Thursday, January 10, 2013

Well, better late than never!

Back in August, I talked about doing a dvd companion project. I thought maybe a month or two would be enough time to really get into the meat of the dvd's, which it was.

What I neglected to take into account was the difficulty in finding sufficient time to write.

Also, y'all had ONE task. ONE. You were to nag me. Did you?


I'm quite pleased about that, so I'm not gonna bitch.

Too hard, anyway.

So today, Dear Reader, I'm neglecting my other stuff in order to at least START this damn project.

So the dvd's I selected were Karen Barbee's "Belly Dance Drillz and Intermediate Variations", and Jillina's Bellydance with Jillina, Vol. I, Entrance Choreography.

The thought was that I would use one DVD for training and see how that impacted my performance of the choreography.

I found this interesting to do, because I enjoy drilling for one thing, but also, I really wanted to see how they worked together.


So, let's try this and see how it goes, shall we?

Karen Barbee's intermediate drills and variations:

Format, it's a low budget* dvd, which features Karen talking into a mirror with her back to you (so you see both sides of her). She's dressed in work out clothes (tank top, sports bra and yoga pants) in a gym, it seems.

Karen is holding in her hand the remote control for the stereo which she uses to at will.

The dvd is roughly about 45 minutes long. A brief warm up and then it's down to business.

Karen uses the 8X8X8 method. 8 basic completions of a movement, say a hip circle, just like in class, front side back side, then smooths it out for 8 then full speed for 8.

In one section, she drills hip downs. Hip downs with 1 foot flat, the other on the ball. Then in a modified passe (both hips level, however and knee pointing front, arms raised), finally double hip downs on the working hip in a rock step


While you won't get a good cardio workout with this dvd, you WILL sweat, it's intense muscle work, so you will warm your core.

I like the variations with layering. In one section, you are... well, it's not a full shimmy, but very metered, oblique intense hip lifts on each side, while also raising and lowering your arms to a different count.

You can do this dvd without leaving a 3 square foot section.

I *like* this dvd. It's exactly what I reach for when I want to work on perfecting certain moves. 

Karen has amazing posture and range of motion, she is no nonsense, there is no messing about, you WILL drill.

I did this AFTER doing the drills above. I think I might have been better served to reverse the order. While Karen is all about precision and muscle isolation, Jillina is all about curves and fluidity. The two didn't really mix well together and I will refrain from reviewing this excellent dvd based on trying to do it after drilling.

I think this may actually serve as a HELLA warm up, and THEN drill. 

I'll try that this weekend and report back.

YOU should try it to and tell me if you agree with me! If you don't want to comment here, email me at

*low budget does NOT = cheap, low budget means that production costs were low and are in now way a comment on the content of the dvd