Belly dance is perfect for sculpting buns & thighs since so many moves are driven by the glute, thigh, and hip muscles. If you are familiar with bellydance, these exercise sessions will help you improve or polish your tec... more »hnique by encouraging a consistent focus on incorporating glute contraction in your hipwork. Glute work added to hip isolations and combined moves helps increase your hips' range of motion and make accents sharp and expressive. If you are new to bellydance, learn and practice belly dance steps during this workout, then follow Neon as she demonstrates a choreographed 2-min. dance! The dance can be accessed separately for review before leaving for a dance club or party. Personal trainer Andy Troy, CSCS offers exercise safety tips throughout the program. Each of the three 15-min. exercise/dance sessions includes: 3-min. warmup; 9-min. exercise session; 2-min. dance sequence (2-3 reps of each move/combination from the exercise session arranged into an attractive choreography); 1-min. cooldown. * Onscreen graphics offer visual tips to the use of glutes and thigh muscles in bellydance. * During the 2-min. dance sequences, graphics of the move trajectories serve as visual cues; * A progress bar shows the number of reps for each move, plus marks the rep you are currently performing. * Anatomy of belly dance movement -- comments by personal trainer Andy Troy CSCS * Safety tips throughout the program by Andy Troy« less
Shantell Powell | Kitchener, ON, Canada | 02/25/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Over the past couple of days, I've been doing the workouts on Bellydance for Body Shaping: Buns and Thighs. The DVD is broken into three short workouts, each of which focuses on the glutes and thighs. Neon's warmups incorporate squats, lunges, and stretches, and then she teaches a short choreography which could also be used in performance or out clubbing.
Although the movements do indeed work on the advertised muscle groups, if you are already in shape, you will not find the exercises demanding. However, if you are new to exercise or to the isolation work of Middle Eastern dance, you may find these exercises challenging.
Personal trainer Andy Roy offers safety tips during the video so novices will not injure themselves.
Neon makes use of diagrams which show the shape and direction of each of her movements. In most cases, this can clarify things to viewers who may otherwise be mystified by unfamiliar movements. However, I noticed at a couple of points that the directional arrows were pointing the wrong way, and that threw me for a loop. It didn't take me long to figure it out, though, so it's not a very big deal.
On the negative side, Neon's costume is a dark red, and her background is black. There are times during the video when it is difficult to see exactly what is going on because she fades into her background. A more brightly-coloured costume would have made her movements easier to see.
Also, considering the video appears to be aimed more toward novices, I think her demonstration of the hamstring stretch would have been better shot from the side. To someone unfamiliar with the stretch, her forward lean might not make much sense.
All in all, I would recommend the video to people on their way to getting in shape, and also to dancers looking for an opportunity to practice their moves. If you're already in great shape, you will want to find something much more demanding. I didn't break a sweat during these workouts, and my heartrate only accelerated slightly."
Spectacular workout for just about any body type
Shelley Gammon | Kaufman, Texas USA | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As all the disclaimers go - check with your doctor before over-exerting yourself (ie, read small print, put down the donut and start moving and check with your physician!)... but unless you're so morbidly obese that you pant from opening the refrigerator or you suffer from vertigo or really bad arthritis, just about anyone in any condition can do this work out and feel and see results.
The instruction is awesome. Even with her pronounced Russian accent, Neon is very easy to understand - she is articulate and patient. Andy Troy steps in as the safety consultant during certain moves. He is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and points out what muscles are being targeted and when to avoid putting stress on the vertebrae, knees and other areas during certain moves.
Neon has a great stage presence. She is one of those types of people that looks like she could be your friend. I've seen some exercise videos before where I got so disgusted by the overly fake, preppy, peppy, bouncy instructors, I couldn't continue... they came across as the type of people that if they saw you laying in the middle of the street, they'd keep driving past you, if not over you. Neon is not one of these plastic Barbie types - she has a real woman's body and shows you how to keep your own body toned.
Due to the nature of Middle Eastern dance, which was originally developed by women as entertainment for other women, the dance movements are a bit feminine for the comfort level of most men - but I'd encourage any man who struggles with his weight to take a look at this DVD... in the privacy of your own home, no one will know and you don't have to wear gold earings or silk sashes to participate.
As is the case with any DVD, instruction is self-paced, so you can pause and continue - but the way these lessons are given, I think you're better off just watching the 1st lesson sitting down - get the notations down and what they mean and then restart lesson 1 and join in. Even if you miss a few steps, who's to know? This is the type of artform that is fairly easy to learn, but can take a lifetime to master, so it's unlikely that anyone will tire of these routines - they are creative and have a good variety, but each move makes it easy to segue to the next.
I'm fat, lazy and VERY out of shape. I've had jobs involving me sitting behind a desk 8-12 hours a day for the past 13 years, and I can't even touch my toes unless I sit down and cross my legs - but I can participate in this workout without feeling my left arm go numb or calling 911.
There is no jumping up and down, pulling your leg up over your head, sticking your head between your legs or any other movement that precludes participation by the people who most need a workout.
The instructors are non-threatening and the onscreen notations are helpful so you know what it is you're supposed to be doing in regards to muscle movement.
There are some cheesy pauses between lessons where Andy Troy has a thought bubble coming out of his head - I think these detract from the professionalism of the DVD, but not so much that it loses a star.
WorldDance has done it again - another fantastic dance and exercise combination program, well shot, well edited, well put together."
A Tip for Success for both "Buns and Thighs" and "Abs."
Solar Powered | South Jersey USA | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love these DVDs BUT I'm not a dancer. The format is excellent Neon's whole body against a plain background clearly demonstrates the moves. She narrates nicely at the same time. The star graphics indicating glut contractions have shown me how to support my weight (finally!) and perform the moves more cleanly, yet the steps are too quick for me to learn.
So, the tip: If your DVD player has a "slow" feature, you can watch and learn each step at 1/2 speed or even 1/4 speed. I've just started with this disc and spend a LOT of time at half speed.
I started about a year ago with the goal of someday having a waist (and a butt!). I started with Nina and Veena's beginner video and learned some basics. I got excellent tips from Mara's Belly Dancing II (more a beginner than intermediate level)on how to position the body to do the moves. A favorite: Jillina Level 1. She gives good,slow instruction for beginners to learn the basics (shoulder shimmy, rib isolations, camel, hip lifts, drops, and circles)and you learn a dance as well.
I mention all this because Neon's Body Shaping DVDs are intermediate level and you need to know the basics. I get a good sweaty workout and toning as well. I think it's worth working towards, and even considering getting a DVD player with a 1/2 speed feature. These are my favorite bellydance workouts."
Wow! Great target workout
Kimberly K. Marchese | Colorado Springs, CO United States | 09/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is wonderful! I really notice a difference in the last few weeks. I'm definitely a lot tighter. This workout is fun too. I use a 15 min segment along with another workout, usually 30-40 mins of cardio. I love the graphics, they are so helpful. They really help you ensure you are moving properly. If you want a more full body workout check out Veena and Neena's Belly Dance for Beginners "Slim Down" or Suhaila's "Jazz Fitness Fusion". They are both good workouts and your time will fly by because you are having so much fun. These are all perfect for moms--perfect for squeezing in during naptime!"
Great sequel to her "Abs" video
Ice Jewel | 04/20/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got both Neon's DVDs from her fitness series, "Abs" and "Buns and Thighs", I've reviewed "Abs" ("Bellydance for Body Shaping: Abs") and everything I said about that DVD applies here. Neon has an excellent understanding of bellydance isolations technique and so her fitness videos use isolations very creatively and ingeniously to result in a lot of toning work in the areas she targets. I am very impressed with both DVDs, and use them in my workouts. I love it that every single movement in her fitness videos is an actual dance move. I don't like mixing crunches and bellydance undulations. She serves her fitness routines in 15 minute installments (3 on each DVD) ending each routine in a drum solo choreography. I love her choreographies, and her style, I must admit I am a fan. Neon moves in a way I've never seen anyone move like this, she is fluid to the max like she has no bones, but you can only see that on her performance DVDs. Her fitness routines are beginner intermediate, although a few moves on both DVDs are closer to "intermediate-advanced" like the 3/4 sideways travel."