The Goddess Workout

Year Released: 1998

Categories: Bellydance

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This workout begins with an intro that’s nearly 3 minutes long, with clips of Dolphina bellydancing with a voiceover talking about goddess stuff and the health benefits of bellydancing. The warmup (nearly 10 minutes) follows, and it moves very slowly. After the warmup is the actual workout, broken into six sections: “Heads, Hands & Arms” (no, that’s not a typo), “Hips,” “Chest & Shoulders,” “Hip Circles,” “Undulations & Snakes,” and “Shimmy.” There is a pause between sections. What follows is a routine using the steps you’ve already learned, and a cooldown.

The form pointers aren’t great, and the camerawork is pretty bad. The voyeuristic cameraperson often focuses on Dolphina’s face and chest while she’s moving her hips and legs, making the routine somewhat difficult to follow. In several places there are some double-exposure shots that are downright disturbing.

The set changes with each section, as do Dolphina’s outfits and hairdos. There’s always music in the background, but the moves don’t always move to the beat.

In the cool-down section, Dolphina’s outfit is fairly skimpy, she’s wearing body glitter, and there’s “nighttime” lighting. It’s a bit suggestive for an exercise video—at least for my tastes. There are probably a few teenage boys that wouldn’t mind finding this left in the DVD player, though.

“As seen on Sex & the City” or not, I can’t recommend anyone spend actual money on this.

Instructor Comments:
As another reviewer put it, Dolphina’s really playing up the whole sex-kitten thing. The “goddess” chatter throughout includes a lot of talk about chakras and suggestions that we should perform the moves with attitude, saying (and I quote) “aren’t I fabulous? But you can’t have me.” From the reviews and posts I’ve read here, there are better bellydance instructors.



I'm not exactly sure how you are supposed to use this video.

There isn't much traditional instruction to help a beginner. For instance, while you are working on series she could give you form tips, e.g. bend your knees, transfer your weight. The camera work doesn't help at all, there are several times where she's talking about her hips or feet, but the camera is on a close up of her face.

There are too many breaks to have this work as an aerobic workout. I sometimes do a series as a warm up before I go running, but other than that I'm not sure how you are supposed to use it.

It's amusing and I don't mind doing it for a few minutes, but it's not a fav.

Instructor Comments:
Truly lovely to watch dance.



I love this video! It is my first introduction to belly dancing - I've been doing this video for about six weeks now and it's become my favorite workout; one that I look forward to. I read the other reviews on this site prior to purchasing the video, and I do agree that the camera work is not the greatest - sometimes limiting it's focus to Dolphina's upper body when you want to see what her feet are doing, etc., but all in all, I truly enjoy it. I love the fact that the dance is such a sensual and sexy dance - it makes me feel more self-confident about my body every time I do it. In fact, I even purchased a hip-scarf with coins to wear while doing the video (I realize that's a bit over the top, but it makes it even more fun for me). I am looking forward to getting her other videos.

Instructor Comments:
I think Dolphina's grace and beauty is very inspiring - I invited one of my friends to do this video with me and she commented that Dolphina makes you feel included, which is nice. She also makes inspirational comments throughout the video, like "you're a goddess", and "this music is our music".



I'm not convinced Dolphina knew what type of video she wanted to make when she set out to make this one. As a bellydance instructional tape. it misses the mark because she doesn't instruct moves very well. She doesn't offer enough pointers on form, although she does do a move and add a more difficult variation for a dancer to work up to. As a workout, the stop and go nature of the video, and the generally mellow pace never really get the video into vigorous activity for more than a few seconds. Dolphina also seems unaware of the music track, and typically all movements seems off the beat, especially in the final dance. The final dance has no instruction and is only performed once or twice and then is dropped. The sets are lovely, but some are elaborate, cluttered and distracting. Dolphina wears a new outfit in each segment, usually a bra top, skirt and belt combo, but wears a few sexy ensemble outfits in the end. I liked the music, but never felt that the music fit the workout. If you are an experienced dancer, you will find nothing new in this video. If you are new to dance, you will not have enough instruction to learn it. If you are a beginner dancer, and would like a video to practice some basics, this may help you as a do along since you know the basics and can practice them. Overall, I think this video suffers from not really knowing what type of program it is. Its not a workout, its not an instructional. Its kind of a do along for practice for beginner dancers. Much of her chatter is distracting and her breathy sexy voice lacks professionalism. As a result, I'm not sure how this garnered the rave reviews it has gotten at amazon. As a glamourous, vanity production, it earns top marks, but as a workout or as a lesson, it sadly falls short.

Instructor Comments:
dolphina is more a sex kitten than an instructor. she cues in a sexy voice, and the camera focuses a great deal on her bust, and not at moments when such an angle would make sense. she makes bizarre comments about kundalinis and other new age tidbits that just seem to detract from her instruction.



Dolphina leads the 45 minute workout alone.

The warm-up (the press for the video says it's 5 minutes long, but I'm sure my VCR counter said 8) consists of deep breathing, full head rolls, and slow stretches.

She then moves on to short segments (approximately 5 minutes each) [mis]focused on specific body parts (ex: for the back you do snake arms. MANY snake arms. You will not feel it in your back, but your shoulders will be talking to you!) She doesn't move to the beat or the music, she doesn't space the reps evenly herself, and between that and the funky editing you will think you're following along and then you look at the screen and realize that you're now out of synch with the teacher. I hate that.

In the workout segments she covers such basic moves as snake arms, hip circles, figure eights, head slides, shimmies, shoulder shimmies, and undulations.

After the workout segments you get to follow her through a brief "routine" that is not well cued or choreographed and doesn't go with the music. The Cool Down consists of 8 deep breaths, some head rolls and some slow hip circles.

It's a pretty video. The setting is lovely--it looks like it was taped on the grounds of a Mediterranean villa in Southern California (you see ocean in the background of some shots.) Dolphina has a beautiful body, and she wears a new outfit in each segment, usually consisting of a crop top, leggings, hip scarf, and maybe a filmy skirt. She wears a full costume for the Routine (dark green) and for the Cool Down (a sexy red number). She's a bit too sex kitteny for my taste. (I have issues with sex kitten belly dancers.) She also tries to teach *about* bellydancing and I'm not at all sure that the information she shares is correct.

I do like that as she instructs and adds on things like walking with the moves or layering moves on top of each other she says it's ok to just stand in place if you aren't ready to walk with the movement (something that most beginners find very challenging at first).

Here's who I might suggest this tape for:

-- someone who has done some bellydance classes/videos and is a moderate to advanced beginner who wants something new to practice basic moves with.

Here's who I would NOT suggest this tape for:
--someone who has never done bellydance. Dolphina gives practically no form pointers, the video focuses on her upper body *or* her feet, but almost never both at the same time, and her instruction isn't always clear.
--someone who has done a fair amount of bellydance (intermediate level) and wants to learn something new. You won't. It's pretty basic.
--someone looking for an aerobic workout. Unless you have very low cardiovascular fitness, it is unlikely you will find yourself in your target heart rate zone at any point in this video.
--anyone whom the whole goddessy/spiritual thing irritates or offends. (Although you were sorta warned about the tone of the video in the title.) She goes on about the goddess and the chakras and awakening your kundalini, and if that's not your bag, this probably won't be either.

You can find more information about this tape and about Dolphina at Dolphina's website

Renee Drellishak


All in all it is a nice low-impact cardiovascular workout, making it a good choice for alternating with higher-impact workouts. It is basic insruction in bellydancing, which is fun and refreshing. Unfortunatly, the camera work is less than what it could be; the camera occasionally focuses on the instructor's torso or face when she's doing hip moves, which is frustrating when you're trying to make sure you're doing a difficult move properly.

Instructor Comments:
Instructor is pleasant, encouraging, and gives good instructions for making sure you are doing the moves correctly. Sometimes her counting is slightly off.