Bellydance Fitness for Beginners:
Slim Down

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

On this video, Veena and Neena lead a cardio-vascular workout based primarily on belly dancing moves. It begins with a warm-up, followed by about 20 minutes of high-energy moves, ending with a cool-down. The routine is definitely hard work - not the right starting place for the couch potato who has finally decided to start exercising. Assuming you're already fit enough for 20 minutes of sustained energetic activity, this video will offer you a fat-burning aerobic workout based on belly dancing moves.

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 U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
Not offered

(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. I have personally tested this DVD and found it to enable all regions.)

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 Bellydance Fitness For Beginners - Slim Down?
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 December 14, 2002.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Intermediate or Advanced
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 32:54 minutes
Workout Time 30:27 minutes (93%)
Amount Of "Other" 2:27 minutes (7%)
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 2
List Price $14.95
Cost Per Minute Of Teaching & Performing Time 49 cents
Cost For "Other" $1.05

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

This video offers a half-hour workout with warm-up, 20 minutes of vigorous cardio-vascular aerobic exercise, and cool-down. It assumes you already know basic belly dancing moves - if you don't, you can use another video from Veena & Neena titled Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Basic Moves to learn them. Because this is a high-energy workout, it's best suited to someone who is already reasonably fit - for example, if you regularly attend aerobic exercise classes at your gym, or if you can belly dance to fast music or drum solos continuously for 20 minutes, you're probably fit enough for this workout.

I cringed a little because the warm-up includes head circles without any comments on how to do them properly. This move can cause injury if done incorrectly. Veena and Neena demonstrate them using safe technique, but the narrative doesn't provide any instructions. (When circling across the back, it's risky to let the head loll all the way back and grind across the top of the vertebrae - the correct technique is to use the muscles to hold the head up above the spine as it passes to the back.)

Some of the moves on this video are more suitable for intermediate or advanced dancers, such as layering a shimmy over a hip circle. In most of these cases, a beginner could adapt the move for her skill level. For example, on the layering beginners can still use the video by omitting the shimmy until they've learned how to do it.

The workout is medium impact in nature. There are some high-impact moves, but between them are low- or no-impact moves. Someone with healthy joints and feet would probably be comfortable doing this workout, but someone with knee/ankle/foot trouble or shin splints might find it stressful.

The music on this video is all Middle Eastern in flavor. There is no performance segment.

The camera angles are among the best I've seen on a video of belly dancing. They vary sufficiently to avoid monotony, but they linger on each shot long enough for me to see what is being done. The odder angles (for example, from above front) are used only when the move being done is simple such as footwork only, and even then the angle isn't disruptive - it's still easy to see what to do. The lighting is excellent. The music is soft enough that the voiceover describing what to do next is always easy to hear.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You're looking for a video that is focused on a fitness workout rather than dance instruction.
  • You'd enjoy a vigorous workout based on belly dancing moves that will promote cardio-vascular health and help you lose weight.
  • You're already reasonably fit, so the prospect of doing energetic exercise for 20 minutes straight doesn't scare you. (The full workout is half an hour, with about 20 minutes that is high-energy. The rest is warm-up and cool-down.)
  • You've had some previous exposure to belly dancing, so you already know how to do the basic moves.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're really out of shape, and you find yourself out of breath after just a little exercise. You couldn't imagine doing 10 minutes or more of continuous high-energy dancing in your current state.
  • You have never belly danced before. (This video assumes you already know how to do basic moves.)
  • You have knee, ankle, or foot trouble that could be aggravated by a medium-impact workout.
  • You're looking for a video of either belly dance performances or of instruction in how to become a performing belly dancer.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • The video delivers what the title promises: a cardio-vascular workout suitable for weight loss based primarily on belly dancing moves.
  • I enjoyed the decision to use Middle Eastern music for the background.
  • The production quality is excellent. The camera work, lighting, and sound all fit together to create a video that is enjoyable to work with.
  • The crop tops, tights, and hip scarves that the twins wear contrast well with the background and make it easy to see the moves they are demonstrating. This garb also provides an appropriate role model on how to dress for a workout based on belly dancing.

What I Didn't Like

  • I cringed at the head circles because there was no accompanying explanation about proper form.
  • 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:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

If you're an intermediate-level belly dancer who is already reasonably fit, this video offers a vigorous cardio-vascular workout based on belly dancing moves. I liked it much better than Veena & Neena's other high energy video, Bellydance Fitness for Beginners: Fat Burning. The newer Slim Down offers much more variety than Fat Burning, and is built from more dance-oriented moves.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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. Veena sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review for my web site.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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 U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
Not offered
VHS Tape Edition U.S.
NTSC
Canada
NTSC
Not offered

(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. I have personally tested this DVD and found it to enable all regions.)

Or, contact Veena and Neena as follows:

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

Phone: (+1) (310) 285 2255

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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