Bellydance Fitness For Beginners:
Basic Moves

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: StarStarStarStar (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 gentle half-hour exercise routine based on belly dancing moves. If your primary goal in learning to belly dance is fitness, then this video may be a nice option for you. It provides a pleasant exercise routine based on simple belly dance moves that are easy to learn and not very strenuous. But if you're looking for a video that will help you become a performer, then this might not be the right one for you.

Why I gave it 4 stars:

  • Overall, it was a nice exercise video. The content was appropriate for the target audience: out-of-shape people who want to try using belly dance for exercise. The video was well-lit, with appropriate camera angles and an attractive background that didn't call too much attention to itself.
  • The video makes good use of the time allowed.
  • One area for improvement: there was no discussion of posture, particularly with respect to avoiding injury.
  • The narrative didn't distinguish between which moves are merely exercises for good muscle development versus which moves are suitable for performance. The workout included several of each without saying which was which.
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 Fat Burning in same package)
U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
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 Basic Moves 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 StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 34:01 minutes
Performance Time 3:27 minutes (10%)
Teaching Time 28:23 minutes (83%)
Amount Of "Other" 2:11 minutes (7%)
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 47 cents
Cost For "Other" $1.05

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

Description

This is a fitness video that uses belly dance movements for the exercise routine. It does not attempt to teach you how to express yourself creatively through dance. The video utilizes very basic, beginner-level belly dance moves that are suitable even for people who have never belly danced before. In a continuous 28-minute segment, Veena and Neena demonstrate a series of moves while a voiceover narrative explains how to do each. The moves are simple, and even if you've never belly danced before you should be able to follow most of them. The pace of the workout is gentle, and should work well for people who are totally out of shape and looking for an exercise program that won't be too stressful for their flabby bodies. The moves chosen are all low-impact, and therefore this workout should be easy on the joints.

The video features Neena and Veena in a couple of brief performances in full costume. During the opening credits, there is a 1-minute clip of the twins performing a duet together. During the closing credits, one of them performs a 2 1/2-minute solo. Unfortunately, because these occur while the opening and closing credits are rolling across the screen, the text distracts from the pleasure of watching the performance. They dance well, but it would have been nice if the performances had been treated as part of the content rather than as background for the credits.

You're Likely to Enjoy This Video If

  • You want to use belly dancing as a form of exercise, and you want to ramp gently into it at a pace that isn't too demanding.
  • 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 looking for a video you can use for at-home practice that will take you systematically through many of the moves you're learning in your beginner-level belly dance class.
  • You need a low-impact form of exercise that won't be too demanding on your joints or flabby muscles.

This Video Is Probably Not Right for You If

  • You're looking for videos that will teach you how to become a performing belly dancer.
  • You want a video that includes some lovely performances to watch as well as providing beginner-level instruction.
  • You're looking for a workout video that is high-energy, fat-burning, aerobic cardiovascular exercise. In other words, you're already reasonably fit and you're looking for a new type of cardiovascular workout to vary your routine. (This particular video would be too mellow for you.)

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • The moves taught are appropriate to the target audience of people who are brand-new to belly dancing.
  • Veena and Neena demonstrate each move competently, while a voiceover describes how to do each move. I find this easy to follow.
  • The content of the video remains true to the goal of offering an exercise routine based on beginner-level belly dance moves. There is a 28-minute segment of continuous movement, transitioning smoothly from one dance move to another without breaking the flow. The moves are simple enough to follow even without prior dance experience.
  • Production quality is excellent. The set is attractive without calling too much attention to itself. The video is well lit, and the twins wear clothing that makes them easy to see against the background. The music is easy to hear, but not loud enough to overpower the narrative.
  • The video makes good use of camera work. The angle varies just enough to prevent the video from becoming monotonous, but isn't overdone. It doesn't use very many close-ups, but when it does they are 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 enhances the experience rather than distracting from it.
  • In places, the narrative identifies which muscles are used for certain moves.
  • 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.

What I Didn't Like:

  • There was more ballet influence in some of the moves than I would have preferred; for example, the hip circles with the feet wide apart. Although such moves aren't inherently "bad", I would have preferred something closer to the original Middle Eastern spirit of the dance.
  • I wish the video would have opened with a few words about correct posture and its importance in preventing injury.

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 Fat Burning in same package)
U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
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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