Bellydance Fitness For Beginners:
Arms & Abs

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.

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

Summary

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

This is an exercise video, not a video that will teach you how to become a performing dancer. Identical twins Veena and Neena Bidasha present a series of exercises designed to firm and tone the arms and abdominal muscles.

I evaluated this video from the perspective of whether it would be satisfying for a belly dancer. Why I gave it 3 stars:

  • It was basically a good video, just not a great one.
  • It did provide valid exercises for working the abdominal muscles and arms.
  • Working with this video will help a dancer develop the muscles needed to make her a better belly dancer.
  • The problem is that not all the exercises taught were belly dancing moves. That in itself didn't bother me, but it should have identified which things were dance-able moves versus which were just useful exercises.
  • It's a good workout for someone who already knows some dance basics, and wants to be guided through a workout in using those basics to become more fit.
Cover

To purchase this video from Amazon:

Item

Amazon.com in U.S.

Amazon.ca in Canada

Amazon.co.uk in United Kingdom

DVD Edition
(which also includes Hips, Buns, & Thighs in same package)
U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Not offered Not offered
Box Set of 4 VHS Tapes, Including This One Plus Basic Moves, Hips Buns, & Thighs, and Fat Burning. U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
 

(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. Veena and Neena themselves say the DVD edition support all regions. I have personally tested this DVD and confirmed it.)

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 Fitness Arms and Abs, by Veena and Neena?
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 28, 2002.

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

The Chart

Recommended Level Total Novice
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 35:30 minutes
Performance Time 4:47 minutes (13%)
Teaching Time 28:37 minutes (81%)
Amount Of "Other" 2:06 minutes (6%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 2
List Price $14.98
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 45 cents/minute
Cost For "Other" 90 cents

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

Description

This is a workout video focused on arms and abdominal muscles that utilizes several belly dance moves as part of the workout. It also works through classic gym exercises that are not dance moves, such as crunches. Throughout these exercise segments, the twins demonstrate the moves while a voiceover describes what to do. The sound quality is excellent - you can hear the music, but it doesn't overpower the narrative.

This particular video doesn't do much warm-up. It starts with a couple of stretches, then moves quickly into assorted exercises suitable for sculpting and toning. The time is divided between some exercises done standing up, and others done down on the floor. If you have an exercise mat, you'll get some use out of it!

For performances, there is an opening duet with veils that lasts about 1 1/2 minutes during the opening credits. At the end of the video, while the closing credits scroll across the screen, there's a solo dance 3 1/4 minutes by one of the twins that begins with veil movements, then transitions into some floor work.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You want to build strength and flexibility in your arms and abdominal muscles.
  • You're tired of the usual arms/abs workout videos and you'd like to try exercises that are new to you. The belly dancing moves on this video will give you a nice change of pace while still giving you a workout.
  • You prefer videos that maintain a continuous pace of movement over an extended period of time without pausing so you can use them as a framework for an exercise workout.
  • You're a belly dancer of any level who would like to use the belly dancing moves that you know as part of your fitness program.
  • You're a beginning belly dance student who would like to be guided in practicing with the moves you've learned in class.
  • You don't have a lot of experience with working out and aerobics classes intimidate you, but you'd like to get into shape. Although this video gives seasoned exercises a good workout by introducing moves that are probably new to them, it's mellow enough to ease couch potatoes into getting into shape.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're looking for a video that focuses on how to dance rather than how to exercise.
  • You're looking for a video that will teach stomach rolls and flutters. The exercises on this video are good for developing strength and control over the muscles needed to perform those moves, but the video does not teach how to do those moves.

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • The moves taught are appropriate to toning and strengthening abdominal and arm muscles.
  • Veena and Neena demonstrated each move competently, while a voice-over described how to do each move. I find this easy to follow.
  • Production quality was excellent. The set was attractive without calling too much attention to itself. The video was well lit, and the twins wore clothing that made them easy to see against the background. The music was easy to hear, but not loud enough to overpower the narrative.
  • The video made good use of camera work. The angle varied just enough to prevent the video from becoming monotonous, but wasn't overdone. It didn't use very many close-ups, but when it did they were appropriate, focusing on the correct body parts for the move being demonstrated at the moment. After seeing far too many videos where it seemed like the camera operators and video editors used every special effect in their toy box, I found it refreshing to view a video in which the camera work and editing enhanced the experience rather than distracting from it.
  • The crop tops, tights, and hip scarves that the twins wore contrasted well with the background and made it easy to see the moves they were demonstrating. This garb also provided an appropriate role model on how to dress for a workout based on belly dancing.
  • The belly dancing moves chosen for this video are simple enough for a beginner to do, but also offer a valid fitness program for a more experienced dancer.

What I Didn't Like:

  • The video didn't identify which of its exercises were valid dance moves versus just exercises.
  • I wish the video would have opened with a few words about correct posture and its importance in preventing injury.
  • The closing credits were superimposed over the performance at the end. These distracted attention away from the dancing.
  • The rib cage slides were demonstrated in a jerky fashion. In dancing, these are typically performed fluidly. I'm concerned that novice students who don't know any better will think that jerky thrusts are the usual way to do these moves.
  • The narrative occasionally mentions body parts by their correct names, such as sternum and triceps without clarifying which body parts they refer to. A fitness-savvy gym member would know, but it would have been nice if the narrative had defined the terms to help people who are new to working out and just learning the names of their muscles and bones.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

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

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

Disclosures

I've never met Veena and Neena. In fact, I hadn't even heard of them until their videos appeared on the market. I've received a couple of friendly e-mails from Veena, and she seems nice. For my review, I borrowed a copy of this video from a friend.

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

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
(which also includes Hips, Buns, & Thighs in same package)
U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Not offered Not offered
Box Set of 4 VHS Tapes, Including This One Plus Basic Moves, Hips Buns, & Thighs, and Fat Burning. U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
 

(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. Veena and Neena themselves say the DVD edition support all regions. I have personally tested this DVD and confirmed it.)

Or, contact Veena and Neena as follows:

'Bellytwins'
P.O. Box 2402
Beverly Hills, CA 90213
U.S.A.

Phone: (+1) (310) 285 2255

Acknowledgements

I'd like to thank Tabatha Bradley for loaning me the boxed set of four videos so I could review them for this site. Thanks, Tabatha!

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

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