Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Belly Dance Hipper Than Hip With Rania|
Actor: Rania Bossonis
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Hipper than Hip is the latest and most advances in our series of Bellydance for Weight Loss workout programs. Starring Rania Bossonis, Fitness Instructor and multi-award winning Bellydancer, this program is designed to te... more »
One of Rania's Worst
M. Simpson | Peoria, IL United States | 12/06/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"There's not much good that can be said about this. Still, I'll start with the one redeeming thing about it. As a cardiovascular workout it does get your heartrate up. It is targeted to advanced or atleast high intermediate dancers who can just follow along. If you know what you're doing you'll get a good workout. If you're just starting out I'd hope you realize by the 'Level 3' on the cover that this isn't something for you, but if you are going to buy it anyway you'll take a while catching on & not get a good workout if you can't just jump right in & go.
That said, the music isn't great on this one, but more tolerable than on some of her other DVDs. The flow is what's bad on this one, the choice of combinations. It just doesn't fit. The transition from one move to another is so awkward. It's not fun to do, it is not pretty, it is not something you'll want to go back & visit time & time again. I thought Too Hip was pretty good, not great, but pretty good for a workout & it flowed decently. I was hoping for more with this one based on her previous 2 in this series, Hip Drop Hip Hop (beginner level) & Too Hip (Intermediate). Atleast those were enjoyable. This one just has so little going for it. I'm glad atleast that it finally went to $10 rather than $20, but I'd say wait for it to hit $5 or less before you buy it if you're still interested. It is being re-released in January 2009, but it is not a new release. It has been available for about a year already. The only thing that may be different is the bonus features. It has yet to be seen if this re-release will have better bonus features than the original release. The bonus footage currently available is not good. There is no bonus workout like there has been on her other DVDs. No bonus 10 or 15 minute anything. You do get 2 performances, but they really suck. The 1st one is pretty long, I think it clocked in at about 9 minutes, maybe a little less. It's just too long for how poor it is. It's typical Rania on DVD (live she's much better, IMHO she's better at Turkish style dancing done live.) She's stiff, the musicality is just *slightly* off, and it's actually a bit more repetetive than I've seen in some of her other DVD performances. The other bonus performance is too short. I think it was less than a minute even, if I recall correctly. Not memorable, not enjoyable to watch, and much too short to give it a chance to redeem itself.
This all may make it sound as if I dislike Rania. I don't. Many of her DVD performances, and most of her workout DVDs are very stiff & she looks like a deer caught in the headlights. Still, there is an element of enjoyability to them & the bonus workouts were always decent. She's a great dancer when dancing live. I think something happens when she's in front of cameras for a DVD shoot that makes her just stiffen up so badly, which is a shame. Still, they seem to flow decently (not always great, but enjoyable & transitions are ok.) The music in the *Hip* series has been pretty good compared to some of her other DVDs, but in this one it wasn't that great. Just a disappointment all around. If you are looking for a cardiovascular workout based on bellydance, this is ok, just not as fun as many others out there. If you want a bellydance *workout* try Jillina's Shape Up n' Hip Out, or Luscious : The Bellydance Workout, or Ultimate Bellydance Workout."
Imperfect, Inexpensive Fun...!
Addicted2Amazon! | Philadelphia | 09/30/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Despite lukewarm reviews, I decided to purchase Rania's "Hipper Than Hip" and give it try. Though this workout is not perfect, I am pretty happy with my purchase!
"Hipper Than Hip" is a 40-minute fitness DVD that uses genuine bellydance moves to get your heart rate into the fat-burning zone. It is nearly identical in format to Rania's previous cardio workout "Too Hip" (5 minutes of warming up, 30 minutes of dance cardio and 5 minutes of stretching and cooling down). The workout itself is a choreographed dance consisting of 7 or 8 simple combinations. Rania teaches you one combo at full speed, repeats it several times, teaches another fast combo, and then runs through the whole routine from the top. Though the repetition helps, this style may be too frustrating to anyone brand new to bellydance. (Note: This DVD is labeled as the most advanced in a series of 3 DVDs, so absolute beginners may not want to start here.)
"Hipper Than Hip's" outfits and setting are again nearly identical (maybe exactly identical?) to "Too Hip." Rania and her dancers are dressed in elegant and simple clothing consisting of a cropped top, black pants and a belly chain. As you can see their legs and bellies clearly, you can easily see and copy what they are doing. Rania does not speak directly to the camera, but instead gives a voiceover describing the moves. The setting is a spacious indoor room with subtle touches of exoticism: some plants, I think a Chinese screen, etc. The whole DVD is very well-produced and of good quality.
I bought my DVD directly from Amazon (as opposed to a vendor), and I was pleasantly surprised to discover a few extras. The coolest bonus feature by far is an "Instruction" option in which Rania breaks down each combination that is used. This can be accessed 2 ways. One: Choose the "Instruction" option directly from the Menu. Rania will then guide you through each combination SLOWLY, in order. Or Two: Play the workout as usual, and whenever a star pops up at the screen's bottom (during the beginning of each new combination), hitting "ENTER" on your DVD control will launch you into the breakdown of that move only. You can then return to the workout exactly where you left off. I especially like this because Rania speaks directly to the viewer, and you get more of a glimpse into her personality and sense of humor. She also includes 2 bellydance performances. One is about 7 minutes long. Rania wears a blue sequined outfit and initially uses a veil to pretty effect. However, I think the dance improves after she drops the veil. The 2nd performance is only about 2 minutes,, and honestly, my favorite thing about it was the outfit. I want that costume! :-)
And now the Bad: I must admit, the moves in this workout do not flow together as well as they do in "Too Hip." Sometimes you will come out of a combo, and sort of struggle to get into the next move in time. And no, it's not just you! Rania's dancers - and occasionally even Rania herself! - all seem to have the same problem. There is a lot of flailing around on-screen sometimes. Also, the music is not as authentically Middle Eastern as it is in "Too Hip." Much of the time, the ethnic music will just change to a generic dance beat, which is still danceable, but (in my opinion) not nearly as much fun given the style of dance. Rania also seems to be a little rhythmically challenged at times, speeding up past the beat, and then slowing down again where she's supposed to be. And as far as the moves themselves...I don't know, I just didn't like them as much as the moves in "Too Hip." I wish I could put a finger on it...Maybe the moves just lack creativity. But I've only done it about 5 times so far and I am already becoming a little annoyed/bored with the repetition of the moves.
Nonetheless, I still think this is a fun and unusual way to stay fit and burn some calories, even if you only use it about 10 times! Decent job, Rania!
Not The Best....
Brittany | 05/08/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I will say I like this dvd as a workout. I have used it several times this past week but I will say this dvd deffiantly could have used more improvement. The dvd says it is level 3 but in all honesty I feel anyone could learn this dvd pretty quickly. It just doesnt feel like a level 3 to me. Rania's Too Hip one is more advanced in my eye's than Hipper Than Hip. It also looks like it was slapped together to get something out there. Some of the moves came off sloppy like by some of the dancers in my opinion. I know no one is perfect but out of all her other dvds mistakes seemed to be made a good deal through it by the dancers and she nearly made a big one herself. In all her other dvd's I havent noticed any mistakes made doing the combinations. The mistakes show to me that this dvd is yet proof of a quick made thing to make a buck. Now if I had known this, then I might have not bought it but I do still believe it has good workout potential. Thats why it is getting 3 stars. I say only get it if you are in high need of a new cardio video."