Bellydancing for WimpsNatasha Senkovich
Year Released: 2004
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I've had this for a while and noticed it has not generated much buzz. This is definitely not the best intro to bellydance I've seen, but for $9, its not bad. You learn 10 dance moves then put them into a short dance segment. There are no warm ups or cool downs but the pace is so mellow and there are no strenuous exercises, either for your muscles or your heart. Its definitely more an active rest program than a workout, unless you have a very low aerobic capacity, and then it would a nice little workout if you also have an interest in bellydance, but you would need to cool down and stretch on your own afterwards.
Sometimes, Natasha's tone of voice or expressions are just weird, but typically she explains things clearly, and I do like the way she praises her students. She also seems to have an accent, so I wondered if some her odder expressions weren't due to translation or second language issues.
There is a performance as well. If you'ce seen other Natural Journeys bellydance performances, don't expect Rania, The Twins or Suhaila, she's not as good a dancer as they are. She's as good or better as the dancers I've seen in many a troup or recital performance, which I found somewhat reassuring. Some teachers are so good, I wonder if I could ever do things as well as they do, but with Natasha, I think her level of skill is attainable, whereas I would never think that of Suhaila, the Twins or rania- they just seem impossibly good! I also like the playfull style in natasha's dancing. Some of the more available performance DVDs emphasize a sexy, seductive style so its nice to see a different feel to the performance.
If you've studied any bellydance, even a little, this will probably bore you. There are only 10 steps and they are pretty basic. If you've never taken a lesson, this is a nice little intro to bellydance to give you an idea if you like this type of dance. If you are a beginner and like tapes to structure your practice, this is one of several choices you have. Overall, this isn't a great dance lesson, but it isn't bad either. Not for advanced dancers, but if you've never bellydanced before, this could make an active rest dance session.
I like the way Natasha praises her students. She's very encouraging. She does use some odd expressions and sometimes her tone of voice is a little flakey though. But overall I liked her.