Belly Dance Your Way to Fitness

A Video Review By Shira

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Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Summary

Overall Rating: StarStarStar (on a scale of 1 to 5 stars)

This instructional video is geared to beginners, and teaches basic moves suitable for people who have been studying belly dancing for less than 6 months. Although the title mentions "fitness", the teaching is structured as a belly dancing class, not as a fitness workout.

Amira Mor

To purchase this video from Amazon:

Item

Amazon.com in U.S.

Amazon.ca in Canada

Amazon.co.uk in United Kingdom

DVD Edition U.S.
NTSC
All regions
Canada
NTSC
All regions
 Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
 Not offered  Not offered

(Amazon's claim that the DVD version is Region 1 is wrong. Amazon doesn't offer a way for sellers to indicate that their DVD's support multiple regions, so they're forced to pick just one. I have personally tested this DVD and found it to enable all regions.)

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What Shira.net Users Think

Have you actually watched this video yourself? If so, offer your own opinion in the poll below! Otherwise, click the "View Results" button to see what worldwide users of shira.net think of it.

 
1) How would you rate Belly Dance Your Way to Fitness, by Amira Mor?
Absolutely fantastic!
Definitely would recommend it.
Good enough to be worth the money, but not special
Disappointing, but had at least a little value
Nothing good about it at all
 

The above poll includes responses submitted since April 13, 2003.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Beginner
Formats Available NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 46:14 minutes
Performance Time 2:19 minutes (5%)
Teaching Time 39:24 minutes (85%)
Amount Of "Other" 4:31 minutes (10%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 7
List Price $19.99 for VHS tape
$24.99 for DVD
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 47 cents per minute for VHS tape
60 cents per minute for DVD
Cost For "Other" $2.00 for VHS tape
$2.50 for DVD

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

This instructional video offers a beginning-level belly dance class suitable for students who have been studying belly dance for 6 months or less. It teaches a variety of basic moves, and at the end puts them together into a practice session. Although the word "fitness" appears in the name of the video, it is not structured as a fitness workout.

The video opens with Amira doing a 2-minute nightclub-style performance wearing a skin-baring costume. Her style is very flashy, both in costuming (slits in her circle skirt open to bare her legs all the way up to the belt) and in style of moves that she chooses to do. Amira has a good ear for the music and synchronizes her movements well to it. Her bright smile and high energy level come across as someone who loves to dance.

Following the performance, the instruction begins. Six assistants, all dressed in matching costumes, help Amira demonstrate the moves. The instruction is divided into 6 segments, as follows:

  1. Preparation
  2. Arms & Shoulders
  3. Upper Body
  4. Lower Body
  5. Basic Walk
  6. Fun & Fitness

Segment 1 teaches breathing exercises to warm up. Segments 2 through 5 teach elementary belly dance moves. Segment 6 leads a practice session, which starts with everyone dancing together in unison as Amira calls out which step to do next, and then gradually transitions into free-form dancing in which everyone is improvising as she pleases.

The video is very well organized, with excellent production quality. The camera changes angles about every 4 seconds, which is a bit more often than I prefer, but within acceptable limits. These angles do a good job of showing the appropriate body parts to see what is being taught.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You have been studying belly dance less than 6 months.
  • You either have access to a teacher, or you have already worked with a different "basic moves" video and now you'd like something to help you practice and build on what you have learned so far.
  • You would like to work with a video that uses Arabic music.
  • You'd like a video that offers some help in assembling basic moves together into a simple dance.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You've never belly danced at all before, and you're looking for a video to help you learn without a teacher.
  • Your body image isn't comfortable with the idea of baring a lot of skin just yet, and it would make you uncomfortable to work with a video whose instructor does.
  • You're interested solely in Egyptian style dancing.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Features of the DVD Edition

This review is based on the DVD edition of this video.

Summary

Feature

Available on This DVD?

Regions Available 1
Fast-Forward Through Introductory Screens Not needed, intro is very short
Pause Yes
Chaptering Yes
Menu, Sub-Menus Only one top menu, to start the class
Fast Forward  Yes
Skip to the Next Break  Yes
Rewind/Reverse Yes
Slow Forward Yes
Zoom Yes
Alternate Sound Tracks  No
Other Extras No

Chaptering & Sub-Menus

There is only one menu, the main menu for starting the instruction. However, the segments of instruction are well chaptered, so it is possible to find the desired chapter with a few taps of the "skip forward" button on the remote. The chapter divisions include:

  • Chapter 1 - Performance.
  • Chapter 2 - Segment 1, Preparation
  • Chapter 3 - Segment 2, Arms & Shoulders
  • Chapter 4 - Segment 3, Upper Body
  • Chapter 5 - Segment 4, Lower Body
  • Chapter 6 - Segment 5, Basic Walk
  • Chapter 7 - Segment 6, Fun & Fitness

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Amira Mor explains the moves well. For moves that students often have difficulty learning, she offers multiple explanations.
  • The set is attractive and well lit.
  • Sound quality is excellent.
  • The instruction is organized very well. Amira groups the moves together logically, and the video makes it very easy to identify which ones will be taught next.
  • Amira uses well-known Arabic songs for the background.

What I Didn't Like

  • Camera angles shift from one to another just a little too often, which I found distracting when I was trying to study how Amira was demonstrating a certain move.
  • Amira's 6 assistants all have body types very similar to her own. It would have been helpful to have more variety in the heights and figures of the assistants, to help students of varying body types see someone "like them".

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Movements Included

  • Hip Articulations: 3 moves (hip shimmy, pelvic shimmy, hips up & drop)
  • Hip Undulations: 1 moves (hip circle)
  • Traveling Steps: 2 moves (basic walk forward, basic walk back)
  • Rib Cage Articulations: 4 moves (chest lift & drop, V chest, waist side to side, rib cage forward & back)
  • Rib Cage Undulations: 3 moves (waist circle, chest circle, undulation)
  • Arms: 6 moves (wrist circle, shoulder circle, snake arms, butterfly arms, cobra arms, shimmy shoulders)

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Amira Mor, choose from the list below:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

This video offers beginner-level instruction. I don't think the level is quite simple enough to serve as a "first video" for someone without a teacher, but it could work as a "second" video for such a student who is outgrowing her first. It could also help as a tool for home practice for a beginner who does have classes, and wants a framework for practice in between. The performance is energetic and fun to watch, and the closing "fun & fitness" section helps students begin to learn how to put moves together. The moves taught are definitely elementary - someone who has been belly dancing for more than 6 months would probably find this video too simple for her taste.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Disclosures

I have had only minimal contact with Amira Mor before reviewing this video. She sent me a complimentary copy to review for my web site.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

To purchase this video from Amazon:

Item

Amazon.com in U.S.

Amazon.ca in Canada

Amazon.co.uk in United Kingdom

DVD Edition U.S.
NTSC
All regions
Canada
NTSC
All regions
 Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
 Not offered  Not offered

(Amazon's claim that the DVD version is Region 1 is wrong. Amazon doesn't offer a way for sellers to indicate that their DVD's support multiple regions, so they're forced to pick just one. I have personally tested this DVD and found it to enable all regions.)

Or, contact Amira Mor as follows:

Amira Mor International Entertainment Co.
P.O. Box 101
Closter, NJ 07624
U.S.A.

Phone: (+1) (201) 348-2126
E-Mail: contact@AmiraMor.com

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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