Serpentine: Bellydance with Rachel Brice
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Serpentine is a unique blend of yoga conditioning, belly dance technique drills, choreography and mini-classes created and presented by Rachel Brice, star performer and instructor of contemporary belly dance, whose technique, artistic style, and warm personality contributed to the rise of Tribal Fusion belly dance.
Rachel's instructional method offers you tools to achieve precision of isolations, deep full-range movement, as well as flexibility and strength that will give you the sinuous serpentine grace characteristic of Rachel's own dance style. Her drills, combinations and yoga sessions are designed to help you establish your own regular dance practice, customized to fit your creative goals and lifestyle.
The two main sections of Serpentine are 1. Technique and 2. Choreography & Classes. The Technique section opens with Yoga for Belly Dance, carefully crafted to enhance your strength and flexibility, qualities crucial for relaxed, effortless dance. A veteran yoga instructor with many years of practice, training, and yoga teaching experience, Rachel Brice leads you in a beautiful flow of classic yoga postures and stretches. She teaches yoga in the Viniyoga tradition as transmitted by Gary Kraftsow and the faculty of the American Viniyoga Institute, LLC.
The Yoga is followed by three drills sessions: Leg Strengthening Drills, including a variety of travel and level-change exercises, and mini-combinations.
Isolation Drills (shoulders, torso, and pelvis) where you practice belly dance isolations and then layer each one on 4 footwork patterns; and the Shimmy Drill, a delightful high-energy non-stop shimmy practice with Rachel's signature shimmy layering. The Technique section ends with a Finishing Yoga Practice.
Rachel's Choreography & Classes section features two choreographies; A fast and playful dance set to music of progressively increasing tempo, and a flowing slow dance including backbends and fluid serpentine movement punctuated with elegant accents. Each choreography is performed in costume and then demonstrated from the back with Rachel facing the mirror. Rachel teaches you the combinations for each choreography step-by-step with practice first at a slower pace, and then the faster. A special DVD feature offers practice loops for each combination.
To promote correct and safe backbending technique, Rachel Brice teaches a mini-class on the biomechanics of backward bending, and leads you in the Yoga for Backward Bending practice designed to increase the flexibility and the range of motion in your back and develop a strong habit for proper muscle support when executing backbends.
Additional classes and materials include: Yoga Breathing; arm and footwork patterns to be used during the drills; basics of the 10-point dance posture; and two performances by Rachel Brice.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It seems that the technique sessions may be somewhat short, but there are some point of interest that I haven't seen in other dvd's. Specifically how to do backbends safely and yoga to stretch correctly for it.
The shimmy exercise is this is much more extensive than I'e seen in the others I have bought, however they are not necessarily for beginners. I have danced off and on for about 10 years and I may struggle with this some since I have never done much traveling or footwork with shimmies. But where others complain I see that as a great thing. I want to grow and do more, that's why I bought this. It is just over 14 minutes, but there's quite a lot of movement to it.
The leg portion I don't see as for strengthening but you certainly see the drilling. Lots of movement and making you more comfortable with what to do with your feet and legs. It's 20 minutes long. Again, longer than most I have seen. Edit: I have actually done this part and I feel like the first strengthening part is pure junk. I jog 3 days a week so this does zero for me. The movements part is good, but I'm not used to doing actual choreography and she moves along quite a bit faster than I can catch on, especially toward the end of it. She says so much that you don't really understand and then she tosses other stuff in. I still like the section it's just going to take some work for me to get it down. After that first sequence she does kind of a squat with a shimmy that easily tires me out.
Isolation drills is 31 minutes long. Again for beginners this is beyond what they can do. Patterns for how to move are fairly easy and yet graceful and pretty. I feel like I will really enjoy this and get a good shoulder and ab workout from it. Edit: After actually doing this I feel like this work out for arms is just as good as her arms video so if you get this one don't bother buying the other one. The workouts are not the same, but they get worked alike. The thrown in foot patterns kind of throw me off for right now. I've done 25 of the 31 minutes and there aren't enough drills. What is there is good, but you do each move for about 3 min. tops and then move on to something else. She moves on too quickly.
All in all it was worth the $18 I paid for it.
I also have her Arms and Posture dvd that wears me out in 5 minutes. Which led me to buy this one as well. She is very technical without being boring about it. She informs you of what you need to know and she generally shows you a lot, whether you are at that skill level or not.
For beginners, many complain of it being too hard. I feel like a beginner can push through it. You have to understand that even though you can't go as quick or as good as her, if you continue to do it, eventually you will be.
I would say this is an intermediate or possibly advanced intermediate. There are very few instructions and you have to be used to that. I have actual intermediate videos that have much more instruction than this and much simpler moves.
Less favorable reviews of Serpentine seem based on the expectation that a dvd can replace in-person classes. I think people expect to somehow just *watch* a video and become better (through visual osmosis or something) rather than putting in the time to really ENJOY the ups and downs of working on technique. This program is ideal for anyone who has made a commitment to their dance practice and wants to "show up" and be there for themselves on a regular basis. I sometimes alternate this disc with videos that have a jumpier fitness/workout slant (still all strictly belly dance), but not because Brice's dvd is lacking anything. It just means that any dancer who wants to supplement her in-person classes could benefit from having a variety of go-to videos at home.
The dvd is shot well - the demonstration of movements is clear and clean, and the camera angles show exactly what is being described in each moment. I am only a "high beginner," but I feel encouraged and empowered as I stick to the segments and gradually master them in stages.
As for the level, I have to agree with some reviewers who say it's not, strictly speaking, for absolute beginners. But for someone with a grasp of the basics, there is a lot here. It just needs to be gradually unpacked with some common sense. Watching the mini-classes frequently as I slowly begin to advance is helpful - I recall one reviewer was annoyed to discover the mini-classes "buried" on the 2nd disc. Fair enough, but now that you found them, just watch them! If I had to nitpick and find any criticism of the dvd, it would be that absolute beginners and even intermediate folks might have found it helpful had there been more repeated periodic reminders in each segment as to where they might stay and drill before moving on. There could have been something like, "If you're a beginner, you might want to master this move first, if you're comfortable here, your next step is to add...."
p.s. - Those who found the music for the choreography to be strange just have to get out more. The cage door is always open, people!
Most recent customer reviews
Easy to understand
Not to mention, you do a lot of yoga. I have had fun learning belly dancing