Bellydance Moves & Combinations,
by Qadria

A Video Review By Shira

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Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Summary

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

Qadria teaches six simple step combinations based on elementary belly dance moves. She then puts them together into an easy choreography for practice which she shows using three different rhythms. The structure enables the program to double as a workout if desired. Cover

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Beginner
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating
Production Quality
Content Value
Packaging
Total Video Length 68:43 minutes
Performance Time 3:44 minutes (5%)
Teaching Time 45:56 minutes (67%)
Amount Of "Other" 19:03 minutes (28%)
Choreography Yes
Cultural Information No
Music Education Yes
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 9
List Price $15.00
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 30 cents
Cost For "Other" $4.16

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

This video by Qadria offers assistance to beginning belly dance students for putting moves together into simple combinations and choreography. It consists of three primary sections: the instruction, some performance clips, and some interviews with some of the on-screen dancers.

Qadria has designed the instruction section to be suitable not only as a study tool, but also as a light cardio workout. A posse of 9 students helps Qadria demonstrate the moves, including one who is pregnant. Most of these students are at beginner level, allowing the person using the video to feel as though she is part of the class. The instruction also offers a subtle introduction to Middle Eastern music by using drums playing common rhythms as accompaniment throughout. The components of it include:

  • Introductory Comments. 4 minutes. Qadria describes the format of the video and its purpose, then offers suggestions on how to use it.
  • Warm Up. 3 minutes. Uses belly dance moves such as shoulder rolls, hip slides, rib cage slides, hip twists, and snake arms. The background music consists of drumming in a baladi rhythm.
  • Combination #1. 1 minute. Uses some of the moves from the warm-up.
  • Slow Ayyoub. 6 minutes. Explores circles of hips and rib cage. Accompanied by drumming in the ayyoub rhythm.
  • Combination #2. 1 minute. Consists of the circling movements covered in the Slow Ayyoub section.
  • Masmoudi. 3 ½ minutes. Covers variations of hip lifts and figure 8's. Accompanied by drumming in the masmoudi rhythm.
  • Combination #3. 2 ½ minutes. Uses the moves covered in the Masmoudi section.
  • Karsilama Introduction. 1 minute. Qadria explains the structure of the Turkish 9/8 rhythm known as karsilama, and uses some simple hip bumps to show how it works.
  • Karsilama Movement. 2 minutes. Qadria uses hip bumps and step-touches to fit with the drums playing the karsilama rhythm. Designed to serve as the cardio portion of the routine, if using it as a workout. Qadria mentions that this section could be repeated several times to get more of a cardio workout.
  • Combination #4. 2 ½ minutes. The group uses the traveling step-touch previously taught to travel around the room. Chaos ensues.
  • Chiftetelli. 3 minutes. This slower section is designed to serve as the cooldown, allowing the heart rate to return to its normal level. While drums play the chiftetelli rhythm, the group does a number of variations on hip lifts and hip twists. As Qadria mentions in the Introduction, this section could be exchanged with the Warm Up if a bit of variety is desired.
  • Combination #5. 1 ½ minutes. Consists of variations on the step-lift.
  • Baladi Stretch & Combination #6. 10 minutes. Series of static stretches such as neck rolls, oblique stretches, lunges, and others to ease the muscles that were used in the previous sections. Includes hip slides and rib cage slides which serve as Combination #6.
  • Choreography. 9 minutes. Puts the six combinations together in the order taught into a simple dance, with each combination being done twice before moving on to the next. The drums play a maqsoum (baladi) rhythm to accompany the first four minutes. Next a trio of dancers does the combination for 2 ½ minutes to masmoudi rhythm with their backs to the camera so you can feel as if you are dancing with them. Finally a soloist goes through the choreography with her back to the camera using the Turkish 9/8 rhythm for 2 ½ minutes.

The choreography that Qadria creates with these step combinations is not designed to go with a particular piece of music. In fact, she teaches it using maqsoum (baladi) rhythm, then has her dancers demonstrate it with masmoudi and karsilama 9/8 rhythms. It works as a structure for rehearsing the moves and becoming comfortable with transitions, but without a connection to a particular piece of music it's not particularly exciting to watch. For this reason, I think of it as being fine for learning and drilling, but not so fine for performing.

A one-page product leaflet inside the package contains a list of the combinations taught with notes on how to do each combination. This should prove helpful in memorizing and rehearsing the choreography.

Qadria advertises this video as being both instruction and workout. It's true that her structure of warmup, increasing the energy level, then cooling down is conducive to using the video in that way. The format of teaching one combination, then moving on to the next, teaching that, moving on, and then putting everything together at the end is more interesting than the "take it from the top" approach used in many other workout videos. It could be useful for a beginning belly dance student who isn't accustomed to exercise and wants help in adding some movement into her lifestyle. However, someone who exercises regularly isn't likely to break a sweat with it.

Qadria's style as an instructor is to emphasize the feel-good aspects of belly dancing - the enjoyment of dancing with friends and the positive impact on body image. She comes across as very warm, and encouraging, which makes her instructional style well-suited to students who may feel a bit insecure about their ability to follow along. However, she doesn't let the nurturing interfere with dance instruction. Throughout the video, she mentions advice on posture and other technique tips.

Following the instruction, the video contains a four-minute performance segment with brief clips of six different dancers, including Amaya, Aneena, Artemis Mourat, Samra, Anne Snell, and Margaret & Emily Snell. This is the weakest part of the video, because the soundtrack for all these performances is the continuous 9/8 karsilama drum rhythm. It's obvious that this was substituted for the actual music used by the dancers in those performances because their moves don't synchronize with the sound at all. I would have preferred to see a single 4-minute performance using the actual music chosen by one dancer rather than this jumble. I have seen performances in the past by several of these talented artists, and this presentation doesn't do them justice at all.

The video ends with a series of six interview clips featuring Qadria herself and several of the students who helped her demonstrate the instruction. The students in the interviews include, in order, Anderson Beckman, Dana, Mary Ann Flournay, Jaleelah (Jennifer King), Amirah, and Misao. Qadria's intent in including these interviews on the video is to demonstrate the diversity of students who embrace this dance form, and share how the dance fits into their lives. If you live in a community without local classes, these interviews could help you feel more connected to the the larger dance community. Some of these interviews provide a real look into the person's feelings about the dance, while others are very superficial. I'm particularly disappointed with the interview with Qadria, because the interviewer seems to be constantly putting words in Qadria's mouth rather than allowing Qadria to speak for herself.

Qadria and her students all wear classroom attire for the instruction section. Qadria wears a crop top, leggings, and hip scarf, so it is always easy to see what her legs are doing. Most of the students wear practice costumes with skirts or harem pants to give a variety of ideas to students who may be working with this video. At any one time, nine students join Qadria on-screen, with some rotating in/out as each section begins. According to the credits, the participants include everyone from the interviews, plus Leslie Barteaux, Ankhara, Christine Wiecek, Izdihaar, K'asha, Luna el Howas, Sahalie (Karen Jetton), Shala, and Zazoo (Robin Polilli). The credits also list one of the "dancers" as being Erik King, the baby that Jaleelah was expecting at the time the video was filmed. As the credits roll, a photo of each dancer appears next to her name.

The production quality is generally excellent. There is plenty of lighting, the camera angles show what they should, it is always easy to hear Qadria's voice over the background drumming, and the finished product has an attractive, polished look about it. The only thing that's not entirely polished-looking is that it appears to have been filmed in Qadria's dance studio rather than in an elaborate television studio, but that's not a problem for me. A scene selections menu makes it easy to jump to each rhythm's instruction segment, but there are not chapter breaks for the combinations.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • Either you have never belly danced before, or you have had less than 6 months of classes.
  • You are seeking ideas on how to put basic moves together into a dance.
  • You appreciate instructors with warm, encouraging on-screen personalities.
  • You would like instruction that is paced to provide a mild cardio-vascular workout.
  • You would appreciate an introduction to common Middle Eastern musical rhythms.
  • You like to learn a bit about the personal side of people who appear on videos.
  • You would enjoy having a screen full of students (some beginners) doing the moves along with you.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You are at an intermediate or higher level of dance skill.
  • You want to focus on a particular style of belly dance.
  • You value instruction being presented in a disciplined manner rather than nurturing.
  • You are seeking a video whose focus is on polishing your dance technique.
  • You are looking for a choreography that is suitable for performance.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Qadria has a very encouraging personality.
  • The students helping Qadria demonstrate the moves have a variety of body types to help show what the moves look like on different bodies.
  • The production quality is excellent.
  • The instruction contains material appropriate to its intended purpose and the intended skill level of beginner.
  • The video introduces several different Middle Eastern rhythms.
  • The packaging includes written notes for the choreography and combinations as a product insert.

What I Didn't Like

  • The performance segments are all presented with just background drumming that doesn't match the dance.
  • The cardio section is very repetitive.
  • Some of the interviews are a bit weak.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Movements Included

These moves are used as building blocks for the combinations.

  • Hip Articulations: 2 moves (twist shimmy, hip lift)
  • Hip Fluid Moves: 4 moves (hip slide, hip circle, horizontal figure 8, large hip circle)
  • Traveling Steps: 2 moves (step-touch, step-hip)
  • Rib Cage Fluid Moves: 4 moves (rib cage slide, vertical rib cage circle, horizontal rib cage circle, rib cage figure 8)
  • Arms & Shoulders: 1 moves (snake arms)

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

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

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

If you're a newcomer to belly dance, this video can help you learn how to transition from one move to another. Students who have been belly dancing six months or less are the ones most likely to find this video valuable. I don't see the choreography as something a person would want to use in a performance, but it has its role to play as a tool for drilling moves it. Although I'd recommend the combinations as a tool for beginners who would like guidance in varying their moves, I don't see them as being a fit for experienced dancers looking for ideas on what to include in their performances.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Disclosures

Qadria sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review. I had not previously had any relationship with her.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

Contact Qadria as follows:

Qadria
P.O. Box 91383
Raleigh, NC 27675-9998

Phone: (+1) (919) 786-9895
Web Site: www.bellyrevelations.com

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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