Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Urban Jam - Hip Hop Dance with Laya Barak|
Actor: Laya Barak
Director: Laya Barak
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Laya Barak's 'Urban Jam - Hip Hop Dance' program offers instruction in innovative hip hop styles for skill levels from beginner to professional.The program includes a warmup and isolations section, followed by beginning, i... more »
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Energy and Fun in Dance
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 09/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
This excellent dance instruction DVD starts with a terrific warm-up, that centers on isolations and stretches. In order to do all the stretches full-out, you'd have to be quite limber, but you can do them at your own level, and still get a lot out of it. This warm-up section is good even if you don't want to continue on to the dance routines, as it makes a great morning "wake-up" as well as a relaxing way to get the tension out of your body after a hard day. Loose pants and a soft stretchy top, with sneakers, is what Laya Barak, and her 2 assistants, Jonathan Lee and Eleonora Barbacini are wearing, and the presentation is well done, with simple lighting and camera angles enabling you to see what is being demonstrated clearly. Music is by Jay T. Jenkins and Mervyn Theodopolis Jr. (Warmup), Daryl "D. Roe" Monroe (Beginner & Advanced), and Ray Johnson (Intermediate).
The Beginner routine is easy but fairly long; the choreography flows well though, and the movements are broken down and explained enough to be able to assimilate it and make memorization easier. When performed up to tempo with the music you should be able to dance and enjoy it, and though some dance background would help a lot, enough passion for dance and desire to learn (and enough practice!) will get you through the routine if you are a beginner. The Intermediate picks up the pace a lot, as well as the length of the routine, and the Advanced is jammin'! It's a joy to watch Laya perform this invigorating and innovative dance form. She is a marvelous dancer, who completes every movement to its maximum point with precision and speed, as well as having musicality and that indefinable thing in dance called "line." Bravo Laya!"
Young at heart?
Seir | USA | 09/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
Keeping up with change is a delight as I watch in amazement at the versatility of movement of the human body. I discovered Hip hop and its appeal and consider myself young at heart as I execute these awesome moves.
I am impressed at the depth of detail and instruction by Laya and found her program very delightful.
The program begins with a warm up that is almost dance itself, the music is catchy and you find yourself dancing and looking forward to more. Here, you don't need a partner, dance alone or invite the crowd, everyone is welcome and come as you are!
The footwork section in the beginner program is my favorite. It took me a few rewinds to be able to follow along some, but here I am jamming! There is also an arm break-down section of the beginner routine, emphasis on isolation and then you have the pleasure of merging both sections into a most fun routine. Each move is counted by the instructor as you follow along and she breaks down every detail.
The instructor is knowledgeable, not dressed in jargon or frill but does her job to the point as you watch your body conform to the urban jam style. This is expressive dancing in fashion,innovative and fresh..
I am impressed by the variety in traveling steps, they are expressive; complemented by implementing slides, bounces, hits, body rolls, drops.
Beginner, intermediate, and advanced segments are explained with clarity and simple language, and each combination is counted so that each move is executed in time and with ease to follow along.
The intermediate routine is slightly challenging, almost disco at first, beginning with a groove, but don't be fooled as the moves become detailed and the body motion changes into very aerobic movement. Your personal style comes out and places your signature on every move.
The advanced segment for some reason I found easier to follow along. By then my mind and body had become accustomed to this style, and I was able to keep up the with intricate moves and accelerated tempo of the music.
The program ends with a demonstration of all combinations as Laya and her dancer friends perform the routines with ease and get you into the groove.
Overall, this is intriguing footwork, arm work with intensely addicting, stimulating choreography.
There is so much to learn in this program and it is delightful!Recently I was able to demonstrate these moves for a classroom of 4th grade cheerleaders and they were hooked. I recommended this video to their school.
What are you waiting for? Go at your own pace and start jamming.
Lots of fun
Gascon Yuri | 12/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My daughter, who is a ballet and hip hop dancer, loves this DVD. She thinks it's excellent and the routines very creative and innovative. I am not sure how easy this could be for a complete beginner. My daughter tends to believe that you need to have at least some basic experience of street dances. If you do, you'll find the routines very challenging and attractive. Enjoy!"
Your own private hip-hop class
shimi subramaniam | San Antonio, TX United States | 07/12/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm still making my way through this DVD but I do give it two thumbs up so far. The warm-up is thorough, and the way the routines are broken down are clear. The beats don't really move me but I figure that once I understand what's going on I am free to swop out my favourite jam, so that's a small nit-pick.I prefer that she is facing us and at least she's mastered the art of mirroring , so that I'm not overthinking whether she means her right or mine.
It's not a dance cardio DVD, although if you rewind and review often enough you'll be breathing hard. The choreography is what some would call "studio" hip-hop: very light and smooth, but deceptively simple-looking. If you haven't found a hip-hop dance instructor you like, you could do a lot worse than take class with Ms Barak in the privacy of your own home."