Most helpful customer reviews
111 of 112 people found the following review helpful.
Perfect First Video
This is the DVD to get for your first bellydance instruction workout. I can't say enough good things about it, but let me start. First, the production values are high. The setting is lovely and restful, with beautifully sensuous pillows and gauzy drapes hanging in the background. The music is exotic and hypnotic, and Amira's voice and pleasant accent make you feel you're on a nice vacation, far from your own stressful world. The exercises are explained carefully and done slowly, so that you can pick them up. They are filmed in such a way that you can see the movement (no cutting away to a face while you are trying to figure out what the hips are doing.) There is a warm-up at the beginning and a gentle stretch at the end. If you skip the combination, which you might want to do at first, while you're learning the movements, you can do the whole dvd in an hour. The sections are short enough so as not to tire you out or frustrate your beginner's attention span. At some point this workout might become too basic, but I suspect I would always want to come back to it sometimes, on days when I'm not feeling so strong, or when I just want to de-stress. I love this DVD, and I hope Amira makes more!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful.
Fun and Informative
By Phantom Bookworm
I've just recently started to learn how to belly dance. I thought this video was very informative on the basics of posture and the most common moves that are utilized in the art of belly dance. I would definitely recommend this video for beginners. It wasn't too long and it wasn't too short. She gives enough instruction to give you a pretty clear idea of what you should be doing, and often reminds you to check your posture so you don't hurt your lower back. I didn't think this video would be much of a workout, but I did muster up a light sweat and I felt very good, very relaxed afterward.
EDIT: I've ordered and tried out some other belly dance DVDs, which has given me a deeper perspective on the effectiveness of this one. While learning to this DVD, my middle back muscles started killing me, to the point where I couldn't sit or walk for extended periods of time. I figured I must be doing something wrong with my posture, but I didn't know what I was doing wrong. I thought I would benefit from other instructional DVDs, so I purchased Sadie's Complete Belly Dance Guide and Leila of Cairo's Belly Dance for Beginners. The instructors in these other DVDs go into a lot more detail about what you should and shouldn't be doing. I think Amira is a great instructor and I still use her video for the Combinations and stretch segments -- not to mention that her DVD has a very peaceful ambiance -- but her explanations for the movements are rather bare. I STILL recommend her instructional video, but I wanted to update my review after experiencing other beginner-friendly DVDs for belly dance.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful. See all 202 customer reviews...
Just what I needed!
By J. H. Shott
I bought this video as a refresher course in belly dancing 101. I had taken an 8+ year hiatus from the dance, but recently realized that I had let go of doing something I really and truly loved, so I decided to pick it back up. Since I am currently in grad school, my funds and time are limited, so going to a class was out of the question. After reading the reviews for this video, I decided to give it a chance, and I am so glad I did! This video was PERFECT for learning and perfecting the core belly dancing moves. The pace was comfortable and the instructions were easy to follow. Amira herself is an absolute joy - I love her accent, her warm demeanor, her positive attitude, and her encouragement. She is passionate about the dance, and she is supportive of all women learning, regardless of body shape or size. The intro segment was welcoming and I believe dancers of all experience levels would appreciate the reminder of why we love this dance. I used this video every day for a month straight, until I felt comfortable practicing the moves on my own as I started to put them altogether, and this will be my go-to video for instruction in the future.