Lavish and overflowing with deep, rich, feminine movement, Luscious: The Bellydance Workout is made of 100% of bellydance moves and steps It is gentle, but it will work your body to enhance your muscle tone, flexibility, a... more »nd fluidity, and promote weight loss. With a special focus on muscle conditioning and elongation, the program works each group of muscles deeply - using carefully built combinations to switch between muscle groups and add intensity to the workout. Lusscious: The Bellydance Workout features gorgeous music and a beautiful flow undiluted by conventional exercises. Systematically addressing each group of muscles to deliver a total body workout, it creates an entertaining and aesthetically fulfilling dance experience inspiring you to do your best in executing each move with the proper depth, range of motion, and articulation. A true dance experience as much as a fitness experience, Luscious is beginner level, but it offers you a perspective of challenge and growth. The workout consists of 7 sections, each building consistently upon the dance vocabulary covered in the previous sections through its own series of combinations. The combinations include classic bellydance transitions between steps to help you create the muscle memory to ingrain dance in your body. Luscious is an instructional workout. It introduces the dance vocabulary in a careful, systematic way and contains an extensive tutorial section breaking down each move used in the workout. If this is one of your first steps in bellydance, this program will be a fun introduction to all the basic groups of bellydance moves and transitions. If you are a dancer, it s a great way to practice the core of the bellydance technique and vocabulary through functional drills performed in the context of dance combinations and transitions creating an extra layer of muscle memory that isolated drills do not provide. Workout duration - 45 min. Tutorial section - 50 min. The Circles section explores circular bellydance moves. It follows a slow-to-moderate tempo, working both the lower and upper body through isolations. Next is the Infinity Loops section. Together with the stretching and toning impact of every move in this section, infinity loops are the ultimate exercise in fluidity. Undulations maintain flexibiilty of your spine and help develop deep awareness of your core. They are also a challenging full-body muscle-conditioning exercise. The bellydance hipwork section exercises your thighs, glutes, and abdominal muscles. In the Hip Accents section we ll perform traditional bellydance hip moves and then weave them together with the fluid movements: circles, infinity loops and undulations. Hipwork is what gives bellydance such vibrancy and party appeal - these steps look great on any dance floor. The Shimmy - that effortless shaking of the hips - is actually hard work! Join us to shake your way through a few styles of shimmy, and enjoy the wide range of shimmy flavors. The Body Line section is built of moves involving your total body. It shifts focus from working individual body parts to dance steps that offer the most stretching and give you a dancerly posture and carriage. The last section is a short dance routine choreographed entirely of the bellydance moves featured in the workout.« less
A langurous but intense escape into the beauty of the dance
atisheh | New York, New York | 05/16/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Did we really need another bellydance-based workout? I wouldn't have thought so, but Neon, as usual, has gone and proven my expectations wrong.
"Luscious" is an exquisitely made program, with more good qualities than I can enumerate. The costumes and setting are gorgeous -- nothing like the typical brightly-lit aerobics studio -- and Neon advises you at the beginning to dress up for it and join the three dancers here in making the movement special. This is the kind of thing that sounds cheesy, but I did it, and it makes sense: how will you forget about bad body image or those extra pounds if you're wearing ugly workout wear? Dressing up makes you feel like you're dancing, not punishing yourself.
The instruction itself is taught in sections themed "Circles," "Infinity Loops," "Undulations," "Hip Accents," "Shimmy," and "Body Line." Each dancer leads two of the sections: she stands at the front and her voiceover describes the movements to be done. What I really like about this is that the sections weren't assigned randomly; instead, each section bears the particular dancer's imprint, and showcases her strengths. It's subtle, but you start to notice that Neon leads complicated, quick-changing combinations, Blanca shows her wonderful, large, and sensuous movements, and Sarah Skinner adds an upbeat Turkish feel to the shimmy section. This made the instructors seem much less like exchangeable dancing bodies, and much more like teachers with particular areas of expertise.
The movements are varied, and quite a few combinations are introduced and repeated from two to six times. This is not a "four of this and four of that" drill. In fact, I would suggest that complete beginners start with a different video. This would be great for advanced beginners like me, who are not expert enough for a complicated choreo with tons of layering, but get bored when everything comes in fours and is repeated ad infinitum.
All along, the dancers offer tips on putting emotion into the steps, on maintaining form, and on making movements deeper and stronger. While the dancing is rarely fast-paced, the slowness of the movements is often more challenging and grueling. The workout made me sweat (though it might not make everyone), but more importantly, it challenged me to maintain grace, form, and muscle control while learning the combinations. I couldn't believe it when the forty-five minutes were over -- it felt like fifteen!
If you have weak knees, you might want to be careful with some of the lunges and plies; on the other hand, there aren't a lot of them, and they're done slowly enough that you can be careful. I'll also repeat the warning that this might be a little hard for complete beginners who aren't already good at picking up choreography. However, the video does have a well-indexed instructional section which describes all the movements used in the workout. As a step up, there's a version of the workout with music alone, and no voice over.
In case my enthusiasm wasn't clear enough, I really think WDNY has a winner with this video. It's simple, but also simple enough to do regularly and to grow into. At the same time, even once you have learned the step combinations, adding graceful arm and handwork (to say nothing of being aware of facial expressions, head positions, and dancer's poise) poses an extra layer of difficulty. And finally, the movements are, quite simply, beautiful. You will be happy to be dancing."
A Lovely Workout
S. Gardner | Central Wisconsin | 06/03/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the things that attracted me to this workout is that it advertises itself as being for beginners. This isn't quite true. If you've never done bellydance before, then this is not a DVD for you. It's lovely and lush, and each of the instructors are talented in their own right, but a rank beginner will find the moves hard to follow.
The DVD does include a tutorial section, which is a bonus. I wish, however, that they had filmed it differently. The tutorial appears to be filmed on the same stage on which the workout is performed, when a studio with mirrors to show more angles of Neon (who is the only instructor performing the tutorials) might be more advantageous. Neon is also dressed in a performance costume, which is a bit distracting and which makes it hard to follow sometimes, particularly in traveling moves and the movements of her knees. The tutorial for each move also seems a bit short at times, with more time being devoted to an accompanying clip demonstrating the move's use in the workout.
The workout itself is more satisfying. The vocal prompts are in general quite good, and I particularly like that there is an indication on-screen as to which move or combination is being performed. The workout is balanced and well-paced, building moves from each previous section as it progresses, and the musical accompaniment is appropriate. The angle changes are occasionally odd and distracting, but don't detract too much from the quality of the workout itself.
Although it purports to be for beginners, I would not recommend this as one's first bellydance DVD purchase, unless they've already had some instruction. For those without access to an instructor, it might be better to start with another DVD that better breaks down the basics, such as Bellydance Basics and Beyond: Technique for a Solid Foundation (another World Dance New York title). If you've mastered the basics, though, then this will be a fun, relaxed workout, well worth the money."
The Three Graces
Alejandra Vernon | Long Beach, California | 05/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Luscious" is a terrific bellydance instruction DVD geared towards beginners, though intermediate students may enjoy and learn from it too, as Neon, Blanca, and Sarah are superb dancers and teachers, and the choreography is varied enough to find interest and enjoyment for a very long time.
After the "Welcome" by Neon, the dancers guide you through the moves, each taking their turn at being in the front and doing the teaching. There is also the option of a "Step by Step Tutorial," which explains each move in detail, as well as an option to practice just with the music, without the voice-over instructions. The music is marvelous, all with a traditional flavor in its instrumentation and melodies.
Your instructors: Neon is a stunning blonde born in Russia; a famed dancer, teacher, and choreographer, whose technique is dazzling, and creativity amazing. She has helped bring the art of bellydance to a new level. Blanca is a goddess. Born in Mexico, her sensual style and grace have few equals. Sarah Skinner is a dancer I'm less familiar with, but she is incredibly impressive and beautiful, and fits in well with Neon and Blanca. These 3 dancers are the epitome of "The Three Graces."
"Luscious" is very well produced, and the dancers are filmed in a simple stage setting with excellent lighting, making it easy to discern and follow the movements. The costuming is also lovely, in shades of teal and red, and adds to the visual beauty of the program. This is a great way to learn bellydancing, relieve stress, get your exercise and have fun at the same time. If you want weight loss, many experts agree that the best way to lose is through doing continual movement as is done on this DVD, rather than in aerobics. "Luscious" is a superb DVD for your dance instruction library, and if you're just starting out with bellydancing, it will inspire you to keep practicing and learning. "
Beautiful, slow, languid healing communion with the goddess.
sylvia plath | denmark | 09/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"All I can say is wow. I am an an advanced belly dancer who performs and choreographs for other dancers, I also come from a Middle Eastern family, so I am generally a hypercritical malcontent when it comes to Belly dance DVDs. However, this one is like nothing I have ever purchased before and yet it is everything I have ever wanted in a practice conditioning workout, but didn't know how to articulate. Not only do the beautiful dancers on the DVD lead you straight into the "Goddess Zone" but they also keep you there long enough to heal and nurture your body, soul and mind. If you concentrate and perform every movement as it is meant to be executed you will get more of a workout than you realize. It is only a few hours after you dance this out, will your body tell you what has happened. Your internal organs will glow, any physical injuries will start to self heal and your confidence and inner sensuality and joy will radiate from every pore. Forget "exercise", this "workout" will turn you back into the living work of art you have always been."
Delicious, irresistible "danceout"
Mala Bhargava | India | 05/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Too exquisite to be called a workout, this seven-part "danceout" as I like to call it, is beauty in motion. The three absolute goddesses who draw you warmly, elegantly, charmingly into the beautiful world of bellydancing, look every bit luscious. Dressed in equally luscious costumes, they create an atmosphere that totally fills your mind even as you watch on your screen.
While Neon, Blanca and Sarah may look as if they're dancing the most impossibly beautiful moves, the bellydance beginner can join in. Conceptualized and choreographed by Neon, who has produced numerous instructional videos that have spread bellydancing to many places in the world, this video is targeted at beginners. And it includes the "simpler" moves. If you've recently begun bellydancing and have a video or two focusing on basic technique or better still, if you're taking classes, Luscious will be a lovely way to practice them in a connected, smooth, flowing way. I won't describe each section because other reviewers have done so and the video clip does a great job of telling you what to expect. But I will say, that for the absolute beginner, there's a natural sort of break up in each segment which makes it easier to work with the video a little bit at a time. Another really useful touch is that in the tutorial section, led by Neon, each set of isolations ends with an extract from the danceout. You can use that to practice putting the moves into action.
The tutorial section is very thorough and the moves are explained very thoroughly at a pace which a beginner will have no trouble with. For anyone not familiar with Neon, she's particularly experienced with clear, precise and ever-so-gentle explanations and demonstrations of dance movements. She happens to be the one who started me off on belly dancing as a video-only learner and several years later I'm amazed to have reached a happy level with no injury.
For more experienced dancers, this is a wonderful video to deepen, intensify and beautify the basic moves without the usual almost-military drills we do. Use it to focus fully on engaging the abs and back while doing a full 45 minutes to strengthen the moves you'll use most often. There are combinations and arm moves sprinkled through the sessions - so it feels like a long, long leisurely dance. It's a very pleasurable way to go through all your moves, for all body zones. It reminds me a little, conceptually, of Jehan's Ultimate Fitness, which of course is a fast-paced advanced workout with complex movements and layering.
Two things need a special mention and that's the absolutely gorgeous costumes and the music. The costumes contribute significantly to how this whole video looks and the aura that it creates. They're lush and totally mouth watering. The music. Ah. There are 17 (if I counted correctly) tracks used here. They're beautifully selected and add so much richness to the dance. The most-featured artists are DJ Mosavo and Solace. I've got myself an entire Luscious playlist because the music is so very pretty. "