It’s a great time to be studying at home. I know recently we’ve been focusing a lot on my online classes as well as pre-recorded classes. Today, however, I want to talk about the original way that I learned from home when I first started belly dancing.
I’ve been dancing for a very long time. It’s been about 14 years. When I first started dancing there wasn’t a lot of technology to learn with. How we typically learned was going to festivals, doing workshops, and studying with people in person. But one piece of technology that we did have very available to us back then were DVDs.
I think it’s an opportune time to be studying at home and also support those artists out there who have created DVDs. There are a lot of DVDs that artists have poured their heart, their soul, and their sweat into to provide really great information. It’s actually one of the original ways that I learned belly dancing. I think it’s about time we get back to these so we can not only study at home really easily, but we can support artists too. I wanted to go over three DVDs that I have, love, and I thought that you might want to try too.
3 Belly Dancing DVDs I Love
Ranya Renee – “Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi with Ranya Renee”
The first one that I want to talk about is by Ranya Renee. It is “Bellydance Egyptian Style: The Baladi with Ranya Renee” and it’s a two DVD set. It’s amazingly broken down into fantastic chapters. She is very well-known for her breath work as well as her Baladi and this DVD does not disappoint. She goes over each component of the Taqsim Baladi. She has musicians and talks about the rhythms in there and it’s just a phenomenal resource of information.
As a non-native dancer, this is broken up really easily for me to understand because it goes over all the components of the Baladi. She has other DVDs as well, but I particularly like this one quite a bit. You can get this DVD off of her website. Search for the section with her DVDs and you’ll find other ones she offers too.
Sadie – “Thrillin’ Drillin’: Technique, Layers and Combinations with Sadie”
The next DVD I wanted to talk about is “Thrillin’ Drillin’: Technique, Layers and Combinations with Sadie.” I literally taught myself how to 3/4 shimmy from this DVD. I did hours of rewind, replay, rewind, replay, and did that over and over until I got it in down.
I love this DVD because one, you work up a great sweat and two, it’s broken into chapters and within the chapters it gives you different levels of difficulty. So wherever you are, whether beginning or pro dancer, you’ll find a technique level that’s right for you.
I love this training DVD, and I think she is phenomenal at her technique. This is just one of her fantastic products that show off her skills. Her DVD also makes it much easier to learn the additional layers on top of her signature movements. I highly recommend this one.
I want to mention that this DVD challenged me to think of my body in different ways and showed me new ways to drill it. This was cool because sometimes we get locked in that box of what we can and can’t do, and then we lose a lot of creativity, which kind of sucks. I liked that her DVD provided another source of creativity: you can go from there and make it your own. I also appreciated her placing the stepping stones for that. You can get Sadie’s “Thrillin’ Drillin’” DVD on her website under the shop section.
Leyla Jouvana – “21 Shimmies and 1001 Variations with Leyla Jouvana”
The third DVD I’m going to talk about today is this, “21 Shimmies and 1001 variations with Leyla Jouvana.” I thought I was hot shit when I started my shimmies. I had some trouble with them at first, but then after a bit of practice, I started getting them down pretty well. But then I did this DVD and I told myself, “Mmm, mmm…Samantha, you ain’t got it, you ain’t got it.”
So I went through all 21 of these, and some of them are not easy at all. Actually, a lot of them are not easy but what’s really cool is you see these 21 different styles of shimmies and then of course, 1001 variations.
When following this DVD I worked up a sweat, a lot of sweat. I love the breakdown, plus her husband Roland is in there, and he does the live drumming. It’s awesome to see them together, and she is fantastic at her shimmies, so I love this DVD.
It’s also a great workout that gives you a lot of insight into how much we may be limiting the types of shimmies we are using in our movement. So I think it’s essential to revisit other people’s information to support them and allow inspiration to come in from their work. Having that inspiration is great, so I really appreciate all the information in this DVD. I don’t know if I could have named 21 shimmies when I started out. Maybe now I could, but I don’t know because I didn’t test it out. Ha!
But this is a fantastic DVD that is broken into chapters, and she gives an excellent explanation for each one. You can get this DVD on her website and then search for her DVD instructionals.
There are a ton of DVDs out there. I only covered three today, so I hope that you go and explore your favorite artists’ work. Look at their instructional DVD list if they have one, support them, buy one, and use them. I like these, and I have a ton more DVDs I can reference. This is something that I’m actually looking forward to getting back to, just because they’re outstanding, and they’re timeless.
I hope you get to try these and support these artists. Or go and support your favorite artist. I know they appreciate it. There are so many dancers who have created fantastic information for you to view and practice at home on DVDs. The options are endless!
Thank you so much for supporting dancers like myself. If you are interested in online classes, you should check out my full curriculum for beginning as well as intermediate, advanced, and even some instructor tools.