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182 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Fun!
I know it is a workout dvd, how can it be fun!? But really, Hemalyaa (and please dont ask me how to pronounce that name. I have no idea, sadly.) approaches the workout as playtime and makes the individual segments very enjoyable. The time just seems to fly by which is especially weird for an exercise dvd!

The dance "playtime" is exactly what you would expect to...
Published on January 9, 2007 by Anna Hope

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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the knee-impaired
I bought this workout DVD because it was recommended for beginners and was touted as low-impact on some other sites that carry it. I have recently lost 60 pounds and I can tell you that I wouldn't have made it half-way through this video 60 pounds ago - I would say it was more in the intermediate range. I also had knee surgery a year ago, so I have limitations on how much...
Published on May 31, 2007 by Christal Anne Bardfield


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182 of 186 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Fun!, January 9, 2007
By 
Anna Hope (PA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I know it is a workout dvd, how can it be fun!? But really, Hemalyaa (and please dont ask me how to pronounce that name. I have no idea, sadly.) approaches the workout as playtime and makes the individual segments very enjoyable. The time just seems to fly by which is especially weird for an exercise dvd!

The dance "playtime" is exactly what you would expect to see in a Bollywood film. It combines hip-hop, basic belly dance, and just plain fun body movement to form a style that looks execptionally easy and fun- when Hemalyaa does it, not me. I probably look like a floundering chicken. But I dont care! I still had fun and it was a definite workout particulary in the upper thighs.

The choreography goes fast but is pretty well explained and they always redo all of the movements, so even when you feel like you have no idea what you are supposed to be doing the dancers will suddenly go back to moves that you have already mastered. Sometimes it is just fun to watch them dance for a minute- and I say that not just because I was slacking for that minute!
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112 of 117 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Feed the chickens: It's fun!, February 3, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I had a lot of fun with this workout. It's challenging and time flies, and so does the sweat! It has its warm up and a number of segments -- some basic moves (for the workout) and then a couple routines, ending with some yoga-infused cooldowns, and a few minutes of floor work in between. The workouts are more challenging, and if you're not in the best of shape you may want to pace yourself: some of the moves involve a lot of knee bends and squatting deep down and there's hopping around (high impact, definitely), so if you don't have strong knees or have a lot of weight to carry, modify until you're stronger -- you'll still get a good workout -- especially with the dance steps and kicking your knees up high -- and Hemalayaa makes you use your arms a lot, which is good for total body. It's a lot of fun to dance around, the music is nice (you don't have to have voiceover while working out, either), the setting is beautiful, and Hemalayaa is cool, along with her 2 dancers (by the way, she emphasizes a lot of "sass" as part of the workout -- which some might find annoying). If you love bellydance or think the Bollywood numbers are a blast you should really enjoy this. Some of the moves are definitely different from what you see in other videos and DVDs (the names of some of the moves, such as "Feed the Chickens" are fun, too), in a good way. One word, besides the potential hard work on the knees, if you aren't familiar with a lot of these types of dance moves, a bellydance dvd or class might help a lot, since a lot of these steps are bellydance inspired, only with more oomph. It's great fun!
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Different Workout, February 14, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I am always looking for ways to make working out fun and this workout definitely does that. It is about 50 minutes long but you're having so much fun, you don't even notice it. It just feels like you're dancing in your living room with your girlfriends. I am not very familiar with Bollywood but I had no trouble following the moves. A couple of them were a bit tricky at first but Hemalayaa is always reassuring that you don't have to do exactly what they are doing, and I liked that feeling of freedom. If, after doing the workout a few times, you didn't feel like following their moves, it would be perfectly comfortable to just dance along with the music. I recommend this DVD to those who like different kinds of workouts, especially dance workouts. This will provide great variety and definitely keep you from getting bored. I have only one warning: you might want to make sure you can be alone to do this workout so you can really get into it and enjoy it without feeling self-conscious. But that all depends on you! I also recommend Elsa Leandro's World Dance Workout, which also has a Bollywood segment, along with other dance forms.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great workout...makes time fly, February 13, 2008
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I was a little concerned about adding "The Bollywood Workout" to my aerobics workouts. For one thing, I thought it might only be for girls. Also, Indian dancing is barefoot, and the moves are impossible in gym shoes. I like dancing without shoes, the human foot was meant for this, but injured myself when doing aerobic workouts without running shoes.

I decided to give it a try because in Bollywood films, the guys dance just as crazily as the girls, trying to impress them I would suppose. As to the shoe issue, the ONLY impact movements in this workout are the two and three hop Hare Krishna moves and Hemalayaa is very conscientious about telling you to bend the knee to absorb the stress. The other foot moves are characteristic of Indian dance and art: rather than being *en pointe* or a continual *jete* into space (with stress on landing) Indian dance stays rooted to the earth and gets its strength building from variants of *plie*, if you'll pardon my French!

This I found a very rewarding workout that unlike Jane Fonda's (which I also like) seems to last far less than fifty minutes, because there is more variety. The ladies look like real women and not Barbie dolls but are "eye candy" all the same.

You do need to be careful in the head whip moves if you have any history of neck or back trouble. But doing them slowly and ramping up may (in my nonmedical opinion) help to clear these very problems up.

Of course, as an introduction to the vast dance tradition of India, this is like playing Louie-Louie on the *sitar* and purists may be offended. But Bollywood itself plays around, respectfully, with India's traditions and this workout introduces the Westerner to many unvisited bodily zones, for example, when Hemalayaa invites you to breathe into a specific area.

More advanced dancers will of course laugh at these gals, but those of us fighting depression and advancing age with Siva's dance applaud Hemalayaa's efforts to bring this important practice to ordinary gymnosophistical slobs such as yours truly.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for the knee-impaired, May 31, 2007
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I bought this workout DVD because it was recommended for beginners and was touted as low-impact on some other sites that carry it. I have recently lost 60 pounds and I can tell you that I wouldn't have made it half-way through this video 60 pounds ago - I would say it was more in the intermediate range. I also had knee surgery a year ago, so I have limitations on how much I can do with the knees.

Pros: Lively music, decent instruction, fun.

Cons: Has a lot of twisting around, which torques the knees.

Has some jumping - sometimes on one leg at a time - which was too much impact on the knees.

Lots of knee bending!

I think if I did not have knee problems this would be a great video, but I would not recommend it if you are too overweight due to impact and some positions that are NOT achievable with rolls (I still have 30 to lose and that even got in the way).
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mostly Bhangra, July 24, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
The video is filmed in a nice set, well lit and you can see everything clearly. On some occasions the camera is on a face when I'd have wanted to see the feet, and some close-ups are not in time with the rhythm of the music but overall the editing is OK. Hemalayaa and her 2 "sisters" who dance along most of the time are wearing workout clothes, the feet are clearly visible. I only wonder why they are wearing Egyptian coin belts in an "Indian" dance workout...

The intro features Hemalayaa with a speach that was a bit over-enthusiastic for my taste. You know, stuff like "once you start, you never can stop" in a tone as if she was on some kind of happy pills...
What irritated me was that according to her Bollywood dance is "not about elaborate choreography." Helloooo? If we define Bollywood dance as "dance like in Hindi films" - well it's ALL about choreography, and most of it is quite fast and elaborate!

There's a warm up section that I have mixed feelings about. Some of it is good, but there
are at least 4 different head movements that can hurt your neck. I thought it was well known 20 years ago that rolling your head all around can be bad for the neck?
Also, I think she should have mendionned that knees have to be aligned with the feet when bending them because she does a lot of plunges.

The dance workout section mostly teaches Bhangra movements and the music is modern Bhangra as well (Bhangra is a North Indian folk dance, originally danced by men).
They are a good joice for a workout but only a small part of the movements and styles used in Bollywood dance numbers.
There's one hopping step she calls the "Hare Krishna" but never explains why and I really don't get the connection.
There's not a lot emphasis on the arms and hands, so you mostly work out the legs and there is a section called "ground play" that also works out the abs.

As this is a workout where you are supposed to be constantly moving, the movements aren't really broken down, just sometimes done slowly and then faster.

It certainly made me sweat, so this mission was accomplished :-)

Hemalayaa gives voice-over comments and repeatedly tells us to "have fun with it!" and "smile!" Well, if you don't want that, you have the option to do the workout with music alone.

I liked the cool down section (except more head rolling) although I missed a good stretch for the legs which would have needed the most.

There's an extra performance showing Hemalayaa with or without the two other dancers basically bopping around to the music we already heard in the workout, using the movements that were taught. Unfortunately it's all cut in MTV style, sometimes in slow motion - so it's not like you could really dance along.

All in all, it's OK for a workout video. You will learn some fun dance movements that you can use at the next Bollywood/Bhangra party but it will not make you a Bollywood dancer.

(BTW, I have been bellydancing for 17 years and I really don't see any bellydance movements in this DVD! The hip moves are done differently.)
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Corny, silly, repetitious, cute, dancing style for sleepovers, November 27, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I've tried Hemalayaa's older videos, her Yoga for Urban Living & Dosha Yoga & felt though she has good intentions, she didn't have enough body awareness to be teaching something that is focused on having that ability & cultivating it further. She was good that her videos overall would keep someone who doesn't work out regularly heart rate up. Since this is just dancing, I figured this might be her strength, but I was wrong.
The menu choices include: Intro, Play, Chapters, Bonus Performances, Music Options (music only, music w/narration), & other videos from Acacia.
The other videos clips are Hemalayaa's Yoga for young bodies for 1:30, Yoga Trance Dance :30, Duncan Wong: awakening level :30 (he's awesome), The Elaine Petrone Method 9:44 (has a lot of video testimonials)
The Bonus Performance was same music showing Hemalayaa w/two girls in slow motion fade in/out clips of them dancing for almost 3 min, then Hemalayaa alone for 3 min w/paused video, slow mo, double video effects, etc. to make the dancing look better then it is & you can't follow along with this either.
In the intro, Hemalayaa says is from Bangra, which is from Northern India dance (big, bold, sassy, & outrageous)& incorporates modern dance, hip-hop, even belly dancing.
The 2 backup dancers are Juju & Kimberly (who's also the stage director & consultant). In the credits, these dancers were dead last which is very unusual.
The chapters are:
Warming (6 min), Playtime Begins (7 min), Footwork (6 min), Now we're hot! (8 min), Ground Play (6 min), Playful Dance (5 min), Cook it now! (9 min)
The set is gorgeous, with colors & textures, the music is fun, but it's looped after a few seconds & gets annoying after a while wanting to hear the rest of the song.
One of the dancers didn't know when the next move was herself many times which is annoying & shows they didn't practice enough. The voice over cuing was ok, She didn't really break anything down, or really give any body movement instruction to help you understand how to move, but since easy moves, it isn't so bad. She just tells you to "get down, let go, get sassy, dance like no one's watching" throughout.
At the playful dance portion where she is alone, she narrates kinda a routine, but very repetitious. She has you do a goddess move where you move forward toward the tv pushing one hip out leading... then does a literal hip-hop running man (moving backwards) though she does it in a more simplified/corny style & alternate those. She said it's natural they go together & "the running man is RUNNING AWAY.. actually he's running fwd toward the goddess..." Which makes NO sense.
There were some good ones, but very few. I got bored with the repetition. You will get your heart rate up since she incorporates a lot of hopping... like hopping 3x in a row to one side, hop & wiggle your gluts, then the other many times or other moves like a pony from the 50s in an Indian style or other moves that have knee lifts.
The idea is there, but I still don't like Hemalayaa's style or think her ability to dance was good enough to be teaching. I found myself following the background dancer who knew the routine instead.
If you want a hybrid Indian dance that's corny, silly & helps you let go because it's easy & silly, this is for you.

You can see a preview at the distributer Acacia com
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good workout for any level, January 10, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
The workout is fun and although I am an advanced exerciser I enjoyed the video. She constantly tells the viewer to move at their own pace if she is too fast. Therefore, beginners can move on their own and do the easy base moves she provides. If you are advanced, you can also enjoy a great 40 minute workout on days that you don't want to really push it. That's what I use this video for. It's just enough cardio.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Add a little Punjabi spice to your exercise routine!, January 25, 2007
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
I really hate "exercising," but as I've recently become a big fan of Hindi film and the dance styles therein, I thought this DVD might be fun--and I was so right! Drawn from a variety of sources (bhangra, yoga stretching, pop beats) it's a really fun workout for any fitness level. The workout is divided into several sections; in each one, the instructor demonstrates at a do-able, learnable speed and once you're warmed up and have a grasp of the moves, she moves into a double-time speed. I'm nearing 60, and a bit sedentary, so I do have to slow down from time to time and just stick with the slow speed--and there's also a fair amount of hopping or jumping, so foot-pain sufferers will need to be cautious--but I'm getting better, and if I can do it, anyone can! Hemalayaa (the instructor) is awfully cheerful, but there is an option to do the workout without the narrative--you still have the music, but not the voice. Another plus: bhangra dance is really getting popular all over; this is a great introduction to some of the moves. Spice up your routine, learn something new, and have fun!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful idea but not bollywood, June 5, 2007
By 
Bhakti "Love" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa (DVD)
This dvd is set in a beautiful setting, the instructor is very attractive but I only saw a few moves that could be categorized as belonging to "bollywood" style, hip hop, African, Classical Indian dance or bellydance. During the commentary by the instructor and during the introduction, Hemalayaa stated that the types of dances above would be explored in her dance video. The cover is deceiving because this is the only place that there is an authentic East Indian dance pose. The only other Easten Indian dance pose in the actual video is the cool down. I am a dance instructor and an avid dance enthusiast. I have taught African dance, hip hop and creative expressive dance for more than a decade. As well, I have studied yoga, Odissi (one Indian classical dance form) and bellydance. This video is best categorized as an EXPRESSIVE DANCE WORKOUT with some miscellaneous influences. If you want to have fun, jumping around and sweating--this is for you. If you are a dancer who wants to learn new bollywood dance moves, this is NOT for you. The dance technique in this DVD is very disappointing. The DVD is not a total loss because of the overall look of it. The overall visuals are very creative and sensuous. I just hope that in the future, Hemalayaa will not propose to teach techniques that she is not able to execute.
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The Bollywood Dance Workout with Hemalayaa
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