Bellydance for Body Sculpting - Total Body

originally named

Belly Dance for Body Shaping - Upper Body

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)

Tanna leads 3 different exercise routines based on belly dance moves, each about 16-17 minutes long, that are designed to tone the muscles in the upper body. The first routine is regular dancing with an emphasis on rib cage moves and large arm moves, the second is veil work, and the third is cane. Although Tanna is the instructor on this video, it was produced by Neon to be part of World Dance New York's Belly Dance for Body Shaping series and uses a format consistent with others in that series.

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.
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.
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: Upper Body, 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 May 17, 2005.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

The Chart

Recommended Level Intermediate
Formats Available NTSC
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Packaging StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 1:16:53
Workout Time  48:53 minutes (64%)
Teaching Time 23:21 minutes (3%)
Performance Time 4:20 minutes (6%)
Amount Of "Other" 0:09 minutes (0%)
Cultural Information Yes
Health Issues No
Number Of Models 1
List Price $19.98
Cost Per Minute Of Fitness, Performance, & Instruction 26 cents
Cost For "Other" 4 cents

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Description

Tanna leads three different exercise workouts based on belly dance floor work moves, each about 16 to 17 minutes in length. It is in the Belly Dance for Body Shaping series of workout videos produced by Neon, and consequently follows a structure similar to the others. In this video, the theme is exercises for the upper body, so each of the routines contains moves that are designed to work the muscles in this area.

The video opens with a segment titled, "About This Program." It begins with certified personal trainer Andy Troy offering a 2 ½ minute anatomy lesson on the muscles in the upper body, with focus on the back and shoulder areas. This segment is valuable for belly dance teachers who have never studied anatomy, to help understand the muscles used to produce assorted belly dance moves. Tanna then steps in to offer some historical and cultural perspective on veils and canes as props and suggestions on where to get veils and canes for use with these workouts.

The next section is titled "Tutorial." It's a quick demonstration of the moves and combinations used on this video. This instruction is best suited for an intermediate or more advanced dancer who already knows many of these moves and can quickly figure out the remaining ones from seeing them shown briefly. The primary purpose of this segment is to introduce Tanna's names for the various moves so she can avoid interrupting the workouts to explain them. It covers about 15 minutes, and includes a large number of moves, including some with veil and cane.

Following the three tutorials are the three workouts, each 16-17 minutes in length, as follows:

  • The first one is the easiest, and involves dancing with large arm movements. This one uses many of the moves that the veil and cane dances use, but without a prop, which offers an opportunity to become comfortable with the move before using it to wave a prop around.
  • The second is somewhat more difficult, and uses a veil as a prop. The bulk of the moves in this workout are either full-body undulations or large, sweeping arm moves, but there is some spinning it that could be challenging to people who get dizzy easily. At times Tanna spins as many as 5 turns before stopping. For those who are intimidated by spinning, I'd suggest either eating candied ginger, eating fresh ginger, or taking a capsule or two of dried ginger before trying this workout.
  • The third routine is the most challenging of the three, and uses a cane as a prop. Appropriately, the music for this one has a strong Saidi beat and uses a mizmar to play the melody line. To me, the choreography for this routine seems more like a cardio workout and less like an upper body workout.

Each of the above three workouts follows a similar structure. Each opens with a warmup about 2 ½ to 3 minutes in length that includes slow, low-intensity versions of the dance moves that will be used in the main workout itself. Next comes the main body of the workout, about 8 ½ to 9 ½ minutes in length, that uses the moves at full speed and intensity levels. Following this is the "dance" segment, 2 to 3 minutes long, which is a brief dance routine whose choreography is designed to be interesting enough for use in a performance if desired. The DVD menu structure makes it possible to jump directly to each dance routine, allowing the user to work on rehearsing and memorizing it if desired. Following this "dance" segment, each workout ends with a 1 to 2 minute cooldown.

Throughout the workouts, on-screen graphics in the lower left of the screen signal which move is being done, how many total repetitions there will be, and which repetition is currently being done. I find this to be a valuable feature of all the Belly Dance for Body Shaping workout videos, though there's something about the moves on this video that makes it seem less effective here than on the others.

Tanna's workout choreography shows a strong jazz influence, including moves such as lunges, Arabesques, and large swooping arm movements. From an Oriental perspective, she aims more for Turkish moves such as rib cage circles and undulations, rather than Egyptian, which is appropriate to the upper body focus of this workout. Although I like to spin myself, I'm not entirely comfortable with the decision to include so much spinning in the second workout. Many people can't go more than 2 turns before becoming dizzy, and it's also harder to keep an eye on the television screen to see the cueing when spinning.

The video includes a 4 1/2 minute veil performance by Tanna to New Age music. She wears a professional-quality gold and white bra/belt set with a flowing white skirt. Her dance style in this performance emphasizes the use of moves that keep the veil in constant motion - spins, large arm movements, traveling steps with the silk veil floating behind, etc. The veil seems to flow almost constantly and the overall segment has an ethereal quality to it. Throughout this performance, Tanna uses many of the moves that comprise the second workout, showing how they look in a performance.

A text slide provides the "Credits", which include song titles and names of artists for all music used on this video as well as acknowledgements of the various people involved in making the finished product. This is valuable, but I wish she would have indicated which workout and/or dance segment each song appears in. A second text slide contains the "don't blame us if you injure yourself" disclaimer.

Most of the music on this video is either Middle Eastern drum rhythms or New Age style, but there are exceptions. The classic Arabic song Lamma Bada Yata Thanna appears in one of the workouts, and the music for the cane workout appropriately has a strong Saidi beat with mizmar melody.

The production quality on this video is strong, but not quite as high as that of the other Belly Dance for Body Shaping videos. The sound is excellent - the background music is soft enough to make it easy to hear Tanna's instructions over it. Tanna's attire makes it easy to see the moves, and contrasts well with the background. The set is a dance studio with a mirrored wall behind Tanna. This allows her movements to be seen from two angles at once. There are some minor issues with the lighting. In the first workout segment, sunlight streaming in through windows creates an intensely bright patch on the floor and another in the mirror. It's a bit distracting, but doesn't prevent me from seeing the moves. One of the camera angles is mounted off to the side looking down at Tanna. It's artistic, but I'd prefer to have something that isn't so far off to the side. On a positive note, the camera angles transition at perfect times, right when the on-screen dance moves are also transitioning.

This video is presented in 16:9 aspect ratio, which means it is designed to fill the full width of a widescreen television. I am very pleased with how it looks on mine. On a traditional television set, it displays as letterbox, meaning there are black bands at the top and bottom of the screen.

You Will Probably Like This Video If

  • You are looking for workouts based on belly dance that exercise the upper body.
  • You love to do American-style veil work.
  • You have had some previous instruction in dancing with veil and cane.
  • You would enjoy a dance style that combines jazzy lunges, large sweeping arm moves, and Arabesques with belly dancing.
  • You enjoy belly dancing to New Age style of music.
  • You have a widescreen 16:9 television and you welcome videos sized for those dimensions.
  • Your level of belly dancing experience is intermediate or higher.

You Probably Won't Care for This Video If

  • You're a newcomer to belly dancing and need detailed instruction in basic moves.
  • Spinning more than 2 turns in a row makes you dizzy and you're unwilling to push yourself to more.
  • You prefer to stay close to Egyptian style of dancing.
  • You're not interested in using props in your workouts.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked

  • There is variety in the routines.
  • The workout makes innovative use of on-screen graphics for cueing.
  • Andy Troy provides a valuable anatomy information for belly dance teachers to know.
  • Tanna's on-camera personality is charismatic.
  • The credits identify the song titles used.
  • The three workouts are arranged with easiest first, hardest last.
  • The production quality is excellent.

What I Didn't Like

  • The exercise doesn't always stay focused on the upper body, particularly in the third workout.

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

Reviews of Other Videos by this Artist/Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos in the Belly Dance for Body Shaping series produced by World Dance New York, including those by other instructors, choose from the list below:

Bellydancing Bellydance Bellydancers

In Conclusion

There aren't many of the "belly dance for fitness" videos designed for intermediate-level dancers rather than beginners, so this one has something to offer that group. Although the workouts on this video do mostly focus on the upper body, at times they seem to forget their focus and move more into footwork or cardio, especially the third one. This video is worth considering for intermediate dancers who have some previous experience with veil work and cane, aren't afraid of spinning, and feel comfortable dancing with New Age style of music.

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.
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.
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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