Dance Off the Inches: Fat Burning Belly Dance

Kili Marti
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Bellydance , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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The menu on this workout has the step guide and the main workout. The step guide is chaptered, and breaks down the following moves with instruction only, no music:

Body Roll
Shimmy (a full body shimmy)
Hip Hits
Sweep (sweeping arms)
Sunburst (a hop, rock back; then hop, rock back with the other leg)
Hip Circle

In the main workout, the moves are put together into 3 combinations:
1. Belly Moves Groove
2. Cleopatra Cardio Combo
3. Hip Roll Hindi Combo

The workout is bellydance "inspired" cardio, not authentic bellydance.I like "inspired" non-authentic workouts just fine, so that was no problem for me. The last combo, Hip Roll Hindi, has a little bit of a Bollywood feel to it, too.

The outfits are regular exercise clothes, like capris and tank tops, with hip scarves worn over the capris. They are all wearing tennis shoes.

Background exercisers looked like maybe a mix of professionals and regular people. I liked that.
Fun and enjoyable for me. A little bit of a learning curve on the choreo without being too complex (I can be a dance klutz.)
This instructor seemed less scripted than some of the other DOTI instructors.

Maybe too much TIFTing for people who hate TIFTing.
Maybe not authentic enough for some people.

This workout got my heartrate up, got me sweating, and the pace stays up with few breaks in between. I'd call it intermediate.

Instructor Comments:
Good instructions, good cueing, less scripted than the usual DOTI workout. A really good instructor.



Note: DOTI is rereleasing this as just ďDance Off the Inches: Belly Dance.Ē

Iím reviewing this workout after doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: PeakFitness has already described this workout well, so Iíll just add a few notes.
The workoutís total running time is 45 min. That includes an intro (just over 1.5 min.); a warm-up (just over 6 min.) of simple moves that turn into a little dance combo and a combination of dynamic and static stretches (the latter of which Iím not a fan of in a warm-up); the three sections (approximately 13 min., 11 min., and 11 min.); and a cool-down (just over 3.5 min.), where after a few slower dance moves you do many of the same stretches from the warm-up. I definitely still needed some longer lower body stretches after.
Each of the three dance segments stand alone, so theyíre never added together for one big dance. Kili builds up each dance a few steps at a time until you have the full routine. You will TIFT (take it from the top) and run through moves several times; usually Kili does 3 big TIFTs once youíve learned the whole dance, although IIRC one dance only gets two final TIFTs. Now, I like TIFTing, although even I have my limits, but the amount here felt just right. It was enough to learn or remember the moves, get some oomph out of them, and feel like I had a worthwhile ďperformanceĒ but not so long that I was totally over them by the time we got to the first big TIFT or something.
In addition to the moves PeakFitness listed from the step guide, Kili includes the traditional Egyptian squat, Greek grapevine, Arabian pony, and Moroccan mambo. OK, Iím being silly: she does ďEgyptian squats,Ē which are squats with Egyptian arms, and she does grapevines, ponies, and mambos, but she doesnít pretend the latter are authentic Eastern dance steps. Also, Kili will do some marches, hip sways, ďserpent arms,Ē and similar moves in between segments, but she doesnít stay in these very long. As PeakFitness says, this is bellydance-inspired, a combination of ďEast meets West,Ē as Kili herself says several times. Anyway, all of this is a roundabout way of saying this is definitely dancing for a workout, not learning a routine for performance.
If you donít want a workout with impact, you can pretty much adapt this to be all low impact, but as shown Kili includes some hops and bounces. There are also some turning and twisting moves, if you have really sensitive knees and are working out on carpet with shoes whose treads catch in your pile.

Level: Iíd recommend this to experienced high beginners through intermediates who are comfortable with some choreography, although you donít have to be a dancer.
I agree with PeakFitness that the fairly non-stop nature of this workout contributes to the intermediate level. Iíd also say that the little bit of impact; quick transitions between moves, blocks, and segments; and the constant core engagement helps heat that body up and get that sweat going. I donít know that this could or should replace your regular abs workout, but doing this a day after doing a good core workout I did feel it in my abs.
I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser, although because of some health issues Iím more int. than adv. these days. I picked this up to use on those hot summer days in my un-climate controlled workout space when I just couldnít face my usual workouts, and it worked well for that purpose; now that the weather has cooled down Iíll use this on lighter days (but not those lazy light days, if that makes sense) or as an add-on after strength. I pick up choreography easily, provided it makes sense and is taught and cued decently, but even so Iím glad I worked with the Step Guide before doing this. I felt somewhat comfortable with the routine after one run-through, but I definitely needed the second time to clean some things up.

Class: 4 women join Kili, who instructs live as she does the full routine. No one shows modifications or substitutions, other than the individual flair. The background exercises appear to have been chosen more for their enthusiasm than their expertise; some of them do seem to dance more as a hobby than as a profession.

Music: Well, itís what youíd expect from an exercise mix with Middle Eastern and Bollywood inspirations. I wouldnít listen to it on its own, but I actually kind of like it. (But I donít often hear this type of music, especially in an exercise video, so maybe itís just the novelty.)

Set: bright interior set made up like some sort of living room with a sun room or something looking onto a ďgarden.Ē

Production: clear picture and sound, camera angles that are helpful rather than distracting.

Equipment: sneakers that wonít catch on your carpet. If you have a hip scarf with jewelry, break it out; otherwise you can just pretend Ė or not.

Space Requirements: You wonít need a Bollywood sound stage to do this one. Just make sure you can take a few steps in each direction. I was able to fit this in my workout space of about 5-6í deep by 7-8í wide.

Comments: Usually Iím all about the ďpurityĒ of exercises and donít do fusion workouts. If I want to do Pilates, I prefer to do Pilates and donít want to see ballet moves and yoga asanas and athletic exercises. But when it comes to dancing I actually prefer these fusion workouts. As someone to whom dancing doesnít come naturally, I have to work at dancing to begin with. If I really wanted to learn a specific type of dancing, I could and would, but it would be even more work. When I just want to move in a vaguely dance-like manner, Iím OK with something that throws in a little belly dancing here, Middle Eastern folk dances there, Bollywood here, and some standard floor aerobics move there. Iím totally fine with a workout thatís just about moving in an interesting way, not about learning the particular dance.

I have to say I was taking a bit of a risk with this one. Iím not normally drawn to belly dancing, but reading other VFers reassure people that this was doable for non-dancers and for those who might not usually consider this sort of dance convinced me to give it a try. Iím still wary, but I kind of like it. Itís certainly unlike anything else I have on my shelves, but I think thatís a good thing. I donít know that I will reach for it a lot, but it does stick out in my mind, so when I go to look at my dance workouts it will be something that stands out.

I have 6 DOTI titles Ė in addition to this one, I have Fat Burning Cardio Jam, Sizzling Salsa, Dance it Off Ballroom, Hip Hop Party, and Hip Hop Cardio Ė and of those I feel this one is among the most intense (it ranks with the two Jen Galardi hip hop ones, more or less) and among the trickiest ones to pick up, at least during the first few run-throughs. My initial difficulty in learning this was no doubt partly due to my lack of experience with these dance traditions (at one point I had a video by Neena & Veena, the bellydance twins, and I tried Sarina Jainís Bollywood-inspired workout on FitTV), but since Kili isnít trying to be too authentic once I started to figure things out I felt more comfortable.

Instructor Comments:
I agree with PeakFitness that Kili cues well. She mirror cues, too. She has just enough personality but keeps things focused on the workout, so thereís no extraneous chatter. Iím not familiar with her: this appears to be her first at least widely released DVD, and yet she appears more polished and instructs more than some seasoned pros. Iíd definitely be interested in future offerings from her. According to her Collage profile, she has a lot of different fitness interests, although I thought she brought something different here to this type of workout.