Bellydance Basics & Beyond is a 2 hr. 20 min. program designed to teach the fundamental movements of bellydance and encourage their practice in a wide range of dance combinations. Jenna's methodical presentation of bellydance basics begins with POSTURE, the foundation on which dance movement is built. The BASIC ARMS section teaches you how to maintain and enhance a beautiful elongated body line through graceful positioning of the arms and hands. WARMUP includes select dance moves and dynamic stretches and is designed as a light total-body workout. The FOOTWORK section lays the foundation for traveling steps, focusing on a number of patterns, such as basic walk, 2-step and triple step traveling and ways to change directions. ISOLATIONS of shoulders, ribcage and hips are building blocks of bellydance movement. Jenna breaks down slides, lifts, drops, arcs and sharp accents. Some of these elements are dance moves in their own right, and others help to form compound moves. COMPOUND MOVES are the essential vocabulary of bellydance - circles, undulations and figure 8s. Jenna's technique of building them from the smallest and most basic elements up, ensures that they are performed with effortless grace. Next, Jenna shows how to layer simple and compound moves on top of TRAVELING steps. PRACTICE COMBINATIONS offer five 5-minute practice sessions made from many exciting bellydance combinations. As you follow Jenna, you can listen to the music together with her verbal cues or you can select the music-only option. This section offers a series of excellent technique drills and can be combined with the WARMUP for a fantastic 30-minute moderate workout. The last session contains stretches and can serve as a cooldown.
How do you argue with almost two and a half hours of content on one little disk--at hardly any cost? In my collection, I have DVDs that offer one tenth the amount of content at an average of $40. This video has an incredible amount of instruction. More than I've seen on any other single video, in fact. It's an entire belly dance syllabus. The teaching is authoritative--as it should be, coming from someone who really knows. It's detailed and thorough. Despite being such a long DVD, the pace is perfect and consistent throughout. There isn't any section where get disoriented with a sudden variation in style or pace. The relaxed and flowing feel of the whole DVD actually adds to the learning experience. There are now dozens and dozens of beginner bellydance instruction videos. I've always wondered just how the market supports quite that many. Among them, this one now ranks among the top few because you find everyone in on e place, explained and demonstrated well. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the next person who asks what they should have in their starter kit. Unlike many of the other dvds, you'll find a section on traveling steps and layering. So it really does live up to its promise of basics and beyond. It has a sizeable practice section which is quite useful. The only thing that could have added to it, in my opinion, is the choreography notes (perhaps even on screen) for the performance to Layla. What can beginners get out of this? Everything in one easy solid package. What can intermediate dancers get out of it? A good reference, and a workout plus drill. It's unbelievable value for money. --amazon.com (US)
If you are unable to go for a "live" class, this DVD helps you get the basics down and introduces you to bellydance with beautiful step-by-step tutorials. A major plus point of the DVD is that it contains a full 2.5 hours of material. Yes, two and a half HOURS. It is set in a studio - with a wall-to-wall mirrors on the front, at an angle .. so essentially you the viewer can see the moves from the front and the back. You will miss nothing of the footwork or body and arm movements, and this is very important especially with bellydancing. This setting is a major plus as it does make it feel like you are "in" the studio. The instructor, Jenna, also helps contribute to this, with her nice pleasing speech and manner .. so that it feels like a 1-on-1 class (but in your living room!). She is also not very intimidating - unlike most fitness videos or even bellydancing videos. It starts off with the absolute basics - with each body part done individually - the shoulders, the legs, the hips etc. All the movements are done or should I say, introduced separately before combining them together as you move further along with the DVD. I highly recommend this, especially since it seems like such a steal for the amount of content you get in the DVD. --amazon.com (US)
I have tried several other Belly dance dvd's and this one is the best! I took ballet for many, many years so I know how dance classes should be. I really appreciated that Jenna does the teaching in front of a full length mirror, that way , you are able to see how each new technique should look front AND back! She also gives a complete description of each step and which muscles to use which is invaluable for learning the correct techniques. I had originally purchased all the Goddess Life DVDs to begin learning and they were OK, but if I were to do it over, I would start with Jenna's DVD and learn the correct foundations then do the Goddess Life or which ever others. --amazon.com (US)