This video is taught by bellydancer Suhaila Salimpour, who instructs a large class of women. There are four sections to the workout: warm-up, floor work, dance, and cool-down. The 9-minute warm-up starts with some stretches for the neck, shoulders, and hips, moves into some static leg stretches, and then ends with a pelvic tuck segment from a crouched position. The floor work starts in a seated stradle position, and the first half consists of a variety of glute contractions. Suhaila did not really explain how to perform this movement, and I was unable to do it. The second half of the floor work consists of more traditional moves such as side-lying leg lifts and rear leg lifts from an all-fours position; this segment was about 13 minutes long.
The 6.5-minute dance section didn't feel much like dancing, as you are standing in place almost the entire time. Here, you do glute contractions at varying speeds and with varying arms, adding some forward-back and side-to-side movement at the very end. The 2.5-minute cool-down consists of several floor stretches, bringing the entire time for the workout in at about 31 minutes. Following the workout, there is also a short (4 minutes) group sword dance. The DVD includes a bonus 10 minute workout that was more of a dance than the one included in the actual workout. Here Suhaila is alone and teaching via voiceover. She begins by doing glute isolations in a stradle squat position and then does standing glute isolations, but this time, there is a greater variety in how the moves are executed (up-down in addition to forward-back, feet in plie, etc.). Unfortunately, the voiceover doesn't always match up with Suhaila's on screen performance, making the workout difficult to follow. Other DVD extras include a solo performance by Suhaila, the same circle performance that was on the Fitness Fusion Pilates video (one performer dancing in the center of a circle with the others sitting around and clapping; I found this to be a little odd, although the little girl who danced at the end was cute), a workout without narration option, trailers of the other three videos in the "Fitness Fusion" series, and a photo gallery (I can't understand why Natural Journeys always includes these--why would I want to see still photos of Suhaila?).
Because I was unable to perform the glute isolations, I got very little out of this workout. It seems that knowing how to do this move is a prerequisite for the workout, and thus I feel that previous bellydancing experience is a necessity. If you already know how to do basic bellydance isolations and are looking for an opportunity to strengthen your skills, you might like this video, but those who are new to bellydance should definitely look elsewhere.
Suhaila is a good dancer, and her instruction was okay, I guess, although I felt that she didn't explain the moves in enough detail for non-bellydancers.
Beth C (aka toaster)
July 31, 2005