So disappointed! I want to cry....

Viking Siren

New member
I just worked with Jenna's DVD for the first time. The reviews I read on Amazon were really stellar, so I thought I'd try it.

I was wrong. When one section is finished, it immediately goes on to the next one--not back to the menu so you can choose what to work on, as I was led to believe. There is no cool down listed on the menu, and I couldn't keep up with her half the time. The warmup used all kinds of hand/arm/hip combinations that were too advanced for me, and the welcome section said that "you can complete the warmup without knowing a single bellydance step." Bullhockey!

I barely made it through the section on shoulder isolations before I had to stop. I'm still choking back tears. This is why I can't take any kind of dance classes--I can't keep up with a group, and I can't keep up with a teacher! She just goes too fast--I'm trying to get used to one movement and she's already moving on to the next one.

I know there is a practice section, but they're all lumped into "upper body basics," "lower body basics," and so forth. I want to practice one thing at a time, not rush through it on her terms. :(

I feel so cheated and like I wasted my money. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.
 

Shanazel

Super Moderator
Honey, I'm sorry you're disappointed, but you are expecting one on one instruction based on your own learning curve from a dvd made for the general public. You are also giving up too easily. Learning to dance is not all that simple even with private classes and a live teacher. You've set yourself a more than usually difficult task but you can make progress once you accept the situation for what it is and deal with it accordingly. Dry your tears, straighten your hip scarf, and let's figure this out.

Here are my best suggestions for following a dvd.

1) Watch the dvd from beginning to end without trying to physically follow the instructions.

2) Set yourself to learn the individual movements one at a time instead of, for example, trying to do the entire warm up from beginning to end.
a) Watch one movement within the warm-up.
b) Stop the dvd. Reverse it.
c) Watch the movement again. Reverse it the dvd.
d) Watch the movement again.
3) When you've done the above enough to have the movement in your head, stop the dvd and practice the movement while watching yourself in the mirror.
4) Return to the dvd, watch the teacher, note what she does differently from you. Stop the dvd.
5) Practice in front of the mirror again.
6) Repeat until what you do looks like what she does.
7) Go to the next movement.

Oh, yeah. That's slow and it's hard and there is no one to tell you what you are doing wrong. But if you are convinced that classes are beyond you and you can't afford private lessons, then your best bet is to be patient and diligent, plan on spending as much time on each movement as you need, and don't give up whenever results are not in keeping with your expectations.
 
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Kashmir

New member
Shanazel has some good advice.

With regards to the warm-up/cool down. I sometimes think I should put out a DVD that really is just a simple warm-up :) . Soon as I hear "hips" I'm think - whoa what about the actual CV part of the warm-up? So, deep breath. Before turning on the DVD go for a walk or climb stairs for 5 minutes. There's your warm-up. For the cool down, a nice slow travelling step or slow veil work - or again a gentle walk. If you have some favourite stretches slap them in here - but stretches are no more a "cool down" that they are a "warm-up".

With a prepared body look again at her warm-up combos. Are there bits you can learn here ie interesting combinations, weight changes or layers? If so, add this to your workout. If not, skip it.

Now just pick a couple of moves and work on these (in front of a mirror). Keep a track of what you have worked on and what you have mastered.

Good luck.
 

Viking Siren

New member
I am wanting to work on just one or two steps at a time. I'm thinking about just skipping her warm up and doing something on my own. Irena also has a series of Howcast videos on YouTube that I'm thinking about using for practice. She seems like a really good teacher.
 

Darshiva

Moderator
I read and answered your pm before reading this thread. Congratulations, I'm the teacher you're looking for. Now, have a chat with Farasha about what I'm like as a teacher and what it's like to be my student and IF after that you decide you'd like to go ahead and give the skype classes a try, email me at kyabrambellydance@gmail.com and we can take it from there.
 

Farasha Hanem

New member
Viking Siren, do you have a Facebook? If you do, either friend request me, or I'll friend request you, then I'll pm you and give you the details you need about Darshiva's Skype classes. She is an awesome teacher---I absolutely LOVE her! There are a few things you need to be aware of when taking a Skype class; I can let you know what you can expect.

My username on Facebook is the same as my username here. What's your username?
 

LatinoDanceWears

New member
I just worked with Jenna's DVD for the first time. The reviews I read on Amazon were really stellar, so I thought I'd try it.

I was wrong. When one section is finished, it immediately goes on to the next one--not back to the menu so you can choose what to work on, as I was led to believe. There is no cool down listed on the menu, and I couldn't keep up with her half the time. The warmup used all kinds of hand/arm/hip combinations that were too advanced for me, and the welcome section said that "you can complete the warmup without knowing a single bellydance step." Bullhockey!

I barely made it through the section on shoulder isolations before I had to stop. I'm still choking back tears. This is why I can't take any kind of dance classes--I can't keep up with a group, and I can't keep up with a teacher! She just goes too fast--I'm trying to get used to one movement and she's already moving on to the next one.

I know there is a practice section, but they're all lumped into "upper body basics," "lower body basics," and so forth. I want to practice one thing at a time, not rush through it on her terms. :(

I feel so cheated and like I wasted my money. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.
How are you today? Are you better? Did you find the useful solution for this?
 

Viking Siren

New member
Farasha, I do not have Facebook, but I sent you a pm on this forum. :)

LatinoDanceWears, I am doing better. Thank you for asking. :)
 

XanaDance

New member
I feel like this too don't worry!
I think you've had some good advice here, but I've come to the conclusion myself that private lessons might be a good idea until I keep up with a group. Hope you have found a solution you are happy with

Keep dancing
 

Shara

New member
using dvds

When using dvds, the pause button is your friend. As is the button that starts a section over. You have to realize that the makers of the dvd are trying to give value for your money so that people are not disappointed in their purchase. Just because the dvd moves on at a certain pace does NOT mean that you do! Take it as you learn it. Use those buttons on the remote. Keep courage. Keep faith. Keep practicing. Even if you never get to where you can keep up with a class, keep studying and learning. Belly dance can be done solo or with groups. If you can't do groups, you are a solo dancer. Study at your own pace. The offers of the teachers here are excellent. Use those offers to your advantage. When you dance alone, the focus is solely on you, so you need to have confidence and skill. Perhaps you may learn to keep up with a class, perhaps you won't. I would advise to take classes anyway. You will learn whether or not you "keep up". If you love the dance, keep studying.
 

Greek Bonfire

Active member
I just worked with Jenna's DVD for the first time. The reviews I read on Amazon were really stellar, so I thought I'd try it.

I was wrong. When one section is finished, it immediately goes on to the next one--not back to the menu so you can choose what to work on, as I was led to believe. There is no cool down listed on the menu, and I couldn't keep up with her half the time. The warmup used all kinds of hand/arm/hip combinations that were too advanced for me, and the welcome section said that "you can complete the warmup without knowing a single bellydance step." Bullhockey!

I barely made it through the section on shoulder isolations before I had to stop. I'm still choking back tears. This is why I can't take any kind of dance classes--I can't keep up with a group, and I can't keep up with a teacher! She just goes too fast--I'm trying to get used to one movement and she's already moving on to the next one.

I know there is a practice section, but they're all lumped into "upper body basics," "lower body basics," and so forth. I want to practice one thing at a time, not rush through it on her terms. :(

I feel so cheated and like I wasted my money. I can't remember the last time I felt this bad.
I have this DVD and I know what you are talking about but stay with it because it's really good and really challenging. Also, when I got stuck on something, I paused it and redid it until I was ready to move on. I also had to do the whole DVD over and over a few times. Others have "faster moving" videos too; Amar Gamal's is fast moving, but again, I would pause and redo the movements til I got it.

Now at this point in my dance life, what at one time took me six weeks to learn now takes me practically no time at all. You will be like this too.
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
Now at this point in my dance life, what at one time took me six weeks to learn now takes me practically no time at all. You will be like this too.
You know, you're right. I never learned how to do a 4/4 shimmy traveling worth a darn, and it wasn't really emphasized by most of my teachers, we all did the various 3/4 shimmies of which I've become decent enough at most of them.

My current teacher is all about 4/4 shimmies while traveling - and I'm actually starting to get them, which is a heck of a lot faster than I ever got anything else. I still feel awkward and a bit clumsy doing them, but they're coming - well enough that when my teacher told me to "stop doing that 3/4 shimmy in this part of the choreography!", that I was actually able to do the 4/4 traveling instead, just for her "benefit"! As there isn't supposed to be a shimmy of any sort at that particular time, she threatened to throw things at me! :lol::lol::lol:
 

lilya

Member
My current teacher is all about 4/4 shimmies while traveling - and I'm actually starting to get them, which is a heck of a lot faster than I ever got anything else.
Oh, dear, I have just "met" the 4/4 shimmy while traveling a few short weeks ago and they are... something else. I bow to thee, Zorba!

While trying to do the 4/4, I thought it was funny that the 3/4 has become my fallback traveling shimmy, especially since my instructor, the same one who taught the 3/4 in my first class some, ahem, years ago, ascertained that I finally "got it" - presumably for good - no earlier than this spring... :)

Sidenote: I could swear I had "gotten it" before, sometime in the first year, but I suspect that adding pounds to a body, combined with lots of worrying about it, can affect timing and proprioception.
 

Greek Bonfire

Active member
What Zorba said is true. Funnily for me, I got 3/4 shimmies immediately but mayas took me five years. So go with what you know real well and just dazzle them!
 

Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
It took me a year and a half to get the Maia - my male hips were locked out of side-to-side movement, I had to break them loose first!

The standard standing 4/4 shimmy took something like 10 friggin' years, and it still gives me problems from time-to-time. It was mainly hearing "the right thing" from "the right teacher" that finally got me over the hump. I needed to learn the what/where of my obliques, driving them exclusively from the knees or glutes doesn't work well for me. I need to at least pay attention to my obliques as well, if not out-and-out drive them from there, which is the key to traveling with a 4/4 (for me, at least).

3/4s were somewhere inbetween. I remember practicing them in very slow motion (using my obliques now that I think about it) and getting them down in a few months. What I call the "Twist down 3/4" took me longer, but I use it fairly often now as I think its the most beautiful of all shimmies. My teacher here calls that one the "Hozallah" shimmy or some-such, a term I never heard in California.
 
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Zorba

"The Veiled Male"
My teacher here calls that one the "Hozallah" shimmy or some-such, a term I never heard in California.
I just received a PM from a dance sister who informs me the correct spelling is "Hagallah" - and I'm hoping she'll join us here!
 

Greek Bonfire

Active member
I see so many variations of these spellings. Translating from other alphabets to ours, I'm not sure there is always a correct spelling but it's small stuff and bound to be disagreed upon. My two little old cents!
 
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