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A Review of

Body Quake Elements

by Keti Sharif

 

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Summary

 

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

Using combinations that she taught on her A-Z Bellydance and A-Z Advanced Stage videos, Keti Sharif leads an aerobic workout that should help even people who exercise regularly drive their heart rates into the cardio zone. Body Quake Elements by Keti Sharif

 

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What Shira.net Users Think

 

 
1) How would you rate Body Quake Elements by Keti Sharif?
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 20, 2005.

Note: Shira has a policy against video producers asking their students, family, and friends to pad the votes, or campaigning for favorable votes through their web sites. Click here for detailed information about the policy.

 

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Fact Sheet

Exercise Type Cardio
Recommended Fitness Level Somewhat fit or Fully fit
Recommended Dance Skill Level Intermediate if you have previously worked with Keti's A-Z Bellydance and Advanced A-Z Bellydance; Advanced if you have not
Overall Rating StarStarStarStar
Production Quality StarStarStarStar
Content Value StarStarStarStar
Total Video Length 54:56 minutes
Time Devoted to Workout 54:13 minutes (99%)
Time Devoted to "Other" 0:43 minutes (1%)

 

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Description

This workout, nearly an hour in length, is designed to drive the heart rate into the cardio zone. The moves used to accomplish this are primarily belly dance moves with shimmies, but when the time comes for the highest-energy portion, the "running in place" style of shimmy from Brazilian samba is used. This feels quite compatible with the overall belly dancing theme of the workout, since even some Egyptian dancers (such as Raqia Hassan) incorporate the samba shimmy into their choreographies.

Keti has structured the workout into five primary parts, as follows:

  • Warm Up. About 11 minutes. Opens with about 5 minutes of snake arms and other low-energy movements, followed by 6 minutes of gently aerobic movement such as the step-hip (what the Salimpour method calls Basic Egyptian) and other steps that promote increased circulation.
  • Flowing Energy. About 12 minutes. This raises the energy level somewhat, to further stimulate circulation and muscle movement. It includes hip circles, figure 8's, and undulations, then turns up the heat further into shimmies and stepping.
  • Ultra High Energy. About 12 minutes. This is the cardio portion of the workout. The gentler shimmies of the earlier section give way to the more energetic style of Brazilian samba shimmy, which belly dancers sometimes refer to as the "choo choo shimmy" or the "running in place shimmy". Keti shows how to use the arms to manage the intensity level according to the user's personal fitness level.
  • High Energy. About 8 minutes. This section reduces the energy level required, but still maintains a strong level of intensity. With Arabic pop music and drum solos, this section still keeps the heart rate going, with many shimmies and accents.
  • Cool Down. About 11 minutes. The first 5 minutes of this section reduces the energy level a bit, but it's still quite active, with continued shimmies and accents. From here, it moves on to 4 minutes of gentler but still active moves such as more step-hip, and finally finishes with calming moves.

The pacing of this workout is excellent. I very much appreciate the way it builds steadily from inactivity to the Ultra-High Energy section, sustains that long enough to maintain the heart rate for a while, then gradually brings the energy level back down. The combinations chosen throughout are all quite suitable for the energy level targets at each point. It feels very well planned.

Some of the music is Middle Eastern, some Latin, and some has more of a New Age feel. I find that generally speaking I like the music on this video better than what I've heard on other belly dance workouts.

Keti wears a black crop top and black jazz pants throughout the video. From one section to the next, she varies the color of hip scarf or belt worn with it, which helps maintain visual interest. The clothing makes it easy to see what her body is doing.

This workout routine consists primarily of step combinations that Keti taught on two of her earlier videos, A-Z Bellydance (Original) (which she calls A-Z Original when she refers to it during the workout) and A-Z Advanced Stage. She doesn't take time during the workout to teach these combinations - either you already know them from working with these earlier videos of hers, or you figure them out on the fly by copying what she does. Most dancers of an intermediate level can probably figure out the ones from the original A-Z Original without much difficulty because they're not very complex. The combinations from A-Z Advanced Stage pose more of a challenge, because they contain less repetition, more subtlety, and more direction-changing.

For people who have Keti's A-Z videos, it may be helpful to review these combinations from them before doing this workout:

  • From A-Z Bellydance (Original): A, F, G, K, L
  • From A-Z Advanced Stage: B, C, D, F, H

If you have not worked with Keti's A-Z combinations in the past and don't own these videos, you might want to spend some time analyzing and learning the more complex combinations in this workout before trying to do the entire routine from beginning to end.

It makes sense for Keti to leverage her earlier products in building this workout, but if I don't happen to remember a certain combination (or haven't had an opportunity to work with the video it appeared on) it can be challenging to keep up. I wish that either a package insert or a chapter on the disk itself would offer me a list of the combinations from the two A-Z videos that are used in this routine so I could learn/refresh them first before using this exercise routine. I wish the DVD would have included a "tutorial" option on the main menu on how to do two or three of the more challenging combinations. The actual footage from A-Z Advanced Stage could have been used, and appropriate introductory comments or on-screen text could have spun it into a promotion for that video - "This is a sample of the combinations taught on A-Z Advanced Stage, if you enjoy these, you can find more like them on that video."

The production quality is generally excellent. Keti uses several scenes around the Red Sea area of Egypt as backgrounds - sometimes indoors, sometimes outdoors. They follow themes of the four ancient elements of earth, air, water, and fire. It is almost always easy to see what she is doing against the background. The only scene where I have some difficulty making out what she's doing is a 2-minute drum solo section consisting of shimmies and samba moves which is filmed in silhouette against a sunset background, but it doesn't bother me much because the section is short and it's still mostly possible to figure it out. The sound quality is clear, although there's a small issue with synchronization with the video in a couple of brief places.

 

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Is It Right for You?

You Will Probably Enjoy This Video If

  • You have mastered the combinations in either Keti's A-Z Bellydance video or A-Z Advanced Stage (or both).
  • You're looking for a high-energy workout that will drive your heart rate into the cardio zone.
  • You want a video based primarily on belly dance moves, but a taste of samba is acceptable.
  • You would enjoy a workout with music that includes some Middle Eastern but also some other genres.
  • You're reasonably comfortable keeping pace with a "follow the bouncing butt" approach to instruction that has minimal explanation of which moves are used in the combinations.

This Video Probably Isn't Right for You If

  • You have been belly dancing less than 2-3 years.
  • You need a video with detailed cueing that describes how to do every step combination.
  • You have foot/knee/ankle issues that would make it a bad idea to do the "running in place" style of shimmy.
  • You have not previously worked with Keti's two A-Z videos and you don't feel comfortable trying to "follow the bouncing butt".

 

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What I Liked, What I Didn't

What I Liked:

  • The combinations are varied enough to make the workout interesting.
  • The workout is well paced to provide cardio benefit.
  • The combinations are consistent with Keti's overall format.
  • The backgrounds are beautiful.
  • The production quality is excellent.

What I Didn't Like:

  • The workout may be difficult to follow for people unfamiliar with Keti's A-Z step combinations.
  • In a couple of short scenes the moves are out of sync with the sound.

 

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In Conclusion

This is one of the few belly dance fitness videos that is designed to drive the heart rate into the cardio zone. Its structure and pacing are excellent for that objective. If you fit my definition of "Somewhat fit" (able to sustain 30 minutes of continuous vigorous dancing, but exhausted when done), you'll find this video challenging but still possible if you're willing to work hard. "Fully fit" people will find that this routine is more effective at attaining and holding the target heart rate than most other belly dance fitness videos.

The dance moves require at least at an intermediate level of belly dance, assuming that you have fully mastered the building blocks such as undulations and that you can pick up step combinations on the fly with minimal explanation. If you fit this profile, you'll probably enjoy this video very much, but if you don't fit the profile you may find this video too difficult for your current level of belly dance skill.

 

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Reviews of Other Videos By This Instructor

If you'd like to read my reviews of other videos by Keti Sharif, choose from the lists below.

Instructional Videos:

Workout Videos:

Opinion Polls

 

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Disclosure

Keti has sent me several of her products to review here on my web site, including this video. We also had an opportunity to meet in person on one of my trips to Egypt.

 

Explore belly dancing! Learn all about bellydance!

To Buy It

Phone: (+61) 412747447
Web Site: www.ketisharif.com
E-Mail: keti@iinet.net.au

Or, purchase from Keti's U.S. distributor at:

International Dance Discovery
PO Box 893
Bloomington, IN 47402-0893

Phone: (+1) 812-330-1831

Web Site: www.allaboutbellydance.com

 

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