A bellydance drum solo is actually a duet: Together, a dancer and a drummer create a unique piece of performance art. For the dancer, the drum solo is an exciting experience demanding a profound understanding of rhythmic p... more »atterns and a wide vocabulary of bellydance moves and accents, all necessary to enable her to interact at will with the music created by the drummer. RHYTHM WORKSHOP: Raquy (New York) breaks apart eight popular bellydance rhythms: baladi, saiidi, maksoum, masmoudi, ciftetelli, malfouf, ayub, & semai. Acclaimed as a percussion performer, instructor and composer, Raquy teaches us how to recognize each rhythm. Then Jenna (Los Angeles) a star dancer, instructor and choreographer, demonstrates effective dance combinations for each of the eight rhythms. Accompanied by Raquy and Carmine, Jenna then also demonstrates the unique art of drum solo improvisation including the above rhythms. CHOREOGRAPHY WORKSHOP: Jenna takes you step-by-step through three bellydance drum solo choreographies; beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each instructional session takes place before the mirror, enabling you to follow Jenna as if you were right behind her in the studio. On screen, a beat counter accompanies choreographic demostrations. Choreography breakdown sections separate each dance into numbered combinations, and provide titles naming each move. The "Learn and Practice" sections offer a step by-step breakdown of each combination, and a presentation of the choreography "from the top" with practice repetitions inserted, so you can follow Jenna and learn the steps in real time. The DVD also contains a WARMUP sequence recommended before learning or practicing, and Jenna's famous SHIMMY DRILLS: the Shimmy Layering Drill, and her 3/4 Shimmy Drill. The drills are fun mini-exercise routines to help you learn and build on the art of the shimmy, one of the most colorful and vibrant bellydance moves.« less
Michelle L. (keyi) from YUKON, OK Reviewed on 9/1/2008...
Absolutely wonderful! Excellent drum solo instructional with very nice demonstrations and breakdowns of the beats and movements.
You should already know the basics of belly dance before trying this one. It does not teach you basics. Not for bare beginners but if you already know how to do chest lifts, hip lifts and drops and shimmies then this is a great technique dvd.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Good form, Good Value--Worth it!
HeartofAvalon | Denver, CO USA | 09/06/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jenna and Raquy have put together a great instructional DVD for all but the highest level of dancer. I am at an intermediate level, and I have plenty to work on with this DVD. Jenna's technique is very technically clean, and her emotive style is natural and pleasant. She is natural with the viewer, and also with her dance. You have seen the other videos with other great dancers that can't speak or their dance comes across herky-jerky on screen. Jenna is encouraging without talking down to the viewer or being repetative. I loved the shimmy layering drills and will get a lot of practice to clean up my technique, the REALLY simplified way that Raquy teaches how to identify different rhythms (an A-HA moment here!), the different levels of drum solo work, with the additional improvisational drum solo (or duet as they like to say) That is very inspirational. The warmup is a good basic one that gets the job done without being tedious. I have paid a LOT more for different bellydance instructional DVD's and this one is the cheapest, as well as one of the best. If Jenna came out with more, I'd be all over it in a HEARTBEAT!"
Great instructional dvd!
miss maggie1121 | new york | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"if you want to learn how to dance to different drum rhythms, this is a great dvd. they break down the different types of drum beats and the choreography step by step. beginners can use this as well as experienced dancers, but if you have never done bellydancing before, you will want to start with a basic moves tape or dvd such as veena & neena, since this one does not break down the components of each move (like how to do an upward chest circle or snake arms, for instance). the performances are inspirational. you get a lot here. definitely one of the best dvds i've seen. highly recommended."
Heartbeat of Bellydance
inkypink | Malaysia | 02/08/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD teaches you how to dance to a drum solo - not to a particular performance or sequence (although there are 4 performances done in detail) but helps you understand the music and as cliched as this sounds, feel the music.
The DVD is well-chaptered, where you can choose a specific segment you want to work on.
Instructor: Jenna Percussionist: Raqui
Warmup - a bellydance specific warm-up with some hip swirls and such
Choreography Workshop - there are 4 performances or drum solos done in detail. They're supposed to be beginner, intermediate, advanced/expert. Each of these is broken up into 4 segments - performance (done by the instructor in front of an audience), tutorial (step-by-step of each move), learn & practice (loops it 2x, so you can practice) and finally one where you do it in full.
The tutorials are all done in a studio in front of a wall-to-wall mirror with a view of the front and back of the instructor, so you do not miss anything. There are even close-ups of the footwork, at the end of some of the more complicated movements. Another great thing is that there is a little countdown marker at the bottom left of the screen, while the instructor counts it out loud as well.
The tutorials are done at a good pace - slow/explanatory, perform it once or twice. When you move on to the next movement, it gives you detailed instructions on how to segue smoothly from one move to the other.
Rhythm Workshop - Raquy, the percussionist, explains a little about the music. How you can pick up what type of rhythm or style it is just from listening to it. There's also a tutorial and performance by the instructor, Jenna, in how to dance to the drum (and the drummer).
Shimmy Drills - Shimmy Layering Drills, 3/4 Shimmy Drill. These are pretty amazing and it'll really make you work on those shimmies.
Performance, Music etc. which are typical of most bellydancing DVDs.
What I especially liked was how well organized the DVD was. It was easy for you to skip between movements in the tutorial (Choreography Workshop - #2) .. from move #1 to move #2, which may not be a big thing but for repeated viewings or practices this would be advantageous.
Again, I highly recommend this DVD. It is best for beginner-intermediate bellydancers since you do need to know some of the basic movements beforehand."
Eden Russell | Provincetown, MA United States | 07/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a beginner and I've never received face-to-face instruction even though I attend bellydancing-style workouts for beginners. This is why I was taken a little aback when I first watched the DVD, especially Jenna's performances.
If you've never ever bellydanced before, you'll need another set of instructions to start with first. I saw that Jenna is making a new DVD (basics and beyond) and I suppose that she will give more detailed explanation in it. I'd say this very DVD is at intermidiate level even though beginners will find it useful just like advanced dancers.
I've read the reviews for almost all DVDs available on amazon and I noticed that usually beginners give high ratings and more advanced dancers are very critical. It seems to me that everyone agrees it's a wonderful DVD and I find very indicative of its quality.
I have to point that in order to learn the moves well, it's necessary to use a mirror especially if you're not experienced/well familiar with these moves. It's easy enough to follow Jenna along but when I cast a glance at the mirror, more often than not I realize they look very little like Jenna's. This is especially true about the hip accents.
PROS of this DVD: 1. It's long and inclusive. It has a warmup, drills to improve technique/ train muscles, a section divided into three groups - at beginning, intermidiate and advanced level. The rhythm workshop is great for learning drum solo rhythms and their interpretations. There are several seperate performances. It's 85 mins. It's great value for your money. 2. JENNA is an example of what a dancer should look like. Her dancing is very refined, she movements - very delicate. She's an example of what it is like to blend mastery with grace. Most of the dancers I'm watched tend to do exaggerated and jerky movements which is very much unlike her and yet her dancing looks just as good, if not better. 3. What I love about it is that it suggests three full choreographies and I got the sense of completion with that. 4. I'm very happy with the shimmy drills. They are a wonderful workout and they also gave me the chance to watch Jenna shimmy for a long time. It made me think "oh maybe I'll be able to do it like that some day". 5. Jenna is dancing in front of a mirror. Even though I have a few remarks about that, it's a fairly good idea. 6. Jenna has a good attitude as an instruction. I dislike the fake smiles that so many professional dancers have like *plastered* on their faces (like Neena and Veena). Her dancing is inspiring in the way that it makes you feeling bellydancing is fun and enjoyable. 7. The DVD is organized in nice short segments that you can watch and rewind as many times as you want to fit your needs. You can do it again and again and again. Probably at least 6 months worth of practice is packed up in this DVD. 8. Her performances in the seperate section are quite inspiring. I'm sure advanced, maybe even professional dancers would find them interesting and useful. 9. What I love about this DVD is the traditional dancing. I also got Neon's Crash Course DVD and I was disappointed to hear music you could listen to in nightclubs. There are ONLY typical mid-easterns rhythms included, no fusion.
CONS of the DVD: 1. As a beginner, I was taken aback the first time I saw this DVD. It's very hard at first and Jenna does not give very detailed instructions (what a person who's never bellydanced before would need). However, I think more advanced dancers would enjoy this approach and find too much explanation boring. 2. I saw that someone else complained about not being able to see her feet (if she's on tiptoe or not). I had the same problem. My bigger problem was that Jenna is facing the mirror, not the camera and it's much harder for me to learn watching the back. If I need to watch what she does with her belly I have to stop dancing and stare (I have a small screen). I'm happy that when she performs it's the other way round, so I can get a better idea of how she does things.
To sum everything up, I would recommend this DVD to everybody. It's a great value for many many hours of excercise, combinations, choreography, everything. I have to warn beginners (especially those who've never bellydanced before) that they're likely to find this DVD uphill at first, so I would recommend to them to get another something else as well (Neena and Veena or Neon, etc). I'm sure that if you wait until September for Jenna's other DVD, it would make an awesome first step to mastering the wonderful choreography in this DVD."
One of the best out there!
Nicole | New York, NY | 08/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jenna is a great teacher and this DVD is so helpful. The warmup is very thorough and provides great preparation for the rest of the DVD, or whatever parts you pick to work with. The choreographies are broken down in a couple of different ways. You can either run through the whole thing, or you can learn a section then put it together with the music before going onto the next section. Parts that may be confusing, such as a turn going into the next step, are shown in slow motion up close so you can see what your foot placement should be.
The dances are fun to learn and are taught wonderfully. Jenna explains everything very well. You can watch her dance to the routines in full costume in the performance section of the DVD, with some variations. She even does an improvisation piece with Raquy and another drummer, Carmine.
The section with Raquy is very informative and fun. She familiarizes the viewer with different rhythms while Jenna dances along.
I think the best part of this DVD is the drill section. You can work on shimmy layering and the 3/4 shimmy. I have yet to complete each part successfully, but I'm having fun in the meantime! It's a good way to get used to these difficult moves.
Hopefully Jenna puts out more instructional Dvds in the future. This one is a lot of fun and highly recommended!"