DVD: "Bellydance, The Next Level"
by Tracey Farmer
posted October 11, 2011
I’m going to do my best and be impartial to this review. It’s going to be hard because I have the pleasure of knowing Jenna and I have worked with her and taken her classes since she moved to Los Angeles. She’s an absolutely wonderful person who from the moment she moved from New York, was in much demand for workshops, shows and the most popular professional troupes in Los Angeles. This is her fourth DVD, the 1st being the Golden Apple: Bellydance New York featuring herself, Blanca, and Neon, Drum solo with Raquy and Basics and Beyond. She brings us this DVD with combos, layering and technique to take your dance to the next level.
When I’ve gone to Jenna’s classes, I noticed she had a knack for making the students comfortable with themselves while learning new steps. This persona still comes across on DVD.
Jenna’s instruction technique is very thorough and she has a way of easily guiding the dancer through the fundamentals. She knows how to break down a step or combo without making it sound or seem too complicated, like turns, the bane of my existence. They are necessary in Oriental dance, but if you don’t have any formal dance training they can be quite scary. Jenna is able to explain and demonstrate a basic turn and will make it seem not only harmless, but easy, and turn it into a barrel turn.
The 1st third of the DVD is warm up and technique. Jenna teaches facing a mirror and the camera is behind her giving you the impression that you are right behind her in class. The next two-thirds of the instructional part is a series of combinations that add one whole dance. Each combination is one you can use as an idea or inspiration to put a dance together.
Jenna leaves no stone unturned when it comes to layering for lower and upper body. There are also variations on shimmies for the shoulders and hips and easy transitions as well as traveling steps and embellishments. Jenna guides you from the warm up all the way to a cool down. There is a lot of material on this DVD and I recommend you only watch a few chapters per day to let the entire new material sink in.
At the end we get 2 performances by Jenna, one with the whole dance you just learned and bonus performance using steps you just undoubtedly learned.
If you have Jenna’s Basics and Beyond, it makes sense to add this to you library. I think this DVD is good for the intermediate dancer and for any dancer who is looking to get her performance feet wet.
Rating: 3 1/2 zils
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