Friday, May 29, 2009

FatChanceBellyDance - Woman Power Workout

Overall: Not much of a workout, but better than sitting on your couch
Duration: 1 hour
Recommended for hippies who want some bellydance-ish low impact aerobics

This DVD is mostly led by Karen Ames - an older woman who is fairly "goddessy" in her demeanor and doesn't strike me as a person with a lot of bellydance experience. I do love that most of the video is shot from behind, as though you were standing in class. The audio is sync'd, and though the instruction isn't exactly detailed, its certainly enough to follow along. (And this is far from being a technique video, so detailed instruction isn't all that necessary.) 

It starts with Karen leading some moving stretches.  These do get you fairly warmed up, but its a far cry from any sort of intense conditioning.  As a disclaimer, I have never taken any African dance, so I know absolutely nothing about the style, but the whole video felt more African influenced than bellydance to me. But they were using a lot of African-ish drumming music, so that could have influenced me.  

Next up was the veil sequence, or what should have been called "fling some fabric around".  It really wasn't anything akin to bellydancing with a veil - simply more low impact movements while dragging a veil along for the ride.

This is followed by Leg Power & Grace (or something like that). It involved lots of kicking.  This was probably the section that came closest to a cardio workout, but not terribly intense and felt very African in its style.

Carolena takes the lead for "tribal cardio".  This is about 15 minutes of arabic, hip bump, and egyptian to pretty slow music. There's no instruction - just follow along if you can stay awake.  At best, this section is boring. I can't imagine how out of shape you'd have to be to have this section get your heart rate up enough to actually be a cardio workout.

Next up is strength training, which requires weights or a pole and band, both of which are for sale at FCBD of course! The exercises were focused on the upper body. I didn't have a pole and band handy, so I just watched this session. It seemed like the same exercises you'd encounter with circuit training, but with fewer reps. Carolena who was the only person using hand weights, and it was pretty hard to see what she was doing.

Finally, the cool down section is a collection of "temple stretches" - poses based on Indian temple figures.  This was a little more interesting,  but certainly not enough to justify buying this video.

Overall, it definitely wasn't the "power workout" I was hoping for, but if you're looking for a low impact session embracing your inner goddess, well, maybe this is the DVD for you.

Available from FatChanceBellyDance

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