Warm Ups & Cool Downs for Bellydancers,
by Qadria

A Video Review By Shira

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

Qadria from North Carolina teaches two different routines (one short, one longer) for warming up before dancing and one routine for cooling down afterward. Although the exercises are intended for use by belly dancers, they do not consist of belly dancing moves.


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The Chart

Recommended Level All Levels
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 42:17 minutes
Performance Time 1:30 minutes (3%)
Teaching Time 39:42 minutes (94%)
Amount Of "Other" 1:05 minutes (3%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 5
List Price $25.00 VHS tape
$30.00 DVD
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 61 cents VHS tape
73 cents DVD
Cost For "Other" 64 cents VHS tape
77 cents DVD

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On this video, Qadria from North Carolina teaches two different warm up routines (one short, one longer) and a cool down routine, designed to complement a belly dance class or home practice session.

After some brief introductory comments, Qadria begins the instruction with a short warm up routine that is 4 ½ minutes in length. She explains that it can be used not only for preparing to dance, but also for loosening up muscles after sitting still too long at a desk job. She calls it a short wake-up call for the mind, body, and spirit. For this warm up, Qadria demonstrates the moves by herself, outdoors in North Carolina with the scenic mountains behind her.

The second warm up routine is 15 ½ minutes. Qadria leads this one indoors in her studio, with four members of her troupe Belly Revelations (Cyra, Dana, Haala, and Bedriyyah) assisting her in demonstrating the moves. It includes most of the same exercises as the shorter version, plus more.
In both warm ups, the emphasis is on gentle loosening up and breathing. If you're planning to do a high-energy workout that is likely to send your heart rate into the cardio conditioning zone, you would probably want to augment Qadria's warm up routines with more vigorous exercises that promote driving oxygen to the muscles.

The cool down routine consisting mostly of stretches follows the second warm up segment. Qadria takes an interesting approach to this. In order for stretches to be effective, it is necessary to hold them for a period of time. On the video, while the stretches are being held, Qadria displays brief (approximately 30 seconds each) clips of performers, with voiceover describing how the stretch currently being done can be used to improve to the dance moves being done on-screen. This helps make the stretch seem less monotonous than typical stretching. Dancers featured in these video clips include Donna Whitley from Greenville, North Carolina; Amaya from Cedar Crest, New Mexico; Scheherezade from Rockville, Virginia; Zarifa from Charlotte, North Carolina; Sharifa from Rockingham, North Carolina; Aneena from Novato, California; Jasmine from Charlotte, North Carolina; Naima from Charlotte, North Carolina; and the troupe Belly Revelations from Raleigh, North Carolina.

On this cool down routine, it's very valuable to have Qadria's four assistants help her demonstrate the stretches, because the people have different levels of flexibility from each other. As Qadria reaches forward to grab her toes, the others show variations of the stretch that are suitable for dancers who are more or less flexible than Qadria. This makes the stretches seem less intimidating for people who are new to stretching.

The video closes with a 1 ½ minute performance by Qadria's troupe Belly Revelations, followed by the closing credits. A page of information enclosed in the video package contains additional credits.
Overall, the production quality has a homemade flavor, but it's "good enough". The camera angles always show what I need to see. The sound meets my needs - I can always make out what Qadria is saying, and the background music is soft enough for her voice to be easily heard over it. All of the instructional segments are well lit, but the performance segments on the stage are a bit too dark. During the outdoor segment, at times it seems as though the sound of the wind is being picked up by the microphone.

The video editing includes title screens at the beginning of each of the two warm up sections, which makes them easy to find when fast forwarding or rewinding, but there is no title screen at the beginning of the cool down. This will make the video more difficult to use for people who want to work with the cool down by itself. The DVD edition is essentially just a "dump to disk" of the contents of the tape, with no chapter breaks or menus. The only way to get to the second warm up and the cool down is through fast forwarding to positions 6:48 and 22:25 respectively.

As an instructor, Qadria comes across as warm and likeable. Her cool down stretches are consistent with those taught in mainstream dance classes, so doing her routine will indeed help develop the flexibility of a "dancer".

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You want guidance in doing your own warming up and cooling down after practicing belly dance at home.
  • You are a belly dance teacher who would like ideas for appropriate warm ups and cool downs to use when teaching yourself.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You are satisfied with your current approach to warming up and cooling down and feel no need for change.
  • You want a video that teaches belly dance moves.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • It offers practical exercises consistent with what mainstream dance instructors use.
  • Qadria uses multiple people to demonstrate moves through most of the video, including how to adapt moves to your own body limitations if you're not as flexible as her.
  • Qadria shows how the exercises relate to dance moves, to help understand how they are beneficial.
  • Qadria has a warm on-screen personality.

What I Didn't Like

  • The DVD edition has no chapter breaks.
  • There isn't really enough light for the performance segments.

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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:

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In Conclusion

The exercises and stretches taught on this video are not belly dance moves, but they help develop strength and flexibility in the muscles that are used for dance. This video could offer helpful structure for warming up and cooling down when practicing at home. People who are new to teaching belly dance may find the routines on this video helpful in constructing their own warm up and cool down routines. The production quality is not slick, but I find it "good enough".

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

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Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

Contact Qadria as follows:

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

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

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