Video Fitness

Bellydance Daily Quickies for Weight Loss

Rania Bossonis

This DVD contains the following five workouts:
- 1. Ab Isolations
- 2. Arms & Chest & Back
- 3. Dancer's Legs & Buns
- 4. Waist Sculpting
- 5. Flexibility Training

(Note that these are the "bonus" segments also included on other DVDs by Rania, but I don't know which segment comes from which DVD.)

The bellydance influence is in the types of moves, particularly the isolations, but it's not actually full-out bellydance. The "killer ab" workout is #1, which contains quite a bit of floorwork emphasizing the lower abs. One particularly challenging move has you lying on the floor doing shoot-outs with the legs extended out parallel to the floor, then extended overhead at a 90-degree angle. Rania then follows that up with leg beats and a slow pilates-style criss-cross, their combination being what really works the lower abs.

Segments #2 and 3 are a combination of unweighted standing and floor work loosely derived from dance. You'll feel #2 a little bit from the isometric-style holds, but they don't compare to using weights and the holds aren't long enough to really burn. But it does help loosen up the muscles and improve the circulation in the middle of a long day seated at a desk! There are also some shoulder shimmies here, which I can't really do at tempo but which feel great nevertheless. Segment #3 starts out with pliés, one-legged squats, tendus, and some sort-of barrework before proceeding to traditional floorwork for the glutes. Although Rania is a lovely bellydancer from what I can see (I don't do any bellydance myself—I've merely tried it out a couple of times), she doesn't have very good ballet form. She was leaning on the chair that she used as a barre and her center of balance was flopping all over the place. Michelle Dozois shows much better form in the ballet section of Breakthru Pilates Plus.

Segment #4 is a series of abdominal isolations in every possible direction, done entirely standing. This is surprisingly effective for the obliques, since you really hit every angle.

Segment #5 isn't particularly noteworthy either; I prefer yoga for stretching.

In summary, I wouldn't describe any of these segments as intense, but you will get a good ab workout from #1 and #4. I didn't feel silly doing bellydance (in answer to a concern raised by another VFer), because it wasn't really bellydance. Some of the moves came from bellydance, but many of them are also incorporated in jazz dance (e.g. the isolations), which I've done for a number of years.

Instructor comments:

KickDancer

9/14/04



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