Earthy and playful, sparkling with an energy of celebration and surprise, Turkish bellydance absorbs the rich traditions of Turkish folk and court dance as well as the mysteries and festive rites of the lands along the Silk Road. Reflecting the cosmopolitan spirit of Turkey, a melting pot of cultures in the heart of the old world, Turkish bellydance is ever-evolving, unburdened with do's and don't's, ever-welcoming of beauty in movement. Join Sarah Skinner, a top NYC performer and enthusiast of Turkish-style bellydance in exploring two gorgeous dances featuring the 9/8 rhythm, the beautiful exotic beat that adds so much to the inimitable flavor and engaging spirit of Turkish bellydance. The dances are set to two of the most popular Turkish party songs -- "Rompi Rompi" and "Mastika" -- long-time favorites for bellydance shows and social dancing. The versatile dance vocabulary you'll learn in this program will add sparkle to your dance - whether you dance professionally or enjoy bellydancing at social occasions. DANCE LEARNING OPTIONS Sarah guides you through every dance combination step-by-step. DVD menu options let you choose how you want to learn! You can focus on instruction only, or you can select instruction for each combination followed by practice with the music, where you first repeat the given combination twice, and then see how that fits in the whole dance by doing the choreography from the top.
Unburdened by any expectations or any knowledge of Turkish dancing, of videos that teach Turkish dancing or of Sarah Skinner for that matter, I found this DVD a... well, a Turkish delight. Sarah Skinner is very, very feminine and graceful. She even looks like she's dancing when she's actually sitting down to explain a bit of background to Turkish bellydance. If there's anything at all I expected, it was for Turkish dancing to be downright difficult, and on this DVD, it is not, which must mean it's aimed entirely at the beginner. Come armed with some basic knowledge of belly dance isolations--and a beautiful swishy skirt--and you can do it. I liked the opening chat about Turkish dancing because it put things in perspective from the start. Sarah next goes on to a wonderful and colorful costume workshop. The problem with that is ending up wanting every one of those skirts and accessories. The three performances that come after the costume workshop are a visual delight. There's one to a Chiftitelli (slow sensual rhythm) that I would really love to learn. There's also a joyful veil performance. And a graceful drum solo. Very pretty, each of these. The instruction follows the same format that many of the recent dvds from World Dance New York are using. There's a demo of the whole dnace, then a break up of each combination (there are 9 and 11 of them for the two dances taught). There's also a menu item with which you can move on to the step by step breakdown followed by trying it out with music. Sarah is a very nice teacher. Gentle and unhurried. She gives you safety tips and warms you away from the mistakes you could make. The most remarkable thing of all is that these moves are within the reach of the beginner. I have done about a year and a half of video-only learning and I tend to not account for people taking classes in addition to working with a video. If you're stuck where there are no classes, this is entirely possible to do because the moves selected are easier ones. People who are already familiar with Turkish dancing and other videos on this genre obvioiusly won't be challenged but may still like to pick up the two choreographies--inexpensively and easily. In that sense, I think the title may be a bit misleading as it may signal that this is meant for people who are already well into Turkish belly dancing or are outright advanced. Overall, very graceful, an absolute visual treat, well selected and doable moves and charmingly and gently taught. As is usual for this group, it's value for money -- 21 combinations to work with. --amazon.com (US)
Sarah Skinner's, " I love Turkish Belly Dance" program is a fun, learning experience. Learn 2 lively and bouncy Turkish style dances,each performed in a beautiful, flowing skirt.These flirty, skirt fusion dances include simple footwork, flirting with the audience usng level changes, while swishing your skirt!! These routines are set to two popular Turkish party songs, "Rompi,Rompi and "Mastika." Each routine includes a demonstration and a follow along segment with music and instruction. Sarah is a delightful instructor, and really connects with her audience. She patiently takes you through a bonus costume educational segment explaining and sharing tips on styles, how to's and much more. Sara also shares breathing tips for dancing useful in performing the kashlima step set to 9/8 rhythym. Included are 3 performances by Sarah; a drum solo, a veil dance, and a ciftitelli to greatly contribute to the already established enjoyment of this learning program. A lot to offer for the novice dancer; a good introduction and learning experience for the serious student/dancer or those just becoming famiiar with skirt fusion, or those attemtping to piece together a bellydance costume. --amazon.com (US)
I bought this video when I wasn't able to find a Turkish-style instructor in my area. I've been taking Egyptian style bellydance classes for several years now. For those of you with Egyptian experience, you're going to see a lot of moves you recognize, and a few you haven't. The dances taught in this video are pretty easy and should not be a problem for anyone with a grasp of basic technique. Sarah does a good job of explaining how the moves are done, and with her costume and the background being what they are, it is really easy to see what she is doing and how to do it. She is pretty good about breaking down the moves without too much repetition. The only reason I say it would be easier for someone with basic skills is that it takes a while to learn how to do shimmies, especially the "choo choo" shimmy if you have never done them before. Sarah has a pleasant voice, and seems to really enjoy what she is doing. The camera does a good job of staying where it is supposed to be unlike many of the instructional videos on the market. The costume section in the beginning of the video is great and I'd like to see more of this sort of thing. I gave this video 5 stars, but in reality I'd like to give it a 4.5. Why? In the instructional sections of the video you have a choice of using just instruction, or instruction of sections, and each section followed with you dancing along with her performance, going back to the beginning each time. I really liked learning this way, but some of their splices weren't so good and a few pieces were missing. In Mastika she tells you to swing your arms as if you were walking in the beginning if the song, while in her demonstration she has her hands on her hips for the first section. It's not a big flaw, but it's a bit disconcerting the first few times you're trying to dance along with the instructor and she's not doing what she told you to do. I would recommend this video to anyone who wants to give Turkish dance a try, especially if you like the way the skirtwork looks. The dances are fun and relatively easy to learn, and I think skirtwork can do a lot for a beginner's confidence. It gives you a "prop" to hold on to, and can look very impressive without being very complicated. If you're interested in learning a little bit about Turkish style dance, get some great ideas about costuming, and learn 2 cute little dances to show to your friends/significant other, then this video is a great buy! There is a lot of content for the price. I hope to see a lot more videos from this instructor. --amazon.com (US)