Bellydance for Body Sculpting - Abs

originally named

Belly Dance for Body Shaping - Abs, by Neon

A Video Review By Shira

Do you have questions about Shira's reviewing methodology, such as how to interpret the chart, what the categories mean, or what her biases are? Click here for an explanation.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Summary

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

Neon leads three different 15-minute workouts based entirely on belly dance moves, each complete with a warmup and cooldown. All three workouts target the abdominal muscle groups. Personal trainer Andy Troy offers education on the abdominal, hip, and leg muscle groups and throughout the workouts injects tips on proper form for maximum benefit.

CoverCover

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
U.K.
PAL
All Regions
As part of a four-DVD set with other videos in the series including Total Body, Abs, and Buns/Thighs U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
U.K.
NTSC
All Regions

To my knowledge, this video has never been released on VHS tape.

(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 for Body Shaping - Abs by Neon?
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 October 23, 2004.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Experienced Beginner
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 48:32 minutes
Workout Time 45:13 minutes (93%)
Performance Time  0:00 minutes (0%)
Teaching Time 3:19 minutes (7%)
Amount Of "Other" 0:00 minutes (0%)
Choreography Yes
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 1
List Price $19.98
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Workout Time 41 cents
Cost For "Other" 0 cents

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

On this video, Neon leads three different 15-minute fitness workouts that are designed to sculpt and tone the muscle groups in the abdomen. Each workout is built entirely on belly dance moves rather than gym exercises.

The video opens with a 3 ½ minute section titled "About this Program," on which personal trainer Andy Troy offers an introduction to the muscle groups in the abdomen, hips, and upper legs. This physiology overview is valuable in understanding the muscles used for belly dancing. As each muscle is described, a diagram on screen shows an outline of a torso and indicates where that muscle is located. Andy's explanation describes what types of moves each muscle is used for.

Next the video offers three choices for workout, simply named Session 1, Session 2, and Session 3. All three workouts are the same length, and structured the same way, but each uses subtly different moves and combinations. This choice between multiple workout choices offers enough variety to avoid outgrowing it too quickly. The components of each workout include:

  • Warm Up. About 3 minutes in length.
  • Workout. About 8-9 minutes in length.
  • Dance. About 2 minutes in length.
  • Cooldown. About 1 ½ minutes in length.

In each workout, even the warm-up and the cooldown are based on belly dance moves. For the main body of the workout, the focus is on hip and rib cage isolations. The workout is built on a foundation of horizontal circles, vertical circles, undulations, figure 8's, lifts & drops. There are no stomach rolls or flutters used. The workouts focus on sculpting benefits rather than cardio, though someone who is just starting to build an exercise routine will probably derive cardio benefit from it.

The innovative on-screen presentation is designed to make it very easy to determine what to do next. In the workout sections, Neon introduces each move or combination and repeats it several times before moving on to the next. As the move is introduced, 3-dimensional graphics appear on the left of the screen showing which body part (rib cage or hips) is being used and what direction the motion (figure 8, circle, etc.) goes. In the center of the screen, there are frequently two images of Neon herself demonstrating the move, one showing her from the front and the other from the back. A simple explanation demonstrates the move slowly at first, and then it ramps up to full speed for the repetitions. In the lower right corner, a progress bar indicates how many repetitions will be done for this move and shows which one is currently being done, and thereby eliminates the need for much of the verbal cueing that is typical of exercise videos. Periodically, Andy will briefly appear on screen to offer tips for proper form for safe exercise.

After all the combinations have been introduced for a given workout, a 2-minute "dance" section puts them all together into a brief choreography. The moves in the choreography match the same order as were taught in the workout, only with fewer repetitions. Neon has structured this with the intent that someone who memorizes one of these short choreographed pieces could then go clubbing and use the same choreography on the dance floor. To make it easier for club-goers to do this, each workout has a menu choice and chapter break that skips directly to the dance section.

Each workout ends with a cooldown that matches the tone of the routine just finished. There is no performance segment on this video.

The workouts assume the viewer either already knows basic belly dance moves such as hip circles, hip lifts, undulations, etc. Although Neon does explain the moves, she proceeds quickly from one to another, so the explanation is intended to serve mostly as a review rather than introduction. I wouldn't recommend this video as a starting point for people who have never before done any kind of belly dancing.

Neon leads the workout wearing pink pants, jeweled bra top, and gloves against a black background. The contrast makes it easy to see what she is doing. She seems to be dressed more for clubbing than for exercise, which matches with the overall tone of her video series and target customer base. Her bare midriff shows off some very well-defined muscles, so she is a credible role model for leading an abs-oriented exercise routine.

The music features compositions by assorted composers, with a common theme of techno and New Age flavor. The benefit is that this offers a steady beat, but some people might prefer Middle Eastern music to go with the Middle Eastern dance moves.

The production quality throughout the video is excellent. My only complaint is that I would have preferred to have additional chapter breaks on the DVD at the end of each warm-up and just before each cool-down, to make it easy for people with programmable DVD players to "roll their own" workouts of varying lengths by mixing and matching. Aside from that, the lighting, camera work, and sound quality are all excellent. The use of on-screen graphics to help teach the moves and assist with the cueing is superb. Although voiceover is used to cue the video, Neon manages to look like she's having fun throughout, rather than the bored look that is common with other people's voiceover videos.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You would appreciate a well-explained introduction to the torso muscles and how they are used in belly dancing.
  • You want a structured workout that will target your abs, obliques, and pelvic floor.
  • You prefer workouts that focus entirely on belly dance moves rather than including some gym exercises.
  • You get bored if you use the same workout repeatedly and would like variations to hold your interest.
  • You enjoy belly dancing to New Age and techno music.
  • You prefer a workout video led by a "real" belly dancer rather than a generic fitness instructor who learned a few moves.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You've had no previous instruction or experience with belly dancing.
  • You prefer a video that offers a serious study of belly dance technique.
  • You believe that belly dancing should be done only to Middle Eastern music.
  • You are interested only in Egyptian, Lebanese, or Turkish style dance moves.
  • You wrinkle your nose at the idea of using belly dancing moves in workouts.
  • You are annoyed by the idea of focusing belly dance instruction on the needs/interests of club-goers rather than on those of serious dance students.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Andy Troy's overview of muscles in the torso and upper legs is valuable information for belly dancers of all levels.
  • The workout is based entirely on belly dance moves.
  • Andy offers tips on doing some moves safely.
  • The video presentation makes innovative use of on-screen graphics to clarify how to move the body and cue how many repetitions remain.
  • The video is designed to support the 16:9 widescreen television format, which my widescreen television appreciates.
  • The credits identify the music used.

What I Didn't Like

  • I would prefer to have chapter breaks after each warmup and before each cooldown so I can program a multi-DVD player to roll my own workout.
  • The New Age and techno music styles don't excite me.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Neon, choose from the list below.

Instructional:

Performances:

Workouts:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

This video assumes that the user has some prior exposure to belly dancing - perhaps Neon's two Instant Belly Dancer DVD's, or some other beginner-level instruction. It uses exclusively belly dance moves - no crunches or gym exercises. By offering three different workouts that target the abs, it allows the user to vary the workout from one time to the next while still achieving the desired results. For belly dance students, professionals, and teachers who know little or nothing about exercise physiology, Andy Troy's opening commentary offers valuable insight into how the body produces the moves we use in our dancing. I highly recommend this video for users who have had some previous belly dance introduction and don't mind New Age and techno music.

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 Region free
Alternate Sound Tracks  No

Chaptering & Sub-Menus

Each of the three workouts is divided into two segments, with a chapter break at the beginning of the choreography that incorporates the moves just used into a brief dance. This allows the video to do double duty as a tool for taking the dance moves from the gym to the dance floor. The opening menu for the video includes choices for Andy's physiology segment, the beginning of each of the three workouts, the dance segment for each of the three workouts, and the slides with disclaimer and credits.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Disclosures

I have chatted with Neon through e-mail, but I don't know her very well. She sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review.

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
U.K.
PAL
All Regions
As part of a four-DVD set with other videos in the series including Total Body, Abs, and Buns/Thighs U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
U.K.
NTSC
All Regions

To my knowledge, this video has never been released on VHS tape.

(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 Neon as follows:

Email: sales@worlddancenewyork.com
Web Site: www.instantbellydancer.com

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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