Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance for Beginners with Suhaila Fitness Fusion Pilates|
Actor: Suhaila Salimpour
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Suhaila Salimpour is a renowned, international performer and teacher of bellydance. Her Suhaila Salimpour School of Dance was the first to offer a progressive, five-level certification program in Middle Eastern d... more »
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Those with bellydance experience will get a good workout
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 07/29/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The main workout on this DVD is divided into 5 chapters: warm-up, core toning, dance workout, cool-down, and group dance. During the 7-minute warm-up, instuctor Suhaila leads a large class of women through mostly static stretches without warming up the muscles first; she includes a few yoga moves such as plank and child's pose. The core segment begins with a series of standing pulses in a plie position; this part challenged my legs as well as my shoulders, as the arms were held in the air the entire time. Suhaila then moves to a seated straddle position for glute isolations, which I absolutely could not do--anyone who has not learned this move through prior bellydance experience will struggle here. Suhaila finally starts doing some actual core work with traditional abs crunches done to a pulse count. She also does a series of seated abs isolations; again, my lack of bellydance experience made these moves virtually impossible to execute. Returning to a standing position, Suhaila continues the isolation moves, this time with somewhat easier rib and chest isolations, eventually blending them into a circle. This ends the core segment at about 22 minutes total.
The 7-minute dance section doesn't feel much like dancing, as you are standing in place the entire time doing a range of abs and glutes isolations. Suhaila does a few quick stretches to finish, bringing the entire time for the workout in at about 38 minutes. Following the workout, there is also a short (2 1/2 minutes) group dance. The DVD includes a bonus 9 minute workout; this was very similar to the dance section of the main workout except that the isolation exercises are performed while moving from front to back and side to side, which did little to make the workout more interesting. Other DVD extras include trio and circle performances (the latter has one performer dancing in the center of a circle with the others sitting around and clapping; I found this to be a little odd, although the little girl who danced at the end was cute), a workout without narration option, trailers of the other three videos in the "Fitness Fusion" series, and a photo gallery (I can't understand why Natural Journeys always includes these--why would I want to see still photos of Suhaila?).
You may have noticed that I did not mention Pilates--that's because there is absolutely NONE in this video! Yes, there is some minimal core work, but I wouldn't even go so far to call it Pilates-inspired. It's things like this that make you understand why there were those who wanted the Pilates name to remain trademarked; use of the name here is really an outrage. Overall, I felt that my inability to perform many of the movements--based on my lack of previous bellydancing experience--made me unable to enjoy this workout. If you already know how to do basic bellydance isolations and are looking for an opportunity to strengthen your skills, you might like this video, but those who are new to bellydance should definitely look elsewhere."
If you're looking for Pilates...
shimi subramaniam | San Antonio, TX United States | 03/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"..this isn't the video for you! However if you want a peek at the kind of training Suhaila puts her dancers through then you'll feel like you're in a workshop with her. she puts you through the paces of her infamous glute isolations and then her tummy isolations that lead to forward and reverse undulations whilst propped up on your elbows will be quite a challenge! Be careful doing her muscle-burning series of endless tiny squats: she does these bent over, back parallel with legs in a "straddle position": I wasn't sure how safe that was for my knees. She also teaches rib slides and circles in the straddle position, which I find rather odd. The odd segue to an interview with her about post-partum body blues is a little weird but touching and the performances are typical of her work. No solos though, except in the dance circle at the end, which I liked. Mostly a good, challenging addition to a serious dancer's toolbox of drills."
Not quite Pilates, STILL very good.
BellyAndWings | MD | 09/20/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This workout is not quite Pilates--there is very little Pilates influence in this DVD. Having said that, it is still a great workout.
The goods: Planks are included in the warmup which are always body-quake inducing. And I have never been able to do a belly roll, and still can't, but at least with her breakdown I do feel I'm making progress. Also, with the arm positions, I have noticed a strengthening of my upper back and shoulders, esp. when held during the abdominal work. The group dance at the end (the performance with the dancers in gold, she in brown) has to be one of my favorites of hers. This is also great to get you ready for her workshops or for certification.
The bad: There really are no pilates save a few pulses. If you're looking for a serious dance pilates DVD, this is not it. This is also geared towards dancers, not towards a novice or someone who wants to learn some dance moves. For them, it could be very frustrating.
Great Drills for Bellydancers
*** | Texas | 02/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this dvd. I have done many of these moves as part of our warm up, with my instructor Farida. The dvd also features dances from Suhaila & her troop. It also has a segment with her daughter dancing. The exercises are great for isolating & working the muscles we need for bellydance. As always, Natural Journeys provides quality bellydance videos."