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Showing 1-10 of 53 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 62 reviews
on October 18, 2012
Unlike the population most belly dance or exercise DVDs are usually meant for, I'm 53, I live on a fixed income, and I have the requisite physical issues that come with aging, so I'm not going to make my knees and back do things that will make them scream at me later. I adapt.

Anyhow, I started belly dancing from DVDs several years ago, with Luscious - The Bellydance Workout for Beginners,Love Potion - The Bellydance Workout, and Hard Candy - The Bellydance Workout. Somewhere in between the first two, I bought Autumn Ward's Bellydance: Beautiful Technique from Step One - The Beginner's Path to Flawless Artistry because I was having a hard time figuring out undulations and wanted to make sure my form was as correct as I could manage without actual, in-person lessons. After Hard Candy - The Bellydance Workout, I purchased Irina's The Bellydance Tribal Fusion Workout DVD. I have others in my collection as well, but my experience with these form the basis of my comments. If I hadn't gotten these DVDs down pat for the most part--and that took a really long time, by the way--there's no way I'd be able to follow Sarah's The Bellydance Shimmy Workout.

I agree with the commenter who mentioned that the tutorial on The Bellydance Shimmy Workout rather abbreviated. And the DVD is not for absolute beginners. If I'd started with this workout, I would have given up because I wouldn't have any understanding or ability to follow what Sarah's talking about. If you have worked with other DVDs before, if you can keep up, and you understand the basics, you'll be OK. Otherwise, you may find yourself without a clue. I'm just sayin.'

That said, I would have appreciated a little more instruction during the tutorial. For instance, I don't really understand the shimmy that makes your belly button move around. I saw it with my own eyes, but I'm not sure how it does that even with a deep-kneed, juicy shimmy, so I don't know how I'm going to make mine move that way. I'll keep trying, but I may have to peek at a message board to find out.

If I had a wish list for this DVD: I also would like a practice flow to go with the tutorial. I find practice flows get me used to the movements I'll be using; and once I get the movements down, if I want to add the entire flow to the workout, I can. After all, it's just more exercise. ;-) Using the practice flow also can keep a girl honest if her movements get sloppy or her muscles memory takes a holiday. Moreover, a practice flow would have come in handy when I'm doing the 3/4 shimmy walk and need to make a turn. I'd like a little tidbit showing how it's done most effectively. I'd like to know if it's simply a pivot, a cross step (at which point I'd trip and fall), or what. I'd also like titles telling me what I'm doing, and more left and right directions. I will memorize the darn thing, but it's nice to know what's coming up. I love Sarah's costuming. She does a wonderful job designing and sewing, so the outfits are a joy to look at. Nonetheless, I couldn't see the dancers' feet or leg movements, so at times I found it difficult to follow the steps.

For all that, I do like the workout section. I was able to get through most of the workout on my first try, which surprised me. My legs wanted to die during one section, the choo-choo shimmies, as I'm not used to sustained shimmies with releves. For beginners, or uncoordinated sorts like me, I would suggest not doing the arm patterns or travel steps until mastering the shimmies themselves. You'll still get the workout, but you can build it from the foundation and go from there.

I realize it probably seems as if I'm moaning and groaning and complaining, but look at all those stars I gave this DVD! I rarely give full points so even though my wish list is fairly long and nitpicky, you can tell how I think the DVD's quality is stellar. I would definitely recommend it to people who have mastered the basics and have started layering.
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on October 11, 2012
So I'm beginning to think that the label "for beginners" means different things for different companies. I've found that for World Dance New York, their "beginner" is an intermediate to advanced beginner in reality depending on their dance background.

I would like to think that I'm in this category because I understood what was going on during the DVD. I will qualify this for others that while Sarah Skinner is a wonderful dancer she does not break down the moves like you probably hoped she would. I've been struggling with my shimmies since I first began to belly dance and I thought "Hey for a DVD that deals in shimmies they have to break it down in one way or another right?" Wrong, she does a quick brief one over of the shimmy and kind of leaves it for you to practice independently. Due to this fact it makes this DVD an extremely hard workout for me because I can only maintain shimmies for a short period of time.

This DVD also runs into one of my new found personal pet peeves, instructors wearing the loose style exercise pants while instructing dance. I could barely see her knees while she was doing the instruction due to the wardrobe she or WDNY selected for her and I'm finding this is a major issue with most of their DVDs. She does wear slightly better pants during the tutorial, but there is a giant hip scarf to block your view most of the time, but she will move it.

On the other side this is a really wonderful DVD for people who want to practice their shimmies and get a workout while doing it. I enjoy listening to her talk, which I find extremely important in an instructional DVD if you hate your "teachers" voice how could you listen to them? She makes sure you get a good warm up before you even begin this routine which is always important, she is very encouraging during the video, and you will get stronger shimmies.

So summary, it is for people who already understand and know how to shimmy and will make your shimmies stronger and just help your belly dance technique.
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VINE VOICEon September 2, 2011
Words cannot describe how much I love this latest release from WDNY. Sarah Skinner was always one of my favorite instructors in their past workout videos. In "The Shimmies Workout", she takes center stage, leading an invigorating workout in her specialty - shimmies. Of course, it's nothing unique - Aziza has had a 20-minute shimmy drill on her practice DVD for years. Many people, like myself, need the kick-in-the-pants of a new DVD to get ourselves going again. I have been recommending this one to my friends.

What's different about this shimmy drill DVD? First, it is conveniently split into 5 short sections, acompanied by stretches, making it easy to customize yoru workout. Sarah says that shimmies must be practiced daily to keep them strong. In the past week, I have used 2-3 sections of this workout per day. As a busy working mom, I no longer have time to spend the hours I used to in the dance studio. Now I can kick off my practice time with some shimmies.

This DVD also features a variety of shimmies. The main course is the hip shimmy, the one seen most often in American Nightclub style - layered on slides and figure 8s and done straight out. Sprinkled in is the Egyptian knee shimmy, shoulder shimmies, and twist shimmies. For variety, hip bumps and twists flat-footed and on releve make an appearance. Three-quarter shimmies and Hagallah shimmies are also drilled. Then there is a whole section on choo-choo shimmies. The final drill combines all the moves in one really fun sequence, set to music that evokes Taiko drums. I normally excel at the Egyptian knee shimmy, so I like the fact that this video pushes me out of my comfort zone and makes me work on this big hip shimmies. I can feel my muscles working hard and I am already seeing a difference in the power of my shimmies.

Moreover, it's fun. Sarah's cues remind you to keep it big and juicy, to let those hips fly.

If I could suggest an improvement for future DVDs, it would be to take a cue from Shiva Rea's yoga matrix and allow the DVD user to construct a customized shimmy workout, to put the segments together in the order of their choosing. You can, of course, use the chapter menu to do this but then you have to take a break between each section to arrange it.
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on April 28, 2013
I was predisposed to like this workout because I already know that I enjoy various forms of dance cardio, and I further know that bellydance is my favorite kind of movement. I needed a workout that would challenge my muscles physically, and I am at a point where I also want a workout that will challenge my skill level and make me a better dancer. Do I think I will ever perform on stage? Probably not, but I like bellydance enough to want to get better at it, and when I bought this DVD I wanted a skill challenge as well as a physical one. I love it when the fitness instructor asks me to practice a difficult skill while I exercise. And this workout delivers. I have plenty to work toward here.

I'm also really impressed by the format where we do five minutes of intense cardio and one or two minutes of stretching. It reminded me a little of Shaun T's concept of reverse interval training, where he pushes his clients hard for a long period of time and then gives them a brief break to catch their breath. I needed that little stretch break to calm down and recover a little when my muscles were so tired and I was pouring sweat. I also thought it was a really good idea to use that break for flexibility training. Lately I've been pausing my strength training workouts between sections and doing a couple of stretches to ease the muscles I just worked, and I think it works better for my body than waiting til the end and stretching everything at once. So I think Sarah is onto something here. And I'm choosing this over Insanity because I really enjoy the movements of bellydance, whereas Insanity just feels like middle school gym class.

Also, this workout is just bursting with joy and exuberance. I've done lots of bellydance workout DVDs and there are many that I really like, and bellydance is just fun and bouncy anyway. But this one is especially fun. It feels like play time. It distracts me into not realizing I'm working out, and that's something I really appreciate.

The last thing I really love about this DVD is that it's long. I know the length may not work for everyone, but it's divided into sections so you can stop where you like and cool down. I'm working on a goal of doing one hour of cardio per day, and this DVD allows me to do that without switching discs or coming up with my own freestyle moves. I can just follow along, and I get my workout.

So I'm really excited to add this DVD to my workout rotation. It's flirty, fun, empowering, and challenging. I sweated a river. I would recommend it to advanced beginners or intermediate students of bellydance who want to shake their booties and raise their skill level.
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on June 14, 2015
Wow! No trouble getting my heart rate up with this one! Great workout, broken into manageable bites (so you can stretch and shimmy 3 - 6 times a day for ten minutes at a time, and log your 30 to 60 minutes -- a great help for mothers of small children. Anyway, five minutes of sustained shimmy will probably be all you can manage at first. Whew. There are well-done tutorials as well, so it's not as if you're thrown into the deep end. I highly recommend this one.
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on July 13, 2011
This is one of my favorite DVD's because in addition of getting a work out I get the opportunity to practice, and improve my shimmies. In one of Sadie's DVD's she mentioned how important it is for dancers to have strong legs and this work out reminded me of her advise. The DVD is divided in sections that are just the right lenght, and provide enough variety to prevent excessive fatigue or bordom. It also includes a brief stretching segment in between the sections. The stretching segment is an excellent fitness method to gain flexibility, strenght and stamina. I own other shimmie DVD's, and consider them a waste of money. This one is not. The DVD would have been better if the choice of music was more dynamic and the instructor used a mirror. In my opinion, neither of the cons mentioned are so detrimental that it detracts from the work out. I am noticing that a few Belly Dance instructional or work out DVD's selection of music is horrible (for this DVD is tolerable, and I think I am starting to like it or get the beat). Like I said even so this is one of my favorite DVD's.
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on March 12, 2016
I love World Dance New York DVD's because they are beginner-friendly. Sarah Skinner is a great teacher and easy to follow. She also is very encouraging, and her confidence definitely inspires confidence in me too. The dances are everything from fun, to flirty, to sensual, to giggly. It's really a fun DVD workout!

~*Moody Thursday*~
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on April 14, 2012
So far so good I have been using this for a couple of weeks. the music is upbeat so that is nice.

There is a warm up, cool down, 6 5 min shimmy drills with a quick stretch afterwards.

it KILLS your thighs. whooo. but I like it. I don't do the full workout, I usually just do 1 or 2 shimmy drills a day and it works out just fine. Very fun, and plus, it features one of my favourite belly dancers ~ Yame. !!!!!!

***UPDATE***

I still only do one or 2 shimmy drills a day. they are awesome and still challenge my stamina. Totally recommend it to advance your shimmies.
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on November 9, 2014
I've had this dvd one month, and I absolutely love it. Brand new to belly dance. I think anyone without any prior experience could learn to shimmy using this dvd.

Belly dance is much more complex and harder than it looks.

I find the 'choo-choo' shimmy hard to do, but I'm going to practice until I get it! I'll give myself 6 months to really master this.

For me, the key is to let myself go and I can't! I've spent my whole life trying to control myself, now in belly dance I have to let myself go? Belly dance seems to be a delicate balance of controlling separate areas of the body, while having fun at the same time.

So glad I bought this!
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on August 3, 2017
I have a smile on my face the whole time I use this DVD. Sarah Skinner has a lovely voice and manner, and offers a great variety of shimmies in the workout. Really like that she does stretches in between each shimmy segment.
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