Luscious: The Bellydance Workout
A DVD Review by Martha Duran
posted February 18, 2013
“This is not an aerobics program,” Neon states in the opening introduction. This a 100% dance program; so you won´t be surprised with a 20 minute yoga warm-up. This DVD provides an Intermediate Level workout of dance combinations. That is–it is much more like dancing, opposed to an aerobics class, with some Belly dance moves included. If you are looking for something that is a mix of dance practice and a workout, then I think you will enjoy this DVD. It is a perfect selection of moves that are combined to work on your stamina, polishing your technique for choreography. This workout is divided into sessions: each session is named after the moves that are going to be practiced in different variations. All of these sessions are set in different tempos. You begin with a slow tempo and move up from that throughout the workout.
The dancing starts off with a simple move such as a hip circle, then adds something else to it in order to make short combos that are repeated a few times. Another simple move is introduced and this process is repeated throughout the combination. The movements match the music and are (generally) easy to follow. Simple layering of movements is introduced along the second session, such as: Hip Bumps over a traveling step.
The first section is “Circles”, led by Blanca. The moves covered are Hip Circles: Circles (using 1 hip only), Interior Hip Circles, and Chest Circles. There are 3 combinations in this section with suggested arm movements to practice. This section is pretty relaxed and is conducted in a slow tempo, including some stretching in large circular motions.
The next section is “Infinity Loops”, with Neon. Her big, strong movements make her dancing crystal clear and easy to follow. The moves are: Horizontal 8s, Chest Figure 8s, Vertical Figure 8s (both up and down with some variations) and One Hip Figure 8s. There are 8 combinations. This section moves along quickly; it is accompanied by a more upbeat tempo with Neon. There are a lot of quick changes, but they aren’t always announced with enough warning.
Section 3 is “Undulations” with Sarah Skinner. The moves are: Snake Arms, Side Undulations, and Up and Down Undulations with Variations; there are 3 combinations. Sarah Skinner is careful and clear on the movement that is in action as well as the one that is soon to be introduced.
Next is “Hip Accents” with Neon. The moves are: Vertical Lifts and Drops, Horizontal Hip Slides, Un-weighted Lifts and Drops (with variations), and Hip Bumps. There are 8 combinations. This is a section that needed a little bit more observation; it is accompanied by music with a little faster tempo, featuring more intricate dance steps and some quicker changes in choreography.
The “Shimmies” section is presented under the instruction of Sarah Skinner. In the section called “Basic Hip Shimmy”, I can see a little bit of Muscle Shimmies, Twist Shimmies, and Twist Locks in a traveling combination, along with Shoulder Shimmies. There are 4 combinations.
Next is “Body Line” with Blanca. This is more like a “cool down section”. There is a lot of swaying shown with some flourishes and accents. Blanca also does Torso Drops, Back Arches, Pivot and Three-step Turns and Arabesques. There are 6 combinations presented here. I thought this was actually the hardest section to do–while still looking “pretty”.
Last, is the choreography section, the putting-it-all-together in a dance session. This DVD contains a special tutorial option in its menu that can be useful for beginning level students who are interested in a challenge because this DVD is a little too complicated for a complete beginner. If you are interested in a good dance workout, yet, want to focus in on some moves at the same time, this is a suitable DVD for accomplishing your goal.
The video, sound, lighting and camera work are all professional. The video is clear, sound is crisp, voice overs are appropriate, lighting is moody (but not too dark), camera angles are helpful. The costuming shown is inspirational, and it does not block the view of the movements. The entire DVD includes many features; for instance, the tutorial section is easy-to-use to access the sections in a more detailed way. It has explanations on how to do the moves and how to do the combinations used in the workout, and there is an option in which you can do the workout with voice-over cues or without them.
The music is enjoyable. You dance to various pieces by Dj Mosavo; they are songs like:"Naga Kava” and “Crimson” by Solace. The menu has a special section for music credits and additional background music, listing several songs by Hossam Ramzy, “Eclipse” by Steve Booke, and “Awake” by The Rotating Leslies.
Rating: 4 zils
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