Dancer's ArmsKaren Andes
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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This workout has three movement segments that illustrate arm movements for dance derived from 3 different traditions- Middle Eastern, Flamenco and Hindu Temple dance. Each section has lots of different arm movements, often shown with a specific body movement or posture that Karen thinks matches the arm movement. This isn't really a workout, per se, but if you do all 3 sessions, you'll feel it in your arms and shoulders. Each segment is short so they make nice warmups for a dance practice, or for an upper body workout. After these 3 segments, there is an "adagio arms" segment. Karen basically puts the moves you just learned into an arms dance. her ceuing here is non-existant so you just follow along as best you can. Or you can improvise with the music. Karen has also included a weights workout with many usual moves, or unique twists on classics (like how she performs a French press). Its a fairly short, light weights workout which is a change of pace from the typical light weight workouts out there. Karen also has a performance on the dvd. I always appreciate dance instructions/workouts that include a performance session so I can see what the style is of the instructor. Karen is a reasonable dancer and really seems to be enjoying herself. Her style, though, doesn't have a lot of flow and she constantly strikes poses, kinda like vogue dancing meets fusion bellydance. This isn't really my style, but I do have some uses for the DVD. First, the first segments make nice warm ups for dance. I try to remember the various moves I liked and then try to add them into my dance practice. And the weighted workout is a nice alternative on days I want a light weight workout. It isn't the best dance dvd I have, but it has its place. I don't think her dance and movement style is for everyone, so even though I've found some uses for this even though her style is not mine, I'm not convinced everyone will. It is well produced and easy to watch or to see to do the sessions.
Karen is the instructor of the solid, overlooked bands segment in Cher's Body Confidence, and of most of the workout in the bellydance inspired Woman Power workout. I've always liked her live instruction, she has such a nice sense of humor and is very encouraging. She uses voice over here, which I find very disappointing. At times, I felt like she was narrating a performance and not leading a workout.