5-Layers From the Ground Up!
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(Aug 30, 2010)
There are so many nuances and complexities in bellydance, it's sometimes hard to figure out where to start. Starting at the feet and working your way up is a much more attainable way to understand and execute movement. It is about working smart, utilizing only the muscles you need.
Nadira will take you through a comprehensive breakdown of technique used in most bellydance movement, show you the best body alignment to get the most out of your dance and methods of layering with optional upgrades. Next you'll learn combinations to spice up your dance and she'll show you how it's all put together in a live performance. Whether you're just beginning or a seasoned professional, you will be challenged with this DVD.
Introduction, Warm Up, Body alignment, Movement, 5-layers, Combinations, Live Performances, About Nadira
"I have been dancing and teaching for 20 years. Recently I purchased Nadira's DVD, '5-Layers-From The Ground Up", and believe this is one of the very best Belly Dance instructional DVDs in my library. Her quiet, graceful and classy style of teaching is a joy to watch and the material covered is priceless. The instruction is clear, complete and thorough without a lot of philosophical rambling.
She is a beautiful, skilled dancer and a confident teacher. She is a true teacher with a genuine, sincere desire to share her skill and full knowledge of the dance to help advance the student. I recommend this DVD to students at any level!"
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Top customer reviews
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Of course, there isn't a confirmed belly dance vocabulary. That's for sure. But when belly dancers say "layer" they mean put one movement (hip circle) on top of another movement (chest circle) and executing both at once--which would be "two layers" If you were to add a third move (shimmy) that's another layer.
This definition of "layer" is only what Nadira means about half the time. She uses the word "layer" in this same, standard way but she also uses it for the word "level". That is, she'll teach the "Jewel" movement very simply-- down left hip, swing right hip forward and back. THEN she'll teach it again adding the pulling in of the lower stomach muscle, which adds depth/complication to a move- not another "layer" (full star off)
This DVD is NOT for "all levels" either---not unless you supplement it with a TRUE beginner DVD. The practice you get is way too short. There are some things like snake arms that she assumes you already know.
A. First she reviews the basic movements of belly dance--like hips slides, hip circles etc. Even though I am an intermediate dancer, teachers vary in the way they describe a move, what muscles to concentrate on. Nadira is very detailed.
B. After that she gets to the heartbeat of the video and teaches eight different moves. ****1) Alt Glute locks, 2) Arabesque Front, 3) Ooey Goey 4) Cross step Interior Circle, 5) Step Step Down, 6) Shimmy 8's,
7) Cork screw 8) X Step.***** There's a practice section for each one.
[No, I didn't misspell "gooey" She did. It's misspelled through out the video.]
C. Then she uses the eight moves to teach 8 combinations ****1) Alt Glute travel 2) Arabesque travel
3) Cross step circle 4) Step down up 5) Walking shimmy 6) Jeweled Cork screw 7) X Step up 8) Chase 8s
---some of which are a little more than just a repeat of the 8 moves above BUT I feel like I learned moves I've seen professional dancers use.
There are just little movements/technique-type things, in the "Jewel" for example, that give your dancing sensual juice that she explained in such a way that I finally GOT IT. (You'll be using the repeat function on your DVD to learn it well though)
D. There are extended practice sessions for the moves and combinations but they are the same SHORT practice sessions you saw earlier in the video---only this tie they are strung together so that they play all the way through.
E. The performance she does at the end, I haven't practiced it yet, but it seems like it's relatively linked to the moves you've just learned.
THE DVD ITSELF DOESN'T PLAY ALL THE WAY THROUGH
...but it's not broken. It's designed to play only the 1st hour or so straight through. (half star off--I'm getting over it)
In the latter half the DVD (that doesn't play through) on some sub menus there is two columns of information. For example in the combo section:
Alt Glute travel----------------Practice
Cross step circle--------------Practice
Step down up-----------------Practice
Jeweled Cork screw-----------Practice
X Step up--------------------Practice
You'd think this menu is where the 8 practice sessions are for the combinations listed. And you'd be right--so long as select (click enter on) the word "practice" But you'd also be wondering where the teaching section is for each combo. You'd be confused because this sub menu has 16 items on it, not 8 as it appears.
If you select the name of the combo, "Alt Glut Travel" for example, you get to go through the teaching section then it STOPS and goes back to the sub menu. If you click on word "practice" next to "Alt Glute Travel" you get the Alt Glute Travel Practice and back to the menu. (And now you know why the DVD doesn't play all the way through.)
While the menu thing is confusing, during the section labeled "extended practice" all the VERY SAME PRACTICES are put together so they play through.
The instructor doesn't give verbal cues when speed or direction changes during practice sections--not even voice over: Print pops up in a bottom corner of your screen instead. (I have dozens of belly dance DVDs: I've never seen this before and I hope I never see it again)
I'd take another star off right here but the content is pretty good. I'm learning combinations that require I move different parts are different speeds....too bad I have to do most of the practice on my own with the DVD off.
The amateur part--the short practice during the teaching section--she moves forward 4 x back 3x then SOMETIMES forward 3x...This inconsistency combined with the zero-cue technique is ridiculous. Try and copy what she's doing while figuring out when she's going to change direction based on the fact that she's run out of room and her nose is pressed to the mirror. Just try it. (half star off, ought to be more. Not fixing this seems like pure laziness.)
It seems to me that the misspelled words, the lack of redoing a shot when she says "small arabesque" when she means "small releve," and especially the absence of cues are all about reducing the cost of making the video on the front end... at the expense of putting out a polished-looking but slapped-together DVD.
This Cheeky Girl DVD could have been five star and it really should have been at a 18 to 20 dollar price point.
I had the exact same problems with my DVD, though- after the Cross step combo it jumps back to the main menu (and again after every combo after that) and there is no cool down. I intend to mainly just use the extended practice flows, though, so the menu jumping won't be an issue for the most part.
Overall I'm really happy with this- I love the extended practice flows and the way she builds up the flows to get easy and then more difficult. I will keep this DVD in the rotation for a while!