Bellydance Superstar Rachel Brice teaches basic tools that can be incorporated into daily practice that will bring flexibility, strength and, if practiced regularly, effortlessness into whatever Belly Dance style you choos... more »e. Instruction includes a short Yoga practice to warm up and strengthen the body as well as a final chapter on Yoga for flexibility."« less
"Based on the title, I was expecting a little yoga and then some solid drills to help perfect certain belly dance moves. There is a lot of time spent on yoga, particularly the sun poses, which is fine, but the belly dance drills really left me wanting more. She covers hips up/down, full body camel, and chest lift/drop. Each move is given very little time and sadly, these moves that are the basis of our beautiful dance come across as horribly boring on this DVD. For a beginner in a regular class this DVD will give you a bit of extra practice. For an intermediate/advanced student you will watch it once and then likely never again. For those trying to learn Rachel's style, you will not get a thing from this DVD. I found more relevant information on her backbend technique on her newsgroup. Anyway, having said all that, the price is right if you are still curious and have to buy it! And be warned of all these 5 star reviews. On her website Rachel thanks all her fans for rushing to her side and posting reviews to save her slipping sales. Not very professional is it?"
I'd give it more stars if I could!!
L. Weaver | Troy, Oh | 03/18/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this DVD. I want to do it over and over, unlike many other fitness/instruction videos. She does make you sweat and sore, but by the end she has lulled you down to practically being a relaxed puddle on the floor, ahhhhh...yeah. Makes your body feel great, 'Thank you sir, may I have another?!' Rare to find a video such as this that gives you the excersize you need but brings such a sense of calm and peace at the same time. I am also glad she went away from the talking to the camera with a cheesy fake smile and a perky aerobics voice. I much prefer her calm soothing voice. I don't understand why people are complaining that she doesn't look at the camera, why is that a big deal? I'm too busy comparing my hips to hers or in a compromised yoga position to worry about where she's looking. I much prefer her approach to the fake unblinking stare with a smile style of many other videos. As for the content, this is not just for begggining dancers. She is so articulate in her descriptions, a fine tuning even advanced dancers need to practice to stay on top of their game. The camera work here is great too, seemed to read my mind at times. Right when I would think 'whats she doing with her feet right now?' and there it would go to her feet. She also adds in just the right promps at the right times like, make sure the jaw is soft and you realize you *were* clenching it. I love the blending of yoga and bellydance. The yoga felt soooo good after the dance moves, but wasn't too much to not feel like a dance video. I think her choices in which yoga moves to utilize were excellent. I also love the music used and the atire Rachel chose to wear. As for the performance, the camera work is a bit distracting at first, but please give it a chance. It will grow on you and you will stop noticing them so much. Theres too much awesome dancing going on for you not to watch it. An Awesome DVD! I do hope she makes more, this one sits at the top of my DVD stack because I use it so much!! Get this DVD! Your body will thank you!!"
A Valuable Tool, But Use With Caution
Parthena Black | Oklahoma | 04/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Since the title of the DVD says "belly dance," I guess I expected the same type of dancing shown in the other bellydance videos I own. I realize that I probably didn't really understand what "drills" were at the time, since we don't use that term in class. This DVD teaches some bellydance moves but focuses more on bodywork that will help you develop the muscles and flexibility needed to perform the moves at the highest level possible.
The reason I don't rate this one five stars is due to a safety issue. I have a background in fitness and have practiced yoga for 9 years. The warm-ups in the 15 and 30 minute sessions are not nearly long enough, and I prefer to hold my asanas (stretches) for much longer. Some other videos, such as Jillina's and Atea's Magical Motion caution the viewer to also do their own warm-up. Rachel might have done better to add this as well. Second, Rachel goes right into full forward folds as though it is assumed that everyone who buys the DVD has yoga experience. Basic cautions to start with knees bent if necessary, use the legs and not the back to come up and never force anything are not stressed. Someone with poor flexibility and no yoga background - or common sense - could really injure themselves. Some of us have body proportions that prevent us from getting our heads to touch our knees or shins; for instance, I have long legs and a short torso, so it's not likely that my forward fold will ever look like Rachel's, but it's still a forward fold.
Otherwise - it's great. The drills are challenging but as a new dancer I have learned a lot from Rachel about form. And my hips are building up - which is one of my goals.
All three practice sessions alternate between yoga and isolations. The yoga develops flexibility and the stretches help prevent injury by loosening the muscles before and after drills. The drills are isolation techniques for the hips and rib cage. If you pay attention to the visual of Rachel doing the drills, you will be more conscious of keeping these areas isolated. You'll be strengthening your legs in the process and working on being conscious of your posture. Undulations/body rolls are also included. This DVD is a workout that teaches bellydance isolation techniques rather than dance. The strength and flexibility you'll develop will give you the body you need to improve your bellydance skills. I mainly use DVD's to develop my dance movements, not so much as a "workout." This will probably be the only one I'll ever use when I do want to feel like doing more of a workout.
I love the way that you can choose the length of the practice, especially since this is a very challenging workout. Anyone can find the time to do 15 minutes - and if you find it challenging you can start with 15 minutes and build up to the longer workout instead of becoming discouraged. It took me about two months of practice to be able to do the hipwork at double-time and to do it without getting winded halfway through - and the drills are not that long! You can also play the 45 minute workout and just skip to the drills and stretches you want or need to do. You can even do them more than once if you'd like since the format makes it very easy to skip around. I suggest always starting with the 45 minute practice since it's the only one with a decent warm-up.
The music and brief performance are good and Carolena's outtakes are hilarious. It's a valuable learning and practice tool, but use with caution.
To learn more about the history of bellydance and Rachel's and the Bellydance Superstars' role in educating the public about this art form, check out the "American Bellydancer" DVD. "
Rachel Brice has done a fine job!
Shadowdancer | 03/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After waiting what seemed like eons to my eager soul (but which were actually only a few weeks) I finally received my Tribal DVD with Rachel Brice. It had apparently been in production getting some final touches, and the wait has definitely paid off.
The DVD opens with an introduction by Carolena Nericcio, the founder of American Tribal Style Belly Dance. It next moves into some light Yoga, including a few rounds of forward bends and sun salutations.
The lessons on the disk range from hip lifts and drops to body waves both up and down, with small hip circles included, as well as a few other moves.
Rachel starts each movement out slowly, talking you through each step. Gradually the speed of the movement increases, with clear and well directed verbal pointers along the way.
The movements become more difficult and more layered as the disk moves along, with various Yoga poses in between, breaking it up and keeping you flexible.
I enjoyed this DVD. It is great for polishing up the basics, and had a wonderful segment on the upwards body wave which I've never before been able to master. I think it might be challenging at first for a beginner, but a great tool for anyone who dances.
Rachel keeps all the movements controlled and precise, asking you along the way to make the movements muscular and focus on getting the basics down before smoothing out the moves.
There were only two things I didn't really care for on this DVD. One was that in between each move there was a black screen with white letters introducing the coming move. Once I shifted gears and stopped looking at this as a work out and instead as drills as it's advertised I was fine.
Other than that, the music by Pentaphobe was really not to my personal tastes. The drum solos were wonderful however.
The DVD has outtakes by Carolena Nericcio, as well as a 3 minute performance by Rachel. Okay, make that three things I didn't like.. just that the editing on the performance was a little chaotic.
I found Rachel's instructions to be very clear and helpful, but if you don't want to hear them you have the option of watching the DVD without the instruction!
I'm glad I bought this DVD. I can't wait for the sequel!"
Rhonda M. Baxter | Denver, Colorado | 01/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I had read reviews on this video and for quite a while could not make up my mind to buy it or not. Finally I decided that the price was good so what could it hurt. As it turns out I was pleasantly surprised.
I was leary because some reviews said there was very little technique and too much yoga. I found this to be not so true. There is yoga, as it says in the title, for warm up and cool down, but plenty of technique in between. True, the technique is basic but demonstrated and described so clearly that I was able to get more precision on most of these moves that after 10 years of dancing I was just "pretty good" at. Undulations were never my stong point, but quite obviously they are one of hers!
I happen to like gothic music and dancing so I don't have that same complaint as another reviewer,but I also don't feel that it had any strong gothic overtones.
I do agree that it was VERY frustrating watching the performance section with all the editing and not being able to see Rachel's beautiful dancing, since it is her technique that I am watching for in the first place, and not really able to see in the performance.That was the biggest, and maybe only, reason I didn't give 5 stars.
I don't really care if she looks bored or not during the instruction section. I was not looking for a cheerleader, but good focused instruction, and I found just that with this video. Not to mention that with yoga included with the drills and instruction, the whole pace of the video seemed very consistent and her facial expressions appropriate to the serene and focused mood.
I have tons of videos too and many of them are part 2 and 3 from the same dancer, so I too am hoping that Rachel will have another video out that will go over her fantastic arm work.
I read another review that said all of the good reviews of this DVD are from Rachels friends and fans. I cannot say weather or not that is true, but I assure you that I have never met Rachel, she doesn't know I exist, and although I DEFINATELY enjoy her dancing and technique, I am not on her mailing list or part of her fan club or whatever else may give the impression that I am biased in those ways.
So although so many videos are really just a review of basic moves, it's seems to me not so strange that this one is too. I find that what makes this one unique is the clear breakdown of undulations, and many other moves, in a no-nonsense fashion. Oh and, holy crap, my abs feel good after the drills!!! I'm glad I got this DVD. If Rachel ever puts out another one (or more) I will certainly not hesitate to buy next time."