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Sensual Bellydance with Blanca [DVD] [2007] [NTSC]
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2009
Several years ago I used to go to belly dance classes. I wanted to get back into bellydance, but decided to go down the DVD route instead this time. I now have a few bellydance DVDs (and randomly a bollywood one) and this has to be the best of all of them. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn bellydance from a DVD.

Whilst a lot of the other ones seem to be more focused on the workout aspect - telling you that you're really working out your abs now bla bla bla - she doesn't come out with any of that in this DVD. Obviously you are working out and as the weeks go by, you will notice a difference, but she doesn't bleat on about this, and the programme comes over as much more focused on the actual dancing. It feels like a proper belly dance tuition DVD. I also love the fact that from this DVD, it's clear that in order to prove you are a competant belly dance, you don't have to speed up. From the choreography and the dance performance sections, you can see that she is a really good dancer, and it looks like proper dance rather than a lot of moves thrown together to get a really great workout.

Steps are broken down, and from there you can build up your abilities and then go onto the dance routine. The music is really good on this one as well, and it's quite refreshing to have a non-American voice to listen to as well for a change.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2009
I think this is a great dvd, it contains a huge amount of material, including a flow of slow moves which makes for a good practice workout, and a lovely choreography.
Blanca is an excellent teacher, I like the way she teaches head positioning and expression, something that is all too often overlooked in bellydance dvds. I would recommend it for beginner with some experience to intermediate level dancers, there are very few bd dvds on the market which cover this area, and this is one of the best.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2009
Sensual Bellydance with Blanca [2007] (NTSC)

Found the dvd very good and enjoyable, easy to follow, would recommend.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2010
Clear instructions, good for a beginner. Builds into a routine which gives a good workout. As a complete novice I was surprised how physical belly dancing is while being so graceful. Very enjoyable DVD [plays on UK equipment] with lots to learn on it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2014
I love this DVD. Sometimes I put it on only to watch Blanca dancing in those gorgeous outfits. She may not dish out the most fantastic near-to-humanly-impossible isolations and layer seven movements on top of each other, but her grace is absolute.

This DVD can be divided into three parts:
1. Technique
2. Practice flow
3. Choreography

1. After reading one negative review after the other, I think people should really acquire the habit of watching a DVD before using it. This way it would be possible to realise that this section is not intended for following-along. In this part, she breaks down the Practice flow that follows, going on a lot of stylistic details that she doesn’t have to recall later. Watch it to learn her tips, the way she breaks down the steps and the things you should keep in mind during the flow. I actually found it very interesting.
2. The practice flow is really lovely. All in all it’s 40 minutes, including a warm-up and cool-down made up of almost only bellydance moves. She goes on to an articulation section that’s more of a longish drill, a shimmy drill (to be entirely honest, shimmy is not her strongest suit), and a series of ‘progressions’, in which she teaches a series of steps and combinations. Having done the details in the technique section, this flow goes on at a moderate pace, and as you replay the DVD you don’t have that boring feeling of having the same step explained for the hundredth time. I love practice flows in general as you can just follow along. However the sections are clearly marked, so you could, say, do the warm-up, then practice the choreography and finish with the cool-down. I often do the warmup, articulation, shimmy drill and cooldown as a 20 minutes midweek workout. It gives me the feel of dancing, it is very relaxing and quite simply makes me feel good about myself.
3. In the choreography you will use all the combinations you practised in the flow. It’s quite nice if you like choreographies.

The thing I loved the most about this DVD is the attention to arm movements. The whole concept of expressing sensuality through a vocabulary of movements is actually mostly carried on through hands and arms. Blanca is simply beautiful to watch, her grace and fluidity really inspire me. I use a lot of her arm and hands movements and I actually feel that this detail should have been mentioned in the title (maybe a subtitle?) of the DVD. There are people like me out there, who love arm movements and might even (gasp!) use arms or hands to mark accents.

Bear in mind:

1. It’s not a beginner’s programme. There are a couple of fairly advanced movements and I would recommend it to someone who already has been dancing for a little while and wants to add more grace and fluidity to her dance.
2. Blanca is not a bubbly, happy, jumpy dancer. Throughout the video she is very serene and the pace is very relaxing. If you need a cheerleader, go somewhere else (Sadie, for example, is much more dynamic). She also has an accent that someone might find annoying (I don’t).
3. It’s not a hard workout either, although I will very unladylike-ly admit I sweat like a pig when I do it ;).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 July 2010
I was looking for a DVD that teaches belly dance, this DVD met my requirements.
I use Comtemporary Bellydance and Yoga Conditioning DVD by Ariellah for upper body movements, and this (Blanca's) DVD for other movements.
I even like Blanca's style of teaching. Highly recommend it.
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on 17 October 2014
Very little to add to the other thorough reviews, except to agree that this is a really lovely DVD and I would also highly recommend it, for all levels except the very beginner. I'll just point out that the 'progressions' Blanca teaches on this DVD are travel steps layered with bellydance movements, which can be hard to get coordinated, and the way Blanca builds the steps up to be interconnected and fluid is really worth the cost of the DVD in itself. The choreography is also lovely and the pace of this DVD is a relaxing change from some more fitness oriented ones. I've also found this DVD makes a great partner to 'Opulent Motion: The Artistry of Slow Moves' with Sarah Skinner, I enjoy working with both and they complement each other in teaching this form of slow, meaningful bellydance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2014
very clear instructions and friendly teacher she starts each section by clapping out the rhythms and demonstrating the steps.good for all ages and levels and low-impact so no problems for elderly knees!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
It's a great DVD, anyone interested in Belly Dance this one is the one to get.
It teaches slowly and progress to faster moves, easy to keep up with.
Nicely narrated all the way through.
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on 16 September 2013
i tried belly dancing before, I hoped this one will keep me going even if I dance alone in my room :) but it didn't interest me at all... it's instructional, things repeat but it's no fun, at least not for me
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