Lock, Roll, & Flutter

A Video Review By Shira

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

This is volume three of Suzanna Del Vecchio's series of instructional videos on belly dance technique. On this one, she combines the moves taught on the earlier videos into about a dozen new step combinations which are particularly well suited to use with drum solos. She then teaches a three-minute choreographed drum solo dances which uses them.


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The Chart

Recommended Level Strong intermediate or advanced
Formats Available NTSC, PAL, SECAM
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 52:32 minutes
Performance Time 5:33 minutes (11%)
Teaching Time 45:09 minutes (86%)
Amount Of "Other" 1:50 minutes (3%)
Choreography Yes
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 1
List Price $40.00
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 79 cents
Cost For "Other" $1.40

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This is the third in Suzanna Del Vecchio's 3-part series of instructional videos. Lock, Roll, & Flutter focuses on dancing to drum solos. First Suzanna teaches about a dozen step combinations which are designed to work well with the rhythms commonly used in drum solos. These step combinations are composed of the basic moves from Precision Motion Workout and variations of the combinations taught on Dynamic Combinations. Suzanna then assembles the combinations into a 3-minute choreographed dance routine. The video closes with an exciting performance by Suzanna.

Suzanna opens the video with some introductory comments about how to use this video and what it contains. She points out that it utilizes moves and combinations taught on her two earlier instructional videos, and recommends mastering those before working with this one. She also discusses the level of dance skill that she is assuming the viewer to have.

The instructional section begins with a 5-minute review of posture and offers some exercises to help achieve the correct posture. In the 25-minute instructional section that follows, Suzanna first briefly reviews some of the moves taught on the earlier videos. This ensures that they'll be fresh in your memory when she uses them later as building blocks for new combinations. For the more challenging moves such as body wave, she repeats the detailed instructions given on the earlier videos. For simpler moves, she just mentions the name of the move and demonstrates it to remind you of what the name refers to, then moves on.

After the review, Suzanna teaches about a dozen new step combinations which did not appear on the earlier videos. These are particularly well suited to the rhythms that are commonly used in drum solos, and can serve as useful building blocks for dancing to these exciting musical segments. They are versatile enough to be used with other fast or medium-speed music. As the title of this video suggests, the moves taught are a series of assorted body locks along with stomach rolls and flutters. Suzanna explains in detail how to build each combination, frequently demonstrating from more than one angle.

After Suzanna has carefully taught all the combinations, she teaches a 3-minute choreographed dance that uses them. First she uses a slow, repetitious, steady drum rhythm to demonstrate each combination in turn, calling out which combination it is and how many repetitions it has. Her dancing isn't quite continuous; she frequently pauses to state which move comes next and how many repetitions before going ahead with it. The drumming here is not the actual piece of music that the choreography is designed to go with; it's slower practice music with a steady rhythm that is easier to keep up with while learning. After running through it once, Suzanna runs through it a second time with the same drum accompaniment, this time without the pauses between each combination. She calls out each move as she does it. After this second run-through with practice drumming, she then dances it a third time, this time to the actual drum solo music that the choreography is designed to be used with.

The way the choreography instruction is presented makes it a bit challenging to memorize. Suzanna just talks through what order to do the combinations in and how many to do of each as she demonstrates. There are no package inserts with choreography notes, nor on-screen lists of the order in which the combinations are done. On a more positive note, because the combinations were all taught earlier, the process of putting them together isn't too difficult.

The video concludes with a dramatic performance by Suzanna to a different drum solo piece of music. This performance incorporates many of the combinations that were taught, but also includes many that were not. It shows how the combinations taught in the instructional segment can be used outside of the specific choreography taught on this video. For this performance, Suzanna wears the same clothing as for the instructional section, which disappoints me a little. It would have been nice to see this performance done in a full professional costume.

So far as I can tell, the drum solo music used for the choreography is not available on a tape or CD that can be purchased. Therefore, I don't see this video as being the first choice I'd recommend for people who want to learn a specific choreography that they can perform intact exactly as it was taught. However, it functions well as a source of ideas for step combinations and how to use them. It's worth learning this choreography as a structure for practicing the combinations and incorporating them into your own dance.

The video is very well lit, and it is always easy to see exactly what Suzanna is doing. Her clothing contrasts well with the background, and is attractive to look at. The sound quality is clear and easy to hear. For the review of moves and instruction in combinations, Suzanna demonstrates the moves on-screen while voice-over describes what to do. When it's time to teach the choreography, Suzanna speaks on-camera. I appreciate her decision to initially teach the choreography to a slower drum rhythm before moving on to the "real" music to teach it full speed.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You would like to learn step combinations that work well with drum solos.
  • You have mastered everything taught on Suzanna's first two instructional videos.
  • You appreciate instruction focused on proper technique.
  • You're looking for well-explained instructions on how to do stomach flutters.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're a beginner or early intermediate.

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • Suzanna offers valuable comments on posture.
  • The video teaches combinations well suited to drum solos as well as to regular dancing.
  • Suzanna is well organized.
  • Suzanna is a skilled instructor.
  • The explanations of combinations are clear and detailed, easy to understand.
  • The instructor's voice is pleasant.
  • The choreography is appealing to watch.
  • The video is well lit with clear sound and excellent camera work.

What I Didn't Like

  • The music that goes with the choreography is not available for purchase, which would make it difficult for someone who learns this choreography to perform it
  • The methodology for teaching the choreography isn't really designed with the purpose of making memorization easier.
  • There are no choreography notes.

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Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

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

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In Conclusion

Students who are learning how to do drum solos or more experienced dancers who feel they are in a creative rut with respect to drum solos may find this video helpful in re-energizing their dance. The step combinations serve as interesting building blocks that align well with common drum solo rhythms. Even though the video does use the combinations as the basis for teaching a choreographed piece, I see the primary value served by the choreography as being a framework for practicing the combinations and demonstrating how they fit to typical drum solo rhythms.

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I have spoken briefly with Suzanna when seeing her vending at dance festivals, and we have exchanged links to each other's web sites. However, we've never had an opportunity to become better acquainted. She sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review.

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Contacting The Producer & Ordering The Video

Contact Suzanna Del Vecchio as follows:

Suzanna Del Vecchio
P.O. Box 61383
Denver, CO 80206

Phone: (+1) (303) 399-2622
Web Site: www.suzanna.vecchio.com

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