm-up.  As a dancer, teacher, Pilates instructor, and fitness professional, I was uniquely curious how Neon would incorporate the aspect of fitness into her newest release "Hard Candy–A Belly Dance Workout."

Behind the scenes in the fitness industry, there are all kinds of interesting challenges we instructors face, keeping our classes challenged, entertained, interested and maintaining integrity and safety as well as adhering to our own moral compasses.  Fitness managers also fill our heads with all kinds of contradictory statements such as, "Wow! That’s a great class! Can you make it more like Zumba?"  or "The ladies think your class is great, but they are intimidated by your need to review technique." or "…too much cardio; they want more Zen and relaxation"  or even my favorite "They don’t want to show up and have to think!"

Regardless of your particular fitness poison, I am not surprised that Neon has managed to challenge the viewer and integrate useful and challenging movements that are actually helpful to your skill as a dancer.

While there is a place for Zumba, belly pop, cardio shimmy, and any number of the latest dance-craze classes, this video actually replaces the fist pumps, dangerous deep grinding movements and awkward high stepping and replaces them with useful arm movements and level changes that we dancers could actually stand to see more of in our performances.   What’s more: Neon and her team have constructed combinations that are challenging and fun, not only for your dance vocabulary, but for creating muscle recruitment patterns that you can call upon to improve your overall movement, strength, and technique.

What you get in this DVD:
*55 minute Basic Tutorial–a very detailed demo of the movements used in the program,
*45 minute Beginner’s Practice–a continuous practice to utilize once you understand the movements in the prior program,
* Breakdowns of every step and movement used in the video,
* Detailed instruction of every swirl, step, and shimmy including postural adjustments to correct common mistakes,
* The option to practice with or without music and cues,
* A challenging but highly do-able workout including a healthy vocabulary of solid movements to add to your repertoire.

This video is not marketed as strictly a "beginner’s" DVD.  I believe that the mixture of routines makes it appropriate for a few different levels.  It is ambitious for a complete beginner but still quite beneficial for someone who is intermediate/advanced.  The costuming is appropriate and fun, and makes it easy to see the instruction and detailed movements clearly.  Neon, as always, is well spoken, and gives clear and detailed instruction and description of technique.  Her cues are spot-on, and I could listen to her lovely positive tone for hours!  Elisheva and Sarah Skinner also take turns instructing and follow Neon’s fine example of cueing.

At under $20 at the WDNY website, this DVD is a value considering the wealth of dance instruction contained within, let alone the fitness aspect.  I certainly broke a sweat and was challenged!

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  1. MyrnieNo Gravatar

    Nov 20, 2010 - 03:11:27

    I purchased all the videos and they have helped me tremedously!  We have started new routines that are more fluid and because I have practicing with the viedos my movements are much smoother and nicer; muscle memory can talk about it enough!
    Thank you ladies!!

  2. MelissaNo Gravatar

    Nov 26, 2010 - 11:11:47

    Neon’s videos are consistantly good. I have several and love most of them(I merely like a couple).

  3. Barbara GrantNo Gravatar

    Dec 8, 2010 - 04:12:53

    The demo video contained in this review spoke volumes to me. What a brilliant choice of dancers, costumes, and most of all, movements. Nice work, ladies!


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