Bellydance Fitness For Beginners:
Hips, Buns, & Thighs

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.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Summary

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

This is primarily a fitness video, which uses some belly dancing moves as part of the half-hour workout.

Why I gave it 3 stars:

  • From a belly dancer's perspective, the content of the video is okay but not special. It does legitimately use some belly dancing moves, but a lot of the time is also devoted to standard gym-style fitness exercises.
  • Although I was a little disappointed with the content, the lighting and camera work are excellent. On the negative side, at times, the background music sounded as if the musicians weren't quite able to play on key.
  • If you're a dancer looking for a tape that will teach you new moves or guide you through practicing what you've learned in class, this video is not the right choice. But if you want something to lead you through a workout for toning your hips, glutes, and upper legs, and if you don't feel a need for something entirely based on dance moves, this video is worth a look.

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 Arms & Abs 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 Hips, Buns, and Thighs 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 Beginner
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 33 minutes
Performance Time 3:13 minutes (12%)
Workout Time 26:23 minutes (80%)
Amount Of "Other" 3:24 minutes (10%)
Choreography No
Cultural Information No
Music Education No
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 2
List Price $14.95
Cost Per Minute Of Workout & Performing Time 51 cents
Cost For "Other" $1.50

Belly Dancing Bellydancing Dance Bellydance

Description

First and foremost, this is a fitness video. It is intended to guide you through a home workout which tones your hips, thighs, and buttocks. It does incorporate some belly dancing moves, but it also devotes a fair amount of time to standard gym exercises. I would recommend it for people who like to work with mainstream fitness videos, and are seeking a change of pace that still follows the workout format. I would not recommend it for people who want videos to assist them in studying belly dance.

Even someone who is new to belly dancing can use this video, because the belly dancing moves that it uses are easy to learn and well explained. Also, even if you're out of shape you'll probably be able to use this video, because most of the workout is gentle on the body and progresses at a pace most people can probably follow. There are a few moves (such as sitting on the floor with legs outstretched in front and grabbing the feet with the hands) that will make those of you who are couch potatoes snort and say, "Yeah, right!", but if you stick with it you'll find that there are plenty of moves that everyone can do. For the most part, the movements are low-impact, which means that they're easy on the joints.

This is not a workout specifically geared to fat-burning. Obviously, the moves it uses will burn some calories, but it's not designed to be a cardio workout that drives the heart rate into the fat-burning zone.

After about a minute of the usual opening copyright notice, liability disclaimer, and credits, the movie begins with a 40-second demo dance featuring Neena and Veena. They're wearing simple crop tops, tights, and hip scarves. At the end of this, they make some opening remarks, and then the workout begins.

The video opens with a warm-up. The workout begins in a seated position with various stretches and leg raises. It gradually moves into more energetic moves, so there's no clear place where the warm-up ends and the 25-minute workout begins. The movements utilized in the workout all focus on sculpting and toning the hips, buns, and thighs, just as the title says. There are a number of variations of hip circles, hip drops, and similar moves. It ends with a 1-minute cool-down using cat stretches.

As the closing credits scroll across the screen, one of the twins does a beautiful performance to a spirited drum solo, wearing a lovely green costume. She dances quite well, using some advanced techniques such as layering, and it was disappointing to have the distraction of the credits on the screen.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You frequently work with mainstream fitness videos, and you're looking for one that will still offer fitness benefits but use movements that are new to you and work muscles that you don't usually use.
  • You enjoy both mainstream gym-style workouts and belly dancing, and you'd like to blend them into a single workout.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're looking for a belly dance instructional video.
  • You want a video that will guide you through practicing your belly dance technique.
  • You're seeking a video of belly dance performances. The performance on this one is only about 2 1/2 minutes long, and is partially covered by the closing credits.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • Excellent lighting and camera work.
  • Well organized - started with warm-up, moved smoothly into the workout, and ended with a suitable cool-down.
  • Delivered what it claimed to offer: a workout of the thighs, hips, and buttocks.
  • Neena and Veena are competent dancers, and demonstrate the moves well.

What I Didn't Like:

  • The music was a little disappointing. From a production perspective, the sound quality was excellent. But at times the musicians sounded as if they weren't quite sure how to play on key.
  • Only a portion of this tape actually used real belly dancing moves. The opening warm-up and several of the workout moves were standard gym exercises.
  • The lovely drum solo performance at the end by one of the twins was partially covered by the closing credits.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

I'd recommend this for someone who wants a fitness video that tones hips, buns, and thighs, and doesn't mind the fact that a substantial portion of it uses standard gym-style exercises instead of belly dancing moves. This kind of user will probably appreciate the belly dance moves as a change of pace that works the muscles in ways that are different from what s/he's used to.

I wouldn't recommend it for a belly dancing student who wants an instructional video to use for at-home practice or learning. I also wouldn't recommend it for someone who is looking for a video of belly dance performance. There's not much performing on this video, and the closing credits partly cover the little there is.

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 Arms & Abs 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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