Best Belly Dance Videos for Beginners
Best Belly Dance Videos for beginners
Whether you have started taking belly dance lessons already, or have just been thinking about it, a good library of belly dance videos is indispensable.
It is important to supplement your weekly classes with practice at home, so you can learn the moves and get them firmly into your muscle memory. Muscle memory is what allows you to perform the moves without conscious thought, so that they become second nature. I went without doing an undulation for twenty-five years, but it still remained in my muscle memory.
Back when I learned to belly dance, in the seventies, we didn’t have belly dance DVDs or even videos, so the dance students of today have it much easier. Belly dance videos make it so much easier to learn and study different dancers, techniques and styles. After you learn basic belly dancing for beginners, you can expand your dance repertoire by studying different belly dance styles. The wide availability of good belly dance DVDs makes it easy to start a good reference library.
Serious students of belly dance particularly need to put in extra practice time at home, and the best way to do this is with belly dance videos. Beginners especially can benefit from repeated watching and practicing the moves, although practice is beneficial to all level belly dance students. Watching belly dance videos of professional dancers will help you learn what the moves are, and how they should look, as well as the step-by-step breakdown of how to do the moves. Many often include a choreography that you can learn. My list is not all inclusive, and there are a great many I have not mentioned, but this will give a beginning belly dancer a good place to start.
I have a large library of belly dance videos, and many are geared toward the beginner, so I am able to offer some good insight as to what I find most helpful for the beginner belly dancer. I have my favorites and will share them with you. Complete descriptions for all these DVDs can be found on the links provided.
Amira's Bellydance 101 Basics for Beginners
One of the first ones I purchased a couple years back was Amira’s Bellydance 101 Basics for Beginners. ( Amira is not to be confused with Amira Mor who is an entirely different dancer.) This DVD rates very high on Amazon from those who purchased it. There are 106 customer reviews, and the DVD rates about a 4-½ out of 5 stars. Amira breaks down the steps very clearly and easily on this DVD, making it easy for a novice to follow along. The moves are repeated enough so that you really learn them well.
Autumn Ward Belly Dance
Another invaluable DVD is by Autumn Ward- Bellydance: Beautiful Technique from Step One- The Beginner’s Path to Flawless Artistry.
Let me first say, I have this DVD and currently find it very valuable. However, when I first started back into belly dancing I found it a bit too intimidating. Autumn has such grace, such beautiful flowing moves, that it was a bit much for me. In time this DVD became a very valuable tool for me. Autumn teaches in a style that teaches you perfect technique from the start, which is really what a beginner needs to know. Bad habits are hard to break so you better learn it correctly from the start. I highly recommend this DVD.
Although I have several other of Neon’s Bellydance DVD’s I don’t have her Absolute Beginner Belly Dance from 2006. I recommend Neon highly. She has the most delightful accent and way of expressing herself. Her products always rate highly. Another beginner DVD from Neon is brand new in 2010- Bellydance: First Steps-step-by-step dance instruction & 2 hours of non-stop practice for Total Beginners.
Jenna Belly Dance
Now on to my favorite belly dance instructor, Jenna. Jenna has several DVDs out and I have a few of them. Bellydance Basics and Beyond: Technique for a solid foundation is a very fully packed DVD with a running time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. Beginners will get their money’s worth and then some. Jenna is very clear and precise when she breaks down the moves, and makes it very easy to learn. There are 122 customer reviews for this one and she too rates 4-½ stars.
World Dance New York Videos
Incidentally, any of the videos that are produced by World Dance New York, are a visual delight. You won’t find the instructors teaching in leotards or other boring wear. These dancers are not only talented, but they dress to be appealing to watch as well. It makes a huge difference to my interest level to view a DVD where the instructor represents belly dance beautifully through her choice of outfit. World Dance New York DVDs give you more bang for your buck. They are usually substantially longer than ones that are produced by individual dancers, and the quality is outstanding.
Leila Belly Dance
Although I do not own and have not viewed this next DVD, my fellow dancers have said wonderful things about it. Belly Dance for Beginners by Leila. At 240 minutes this looks like a real bargain! Again, this one has 4-½ stars. I’ll leave it to you to read the customer reviews and make up your own mind. I plan on getting this one in the future.
Neena & Veena
Last but not least, if you have searched for beginning belly dance videos you have surely come across Neena and Veena. Personally, for me, these tapes are a little too basic. They are beautiful belly dancing twins, who have been performing for many years. They have a ton of instructional DVDs available, and most are geared towards beginners. So, if you are absolutely clueless about belly dancing, this may serve as a gentle introduction to what it’s all about. What I don’t like about their stuff however is a lot of their DVDs are taught in leotards and a hip scarf. That’s just my pet peeve. Other than that, they demonstrate the style of belly dancing I learned in the 70's, which many call Vintage Oriental.
Jenna~ Bellydance Basics and Beyond
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