Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Discover Bellydance Basic Dance|
Actors: Veena Bidasha, Neena Bidasha
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
The Discover Bellydance series teaches you authentic Egyptian Bellydance moves and fully choreographed dance routines. This program introduces the fundamental movements of Bellydancing. You will learn the basic dance moves... more »
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How would a beginner would learn from this DVD?
reviewer | 06/02/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The twins are fine dancers, but the "teaching" style in this DVD is basically the old "I dance; you follow." The twins do the movements and a voice over tells you what they are doing, but doesn't really tell you *how*. There was no break down worth speaking of.
To make things worse, often voice-over "instructions" are out of sync with the movements on the screen. For example, in the hip circle segment, which instruction consists of "front, side, back, side", when she says "Front", she's moving to the side, when she says "side" she's already moving to the back. How is the poor beginner to know what to do? This segment especially bothered me because it didn't address a big safety issue. On the forward portion of a hip circle, it is necessary to clench the buttocks muscles to protect the lower back. Nothing was said about this.
Another example of how this DVD could seriously confuse a beginner: during the Hip Drop segment, one twin was doing a hip lift. A perceptive student closely analyzing the movements would be perplexed: is the focus on the down or on the up? They don't really say.
There were also things that were just wrong: like they started the movements slowly of course, then increased the speed. The narration said, "Now let's try that at double time" and then increased speed from half time to full time.
I confess, I didn't watch the entire DVD. I was too annoyed at how [hard] the instruction was to be able to pay attention to it all the way through. I also got bored. Issues that if they were discussed at all, were hidden in the 2nd half of the program: safe movement, weight changes, connecting the dance to the music, and posture.
Production matters I didn't like were the inappropriate close-ups (like a close up on a face while demonstrating the hip circle), annoying artistic camera angles, and the alienating voice over. I like a teacher to talk to me, even if it's on a video.
If all an "instructional" video is going to do is show you what to do, without telling you how -- that is, leaving you to teach yourself -- you might as well buy a performance video of your favorite dancer and teach yourself how to dance like her."
Eden Russell | Provincetown, MA United States | 09/10/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"The reason why I decided to buy this DVD to begin with is that I saw a chapter from it on Fitness On Demand. Out of curiousity I tried it out and back at that time I thought it was perfect. Later when I decided I want to start learning bellydance at home (since there was no instructor available where I live) this DVD was the obvious choice.
Only by accident I got it after the other DVD I had purchased which is Neon's Crash Course. When I had some very basic experience and another DVD to compare, I was dismayed.
These are the reasons why:
- The DVD is very short. It's 45 minutes only. They don't show a lot of moves. When you ask anyone at intermediate level what they consider "bellydance basics", they will give you 4 times as many moves. Some of those are included in the other 2 DVDs Neena and Veena made (Beyond Basic Dance and Mystic Dance) but still what they show here is quite insufficient
- The DVD will only give you a very slight idea of what bellydance is like. If you find it to your taste, expect that in a few weeks you'll be spending more cash on DVDs.
- When I first tried the hip drops / hip lifts I did them the way the twins did them. That's leaning back. As I result I badly hurt my back. They don't make a point about this and only when I compared with other instructional sets I noticed it's not an essential component of the move and it can be done without the leaning. I saw a reviewer say that one of the twins leans back more to show how to make the move harder. First of all this is NOT a workout video and someone with a weak back like me is exposed to the risk of getting a bad injury on her first dance class at home.
- Only later when I had more experience I was able to understand they basically waste their double potential. They are identical twins and they dance the same style, in the same way. They both do the same moves facing you and it would have looked no different if an editor mirrored the movements of only one of the sisters. Instead one of the twins could dance with her back turned to you so you could see how it looks the other way. Pure waste of potential.
- Speaking of instruction, they hardly instruct you. There isn't enough explanation given especially since only a beginner would be watching this and a beginner needs more pointers. Instead you watch and copy.
Okay, this set does have a merits, these being
- Quality is high. The room is nice, with the right atmoshere, with a lot of light, everything can be seen.
- A couple of decent performances at the end.
- Audio options are great (see description of the product)
- If you care for beautiful teachers, you can see two of them.
- There is lots of repetition.
I was wondering if I wanted to give this DVD 3 stars instead because I was inspired by it when I saw it first on cable TV. Two friends of mine liked it a lot (but neither had any prior bellydance experience). However, when they learned a few things and then borrowed a few more DVDs from my collection, they compared and wholeheartedly agreed with my point of view.
You probably would prefer to pass on this DVD:
- If you already have any previous bellydance experience. You probably won't see anything new here.
- If you already have an idea of belly dance and are determinded to learn. If you opt for this video make sure to buy another set as well or have in mind you'll need one in one or two weeks.
- If you get bored easily. The action is slow.
- You don't insist on outstanding production quality and prefer quality of instruction.
- If you are a complete beginner and you know you don't learn well without detailed verbal instruction.
- If are looking for a workout.
This DVD may be good for you if you have no prior belly dance experience and you want to find out what it feels like to do a bunch of basic moves, without spending too much of your money.
For anyone with more than a passing interest, I recommend checking out Jehan's Sacred Dance instead of this DVD or the 3-piece set. I have written a very detailed review for that one here on amazon. I own about 15 instructional videos by now and Basic Dance is now at the bottom of my chart, especially in comparison to the other products available on the market. Make sure that before you purchase this DVD you have checked your other options."
A good supplement to classes
Inscription | Kansas City, MO United States | 06/25/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this DVD to give me a practice guide at home, since my "real life" classes are only once a week. Overall, I found it helpful, and I think that it would be helpful to someone who just wants to get a "feel" for belly dance. While it's not going to be as effective without feedback from an instructor, it's done in a way that is easy to understand, especially if you watch it a few times. So I would certainly recommend it to an absolute beginner. That said- the pace can be a little uneven; there are times when I feel I am getting a good workout but moments later, it's going so slowly I get impatient. Also, while the steps are taught slowly and can easily be followed, when they are put together into a choreographed dance, there's no instruction as to the transitions, which can be irritating. Worse, instructors Veena and Neena wear skirts when they execute the dance, so it's difficult to see what they are doing and follow their examples. I do like watching them, though- they seem to be having a fine time and not getting impatient the way I am! Until I can afford to take classes several times a week (read: never) the DVD is a good, fun workout. I plan on purchasing the two follow-ups in this series."
Good, not great, for beginners.
Inscription | 08/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD was mostly good. It was slow enough for me, a complete beginner to ANY dancing, that at times it was too slow. The voice over was a little annoying, I was hoping Veena and Neena would instruct as well as show the moves. There were a few times the camera would be on their upper body when I needed to see what their legs were doing. And when you finally get to the choreography part where you do the dance, they're wearing skirts, and you can't see their legs and what they're doing and I got lost in the first 10 seconds, went back three times to the beginning of the dance and gave up finally.Overall it was good and definitely worth it. I'm using it as an introduction so I can learn the moves and then work up to the fitness tapes to use bellydancing as exercise. I haven't exercised in years, and it was the perfect amount of exertion for a beginner. It also gave me confidence and it's so fun when you get a move down they're showing you. Nearly every move is easier than it looks."