Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Bellydance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania |
Cardio Shimmy/Bellydance Boogie/Hip Drop Hip Hop/Pure Sweat
Actor: Rania Bossonis
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Join certified aerobics instructor, Rania, a multi-award-winning dancer, in this unique weight loss series. Rania's bellydance skill is truly remarkable and her dancing is beauty in motion. Rania has combined her vast ... more »
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(5 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this set before I read the reviews here. I am a personal trainer/fitness instructor, and I thought these workouts were well written, well-produced, and well executed. One of the most difficult things to do as an instructor is break down a new dance style without stopping the workout. Rania did an amazing job of starting techniques slowly, repeating them, layering them, then speeding them up to tempo. After watching the performances at the end, I realised why she left the more strenuous or potentially dangerous moves out of the fitness programs. I was really impressed with the whole set.When I read through the reviews I noticed that most of the negative reviews came from people proclaiming to be belly dancers. I was a jazz dancer before becoming a fitness professional. There is a big difference between teaching dance for fitness than for teaching dance as an art form. When teaching for fitness, you have to use only the moves that are effective in terms of fitness, safe, and ones that target a range of muscles groups for a well-rounded workout. If you are expecting to learn to really dance, buy a dance instruction tape. If you want to work out safely and effectively using bellydance moves, this set is first class. Congratulations to Rania."
Pretty to look at, but uninspiring
karen_best | Baltimore, MD | 02/06/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I've taught fitness for over 15 years. I was a jazz dance major in college and have also started studying various forms of Middle Eastern Dance. My review of Rania's videos will incorporate all three points of view.
In terms of fitness, this is where they rate the best. The Cardio Shimmy is the most challenging, at about a beg-intermediate low-impact workout level. They are safe moves, although I believe Rania left out some key verbal cues for proper technique and alignment. The verbal cuing on the DVDs is also either not aligned properly with the video, or Rania cues late. A participant needs time to react to verbal cuing, thus the instructor needs to cue a couple beats ahead of a new move in order for it to be effective. A good amount of the cues were also completely off beat with the music. Once you know the moves, play the DVD with only the music. Rania and her team are in very good shape, so in this way are inspiring.
From a dance perspective I find Rania's style to be very stiff. This stiff style works very well with her performance of the Phaeronic Temple dance (bonus feature). Her delivery, smile and arm movements are wooden, maybe she was nervous. Her "back-up" dancers were pleasant to watch, as they exhibited more grace, extension and ease.
From a Middle Eastern Dance background I've most commonly seen a different method of doing hip isolations. Rania initiates the movement by straightening the leg. While this can be a good way to help beginners, it also needs to be emphasized that most hip isolations are not meant to rely on the leg movement, the legs are just "carried along". This difference in technique shows greatest when Rania looses her hip shimmy a few times (in Cardio Shimmy), with lots of movement still going on in her legs.
I recommend this series to beginners who wants a light, different workout at home, or someone who wants to get an idea of beginner belly dance moves at home before going out to study somewhere. More exprienced dancers can also use the simple combinations to brush up on their technique or practice zill drills (although it's not Middle Eastern Music) along with their dancing.
The special features were enjoyable. I've watched Sohaila over and over again. She has impeccable, inspiring technique, elegance and grace. Marina is a little firecracker with lots of energy. Her drum solo and cane dance are lovely. Lochia shows folk inspired dance with interesting combinations of folk inspired costuming in cabaret style fabrics. Rania's temple dance was well executed, the costume beautiful."
Great fun, good moves!
Bianca | Bellingham, WA | 01/04/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have built up a library of bellydance videos over the last few months (both purely instructional and fitness oriented) and I have to say that I really LOVE this set. If you dabble in bellydance or are a student (I would say up to advance-beginner) then I think you'll really enjoy these DVDs. The workouts are all roughly 30 minutes long with lots of fun moves (I'm a BEGINNER and I learned a lot!). They are short enough to remain fun and still get you moving. I'm sorry, but I just can't handle hour long workouts yet. Sure, you may want to watch the Workout all the way through before you try it, but any new set of movements and steps takes practice. Few fitness videos are perfect in regards to camerawork and perfect cueing. But besides all that, each DVD comes with a "bonus" workout, which I believe are all gathered on another DVD sold separately. I like to do the bonus workouts with some stretching in the morning and then the full workouts at night. It's great that there are four DVDs to choose from. I change up between the different workouts and my purely instructional videos each night. Even with just the four and a couple of Veena & Neena's workouts I can workout all week and not repeat myself. Some people complain about Rania's lack of smile and seeming stiffness, but really it isn't so extreme as to be distracting. She moves so beautifully so who cares? The voice over is upbeat and the dancers look like they're having fun. The music can get a little cheesy though, but that hardly qualifies as a strike. I say ignore any bad reviews and go for it. You get four DVDs for under $30! It's a great value, I swear it."
Lots Of Fun And Not Boring!
Barbara L. Timmer | Cincinnati, Ohio United States | 04/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a great way to work out! Not to mention practicing bellydance moves! This will get your heart rate up and put a smile on your face!
Some of the other reviewers say Rania is stiff. But she's not stiff at all. However, I think I can figure out why people would say that!
After watching the workouts before I did them, I realized that Rania has VERY slim hips. And since so much of belly dance involves hip movement, it appears that she is not moving her hips very much.
So don't hesitate to spice up your boring old workout with some fun, not to mention sexy, dance moves!
Update: I've been working out on a consistent basis for about two months now. I'm doing the Cardio Shimmy at this point in time and I've lost a dress size! So ladies shake your shimmy, have a blast and lose weight!
Update and info for my disabled Sisters: I have Secondary-Progressive Multiple Sclerosis and have very bad balance. Even with my issues, I am able to do all of the moves, except one, plus the parts of the cool down where you have to stand on one foot. So I simply substitute another movement which I can do and for the parts of the cool down where I am supposed to stand on one foot, I use a piece of furniture for balance. So the moral of this story is, just because you have balance problems, and you want to bellydance, adapt whatever you need to and GO FOR IT!!! BECAUSE BELLYDANCING WORKOUTS ARE FUN!!! So...have fun with the workout I'm currently doing and Hip Drop to Hip Hop!!! WOO-HOO!!!
UPDATE: Well, I'm currently doing Pure Sweat and I just want to say, that is is QUITE an intense workout! Very fast-paced and I'm having a bit of trouble learning some of the moves. But...it's getting easier and it's loads of fun, like the other two I've learnt so far! What a gift to have a workout I don't have to make myself do. I do it for the pure pleasure of moving my body to music.
UPDATE: I've been doing Bellydance Boogie, and it's a LOT harder than it looks. It's really more of a strength training workout than an aerobic workout. Due to my balance problems and vertigo, I can't do a few of the movements, I simply do other things. I'd say that this workout is my least favorite of all of them. However, it does teach some essential bellydance movements."