Bellydance for Body Sculpting - Floorwork

originally named

Belly Dance for Body Shaping - Floor Work

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)

This video is part of the Belly Dance for Body Shaping series produced by Neon. Tanna teaches three different workouts based on belly dance moves used in floor work. These provide sculpting and toning for the arms, upper back, thighs, and abdominal muscles. Personal trainer Andy Troy offers an informative overview of the muscle groups that are exercised when doing floor work.

Cover
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
U.K.
DVD PAL
All Regions
As part of a four-DVD set with other videos in the series including Total Body, Abs, and Buns/Thighs U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
U.K.
DVD NTSC
All Regions

To my knowledge, this video has never been released on VHS tape.

(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 Belly Dance for Body Shaping: Floor Work, by Tanna?
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 March 4, 2005.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Intermediate
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStar
Total Video Length 72:19 minutes
Performance Time 4:36 minutes (6%)
Teaching Time 21:32 minutes (30%)
Workout Time  46:01 minutes (64%)
Amount Of "Other" 0:10 minutes (0%)
Choreography Yes
Cultural Information Yes
Music Education No
Health Issues Yes
Number Of Models 1
List Price $19.98
Cost Per Minute Of Workout, Teaching, & Performing 28 cents
Cost For "Other" 5 cents

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

Tanna leads three different exercise workouts based on belly dance floor work moves, ranging from 13 to 17 minutes in length. It is in the Belly Dance for Body Shaping series of workout videos produced by Neon, so follows a structure similar to the others. This video is aimed at the dance level of an intermediate who already knows how to do basic standing belly dance moves with confidence such as circles, figure 8's, undulations, etc. It's not necessary to have prior experience with floor work before using this video, but it helps.

The video opens with "About this Program." First is a 3 ½ minute section in which personal trainer Andy Troy offers a valuable introduction to the muscle groups used in floor work, including the upper back, upper arms, abdomen, and thighs. As each muscle is described, a diagram on screen shows an outline of a body and indicates where that muscle is located. Andy's explanation describes what types of moves each muscle is used for as the screen shows clips of Tanna showing what they look like in the dance. Tanna then offers about 4 minutes of her own introductory comments. She describes what floor work is, talks a bit about its history, and offers some tips for doing it safely.

The second choice on the DVD menu is the 14-minute Tutorial. Tanna offers a review of standing dance moves such as snake arms, various circles and figure 8's, undulations, etc. She then shows how these moves look when done in the floor work positions of kneeling, side bridge, and back prop. This is intended primarily to introduce the names that Tanna uses for the various moves and positions, as well as refresh the viewer on moves that have been learned elsewhere. Someone without prior floor work background who has previously mastered basic standing belly dance moves could probably keep up, and could probably use the workouts on this video. However, this tutorial is not really designed for the needs of a dance student who wants to learn floor work technique - it omits some skills such as descent to the floor and rising at the end that aren't needed for the workouts but would be needed for dance study.

Next the video offers three choices for exercise routines, simply named Session 1, Session 2, and Session 3. All three workouts are similar in length, and structured the same way, but each uses subtly different moves and combinations. They progress in difficulty, with Session 1 being the easiest for newcomers to floor work and Session 3 being the most challenging. This choice between multiple workout choices offers enough variety to avoid outgrowing it too quickly. The components of each workout include:

  • Warm Up. About 3-5 minutes in length.
  • Workout. About 4-8 minutes in length.
  • Dance. About 2-3 minutes in length.
  • Cool down. About 2-3 minutes in length.

In each workout, even the warm-up and the cool down contain some belly dance moves as well as more generic exercises such as pliés. For the main body of the workout, the focus is on the muscles used in doing floor work - the arms and upper back which support the body in bridge, layout, and prop positions, the abdominal muscles which help control backbends, circles, and figure 8's, and the thigh muscles which power kneeling moves and backbends. The workouts focus on strength and flexibility rather than cardio.

The innovative on-screen presentation is designed to make it very easy to determine what to do next. In the workout sections, Tanna introduces each move or combination and repeats it several times before moving on to the next. As the move is introduced, 3-dimensional graphics appear on the left of the screen showing which body part (rib cage or hips) is being used and what direction the motion (figure 8, circle, etc.) goes. In the center of the screen, Tanna demonstrates the move. In the lower right corner, a progress bar indicates how many repetitions will be done for this move and shows which one is currently being done. This eliminates the need for much of the verbal cueing that is typical of exercise videos.

After all the combinations have been introduced for a given workout, a 2-minute "dance" section puts them all together into a brief choreography. Tanna has structured this with the intent that someone who memorizes one of these short choreographed pieces could then incorporate the combinations or the entire sequence into her own dance routine. To make it easier to do this, each workout has a menu choice and chapter break that skips directly to the dance section.

Each workout ends with a cool down that matches the tone of the routine just finished.

The attractive set for the tutorial and workout sessions is a dance studio with a mirror, decorated with flowers and candles. The mirror isn't really used to show the moves from multiple angles - its function is more to lend ambience. Tanna does her routine on a small rug on the floor.

Tanna leads the workouts wearing assorted exercise pants, midriff-baring blouses, and hip scarves. At times, I find the floppy sleeves on her blouse a bit distracting, but generally her clothing makes it easy to see the moves being demonstrated and the colors contrast well with the background. She varies her garb between the tutorial and the workouts, which helps maintain visual interest.

I'm a bit concerned that Tanna includes a couple of potentially harmful moves without warning of their dangers or offering comments on how to minimize the the risks they pose. One is the kneeling backbend, in which she recommends sitting on the floor between the feet before going back. This can injure the knees. The other is head circles, which can injure the neck if the full weight of the head grinds across the vertebrae in the back of the circle.

Following the workouts, Tanna offers a 4 ½ minute performance in full costume. Her "stage" appears to be an exotic canopy bed, festooned with sheer curtains and decorated with candles and a water pipe. Dancers who are uncomfortable with the idea of belly dancing as sexy may find this performance to be a bit too boudoir-like for their comfort, but it does provide an attractive setting. In her performance, Tanna uses moves that appear in all three of the workout segments, showing how they can transfer from exercise routine to sensual dance. She executes the moves with a level of confidence and fluidity which demonstrate that she is indeed qualified to be the instructor on this video. Her stage persona appears to be that of someone dancing for her own pleasure, but occasionally casting a flirtatious "I know you're watching" glance.

My one frustration with the performance segment is that the editing jumps from one camera angle to another too rapidly. Each angle lingers only about 3 seconds before being replaced by the next. This makes it difficult for someone who has used the fitness routines to recognize the moves that were used in them - just as the eye becomes accustomed to one angle and starts to analyze the move, the scene changes. It would have been better in most cases to linger just a bit longer, perhaps 10 seconds, before changing to the next angle.

The music features compositions by Jehan and Geoff Groberg, which offer a New Age flavor. Some people might prefer Middle Eastern music to go with the Middle Eastern dance moves, but I find it pleasant.

The production quality throughout the video is generally excellent. The lighting makes it very easy to see what Tanna is doing at all times, the set is attractive and uncluttered, and it's always easy to hear the instructions over the background music. I would have preferred to have additional chapter breaks on the DVD at the end of each warm-up and just before each cool down, to make it easy for people with programmable DVD players to "roll their own" workouts of varying lengths by mixing and matching, but that's a minor point. On the tutorial and workout sections, the camera and editing generally show the right body parts to illustrate the moves. The use of on-screen graphics to help describe the moves and assist with the cueing is superb. My one complaint about production quality, as noted above, is that the editing is too jumpy on the performance segment, with too-frequent angle changes.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You want a mat-based exercise workout that will help you develop strength in your upper arms, upper back, abdominal area, and thighs.
  • You have mastered basic belly dance standing moves such as hip circles, snake arms, undulations, figure 8's, etc.
  • You would like a practice companion to practice and review floor work moves you are learning in class or on another video.
  • You already know how to do floor work but need to do conditioning exercises to build strength and fluidity in the muscles it requires.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You have no interest in floor work.
  • You would be easily intimidated by moves that you are not yet strong enough or flexible enough to do.
  • You don't care for videos that use New Age style music.
  • You have a history of knee trouble.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • The workout is based primarily on belly dance moves.
  • The video provides information about which muscles used in doing floor work.
  • The design makes innovative use of on-screen graphics for cueing.
  • A slide identifies the music used.
  • The image size supports the new 16:9 television format and looks wonderful on my widescreen television.
  • The DVD offers three different workouts for variety.
  • The set is very attractive and well lit, not cluttered.
  • The structure arranges the three workouts with easiest first, hardest last.
  • Tanna includes a tutorial segment to introduce some floor work basics and synchronize her terminology with what the viewer may have learned elsewhere.

What I Didn't Like

  • The performance segment is hard to watch due to jumpy editing.
  • Tanna uses a couple of moves that can cause injury without offering warnings on how to minimize risk.
  • I'd like to see chapter breaks after each warmup and before each cool down for convenience in using a programmable DVD player to combine a couple of the workouts into one longer one.
  • Tanna doesn't offer tips/advice on how to cope for people who are not yet strong enough or flexible enough to do all the moves.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

The Bellydance for Body Sculpting series produced by World Dance New York features instruction by not only Tanna but also other instructors. Here are reviews for other videos in the series:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

If you would like a mat-based workout routine to develop strength in your arms, upper back, abdominal area, and quadriceps, this video is worth considering. It will be quite challenging for people who are currently weak in these areas, but it will help build those muscles. Although it's not the video I would recommend for someone who wants a full introduction to floor work technique, it can be useful as a practice companion to review moves learned in class or from another video. For dancers who already know how to do floor work, these workouts can be used as drills to develop added strength and fluidity in the required muscle groups.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Disclosures

I have chatted with Neon through e-mail, but I don't know her very well. She sent me a complimentary copy of this video to review. I have never had any contact with Tanna.

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
U.K.
DVD PAL
All Regions
As part of a four-DVD set with other videos in the series including Total Body, Abs, and Buns/Thighs U.S.
NTSC
All Regions
Canada
NTSC
All Regions
U.K.
DVD NTSC
All Regions

To my knowledge, this video has never been released on VHS tape.

(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 Neon as follows:

Email: sales@worlddancenewyork.com
Web Site: www.instantbellydancer.com

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

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