Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
A Belly Dance Cardio workout
R. Grissmer | 02/26/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am usually a fan of Amira Mor, but I did not enjoy this video as much as her others, namely her "Belly Dance for Energy" video. This video offers a great workout with a series of simple shimmy drills, starting with lower body shimmies, and moving on to shoulder and traveling shimmies.
Almost the entire time, Amira Mor instructs the viewer to dance on their tip toes and execute the shimmies. I just don't believe that doing so is completely safe for the viewer. Also, Amira Mor begins to lax in detailed instruction at the end of the cardio section. It felt like a "follow the leader" game. She also forgets to remind the viewer on proper posture when executing these shimmies. The workout pace does get the heart racing and is adequate.
I enjoyed the choreography section, which teaches the viewer a drum solo. However, Amira Mor teaches almost the same choreography that was featured in her "Energy" DVD. The moves are the same, except she added a little bit of floorwork to the choreography. This disappointed me, because moves like the "Champagne" (a basic hip circle with a level change), and the "Sphinx" (fast head movements) are repeated in this DVD as in the "Energy" DVD, among other movements. Maybe the similarities between each choreography make both much easier to learn, but I would have preferred completely new material compared to her other DVDs.
I enjoyed Amira Mor's performance at the end of the DVD, but there are a few criticisms I must make of it. She dances to a techno beat, and her jazz background really shines through her performance, which I liked. However, there is a segment where she does a little bit of floorwork, and it seemed too provocative to me, especially with the gyrations and shoulder shimmies. She uses zills, which are not included in the DVD's sound. So, it seemed pointless for her to play the zills in the first place. She does do a few of the moves that were popular a few decades ago, which is fine, but I would not feel comfortable doing some of these moves in public. They are hard to describe, almost like "Peak-a-boo", provocative movements. I that's a poor choice of words. I did like how her dancing was full of energy though.
The other dancers featured in the background of the video offered a chance for the viewer to see how the moves are executed on different body types. This was wonderful to see, but some of the other "older" dancers were shoved into the background so that they were barely visible. Also, the other background dancers executed less perfected techniques. For example, they shook their shoulders at the same time as they shimmied, which is not proper isolation technique. It was just little things like this that bothered me.
The final segment of the performance featured the other background dancers in the DVD with the Wings of Isis. Amira Mor's turns with the wings and dancing was very lovely, and so were the other dancers' performances. However, some of the dancers appeared lost with the Wings of Isis choreography, and looked at each other to see what steps to do next.
If you are searching for a workout video, and do not own any of Amira Mor's previous videos, this might be a great choice. But, I do not believe that dancing on one's tiptoes and doing shimmies for such a lengthy period is healthy for the knees. Taking the video at one's own pace is probably preferred."
Good Challenge for the Beginner
Katy Albrecht | Lynnwood, WA | 11/21/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As someone who knows the "basics" of belly dance but little else, I really enjoyed this DVD. Amira does not give a lot of specifics on form or posture, so you need to keep an eye on that yourself. But that means that if you dance American Tribal Style you can ignore Amira's tippy-toes and stay grounded, while still getting a good cardio workout!
The DVD starts with lower body shimmies, and moves on to upper body shimmies. I don't think you could learn how to shimmy just by watching this DVD, but if you already know how to do it and you just want to practice and drill until your abs can't take anymore, then this segment is for you.
After the shimmies, Amiro goes through a choreographed routine, done to a drum solo. As a person who has little experience "putting it all together" this routine was really fun and the moves themselves were easy to pick up. My only complaint is that part of the routine is performed while facing away from the TV, so it takes a bit to get the hang of it since you can't see what Amira is doing.
But all in all, I enjoyed this DVD and look forward to viewing Amira's other workouts!"