For those of you interested in what others have had to say, we've included more reviews of Amira's "Bellydance 101" DVD, which has been selling on Amazon since it's release in 2005. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we'd like to say a big thank you to all of our customers and all of our reviewers. Listed below are ALL of the 61 reviews posted on Amazon from its release there, up until August 2008. Not just the best ones, but ALL of them.
Of those 61,
49 were given Five Stars
10 were given Four Stars,
1 was given Three Stars,
1 was given Two Stars.
We're rather proud of that.
Excellent Starter Video, August 8, 2008
By Deborah P (San Pedro, CA)
If this video had been a bit longer with more choreography at the end, I'd have given it five stars. However, you can't beat it for learning technique and posture. I've been belly dancing for a little while now and I still use this one and Precision Work Out by Suzanna Del Vecchio as reference guides. Other, better choreography videos tend to skimp on the technique a bit.
Excellent 101 instruction!, June 27, 2008
Very very pleased with Amira's clear, pleasant instruction and simple drills. After working with this DVD for couple of sessions my (admittedly beginner) skills have taken a giant leap forward. Her clear descriptions, demos and the added little graphic arrows cleared up some of the confusion I had about certain movements. Finally got those Maya hips! Nice warmup and cooldown too. She's wonderful. Highly recommended. Hope she does an intermediate DVD one of these days.
I gave it away, June 7, 2008
By marji "marji" (Vancouver, BC Canada)
What can I say ... it stayed in my collection only a matter of weeks.
Amira Bellydance 101, May 27, 2008
By Bellydancuh (US)
We own a lot of good belly dance DVDs. This one here is not just good, it is VERY GOOD, THE BEST! The clearest instruction of belly dance we have ever heard.
The production quality is over the top, not comparable even to IAMED's expensive videos. If you haven't produced a DVD, you have NO idea what it takes to produce a DVD of that quality! If you are sitting there wondering if you should buy a $8-$12 DVD instead of this one, keep in mind that Amira has spent about 10 x more on the production, and YES the production quality matters. This DVD is worth 100 times more than what you pay for it!
Harder than I thought..., May 19, 2008
By Angie (Canada)
Great video, great instruction. I'm sure it's just me not being a very good dancer and I've only tried it once so far. Having a hard time finding more time to do it. It's still fun, just hard to get a hang of, for me, anyway. Still pleased with my purchase.
Pretty good bellydancing, May 9, 2008
By C. Stewart (Atlanta, GA)
Amira is talented and teaches the basics of bellydancing so that you can create your own routine. However, the video can get a little boring after a few views.
Superb Introduction to Bellydancing!, May 1, 2008
By Katherine Du Maurier
Discover the incredible world of bellydancing!
Last year I took some bellydancing classes, and had such fun I grabbed up some DVD's for extra practice. If you are looking for a thorough, well thought out basic introduction to bellydancing technique, this is the one for you!
The set is lavish, the music is mesmerizing, and Amira is lovely and thorough in her instruction. She has great tips to help you visualize exactly how to perform each movement. I also really love how the instruction is never rushed -- I never felt frustrated or behind, never had to press pause. On the other hand, I didn't feel like the pacing was too slow either.
In addition, there are multiple viewing angles used during instruction, and this is very effective.
The DVD is broken down into several chapters (starting with a warmup) to take you through each area of focus, such as head and shoulders, hips, and so on. This is quite helpful and convenient -- I sometimes just pop it in and go to a certain chapter for review of personal "trouble spots" (i.e. for me, undulations!).
Wrapping it up - after you learn your basics, you can put them to the test by going to the chapter with combinations of the moves.
Using this DVD never fails to leave me feeling graceful, feminine, and exotic!
Highly recommended as a thorough foundation in the beautiful art of bellydance.
Easy to follow, Great for beginner's, March 4, 2008
By G. M. (Birmingham)
Very informative. You will definitely want to play each section one at a time and then over and over again because some of the moves look deceptively easy but are difficult to do correctly, unless you practice,practice,practice! My muscles weren't hurting very much afterwards, but as a Mom of a preschooler it's very likely that all the bending, reaching and picking up that I do in a normal day, has already conditioned me to a point. I did however work up a heat and I felt more limber and flexible.
Excellent Instruction, February 27, 2008
By M. "Christine" (North Carolina)
Easy to understand, delightful to watch. The perfect place to begin or brush up on techniques!
Excellent Belly Dance Instructions, February 22, 2008
By Sweetie (Hawaii)
I have bought a few Belly Dance instructional DVDs and this is definitely the best.
Very Good DVD, February 18, 2008
By L. (Seven Valleys, PA)
This is an excellent instructional DVD. Clear and basic. I am very satisified with this purchase.
Amira= The best!, February 13, 2008
I am forever a fan of Amira! Her DVD takes you step by step through lots of great exercises and she explains everything so clearly. I can't wait until she does another, I will be ordering it for sure!
Great basics, February 11, 2008
By Eva (Philadelphia, PA)
I thought this was a great video to show the basics of belly dancing. However, I was expecting more beside just the basic moves.
Good for basics, February 11, 2008
By pippy longstocking
Well, this is not my first belly dancing DVD, but it is one of my most boring. I have in the belly library, Shamira, the belly twins, and one other I'm not to thrilled with and can't remember. I'm giving it four stars because the explanations are clear, and the steps gone through slowly. So, what is missing. The fun factor. It was so dry, a bit like reading an encyclopedia and having every word demonstrated slowly in a monotone voice. I do think it's a good DVD for instruction just very boring. So, heres my 1-5 rating. One lousy to five fabulous.
A great Place to Start the Learning of Bellydance Journey!!!, February 8, 2008
By Eleni (Huntsville, AL)
To anyone wanting to begin learning Belly dance, this is the place to start```in combination with the Jenna DVD. Both have vital info for the beginner (in different areas) and this REALLY takes the intimidation out of learning Belly Dance!! I suggest "GO FOR IT!!"
A great beginner's guide to belly-dancing, December 25, 2007
By A. "MS3" (Cleveland, OH USA)
I bought several beginners videos to learn belly dancing, and this is by far the best of those videos. There is sufficient material in the video to give you a decent workout, and the perfect amount of instruction such that the moves are easy to learn but can still be practiced by someone who is no longer a beginner but would like to brush up on their form. She introduces some more advanced moves in addition to the beginner moves and has sequences at the end to practice, making this an option for more intermediate level belly dancers as well. Overall, one of the best belly dancing video purchases I've made.
Great for beginners, December 15, 2007
By Psychology Lover (Orange County, CA)
I bought this DVD so that I could review what I had learned in class. Amira is very easy on the eyes and has a pleasant voice. She breaks things down to a really basic level, yet you still learn enough that you do basic layering at the end. If you are trying to learn bellydance, this is for you.
Amira's Belly Dance 101 DVD, October 22, 2007
By Vivica "pink_frogge" (Arizona)
This is a wonderful introduction to belly dancing. Amira is easy to understand and makes it seem like anyone can learn to belly dance. If you want to try it, this is your video.
Best Beginner Belly Dance DVD, September 26, 2007
By Michael S. "Dragonlady"
This was the first belly dance DVD I bought and it was the DVD that made me fall in love with belly dancing! I've amassed a small library of belly dance DVDs, but--as far as beginning instruction goes--Amira is still the gold standard. I'm now more in the advanced beginner/intermediate range, but I still refer back to her DVD from time to time...it never hurts to brush up on the basics to see if you are maintaining correct form (it's easy to lapse into bad habits).
I still don't find it boring...think of ballet--they practice plies, releves, etc every day, no matter how experienced they are. No matter how advanced you are, it doesn't hurt to occasionally go back to the basics.
Also, Amira herself is adorable. Her instructions are clear, she provides great analogies ("think of having little pistons on your hips...") and she just plain has a sweet, encouraging attitude. On a lighter note, I love her accent. ("Put your hand on your 'ties' (thighs)..." LOL)...very sweet.
I emailed her and asked if she is putting out an intermediate DVD and she says that--since people ask her that every day--she has decided that she will. I will be one of the first ones to buy!!
If you are even considering learning belly dance, get this video; if you are more advanced and want to practice drills, get this video...it is the best one I have so far!
I very much agree with other viewer., August 23, 2007
By Yellow Butterfly (Atlanta, GA)
I have looked a couple reviews all the reviewers have commented but yes, this DVD is very decent. I very much agree with other viewers comment and this one will be good one to have as your work out and learning your belly moves :-)
The Best Beginner's DVD, July 27, 2007
By G. (Florida, USA)
I am a total novice, and Amira's Belly Dance 101 DVD is the only one I've been able to do without frustration and pain.
Now I am a total couch potato, but I have always wanted to learn to belly dance. I saw that this DVD got great reviews, so I bought it.
Well, I also ended up buying a couple of others that were supposed to be good for beginners -- not! Maybe beginners who are fit to begin with, or who already know the proper belly dance posture and warmup routines. But Amira's DVD -- this I could do.
The DVD covers: proper posture, warmup routine, isolations for: head, shoulder, torso and hips. Shimmies are also included -- shoulder and hip. And something I've always wanted to do -- snake arms!
Amira is also great because she looks like a normal person -- not someone so skinny that you see their hipbones jutting out. And it doesn't hurt that Amira's quite pretty.
One other thing Amira does that I truely appreciated -- she mentions a few times to try your best *but* respect your body's limitations as well. She doesn't come across as being a drill seargent, but rather radiates a gentle encouragement.
If I had one wish, I would have liked to see a little bit about hand movements. Amira covers arm movements, but not the hands.
This is one DVD that deserves more than 5 stars!
Instruction, June 23, 2007
By Aracelis "Celis" (Korea)
This DVD is definitely for begginers belly dancers. Amira does a great job at demonstrating the basic moves and keeps each segment long enough for you to get the idea and practice but not so long you get bored or tired of it. She explains and talks through each move to ensure you understand the movement or isolation and I enjoy the music in the background. There is a nice combination at the end that is easy to follow and fun to do. I can tell there is a underlying hint to yoga practice in her style of teaching and I do not mind it since I do yoga to. Amira has a pleasent voice which makes it pleasent to follow her instructions. However, I found the segments to be very basic and the overall lenght of the instructional piece to short. I would have like to see other isolations or moves in the DVD. I use this DVD when I do not have a whole lot of time and do not want to miss a day of practice. Amira included a performance at the end of the DVD but even though I think she is very skillfull and a great instructor her performance was disappointing and did not impress me it lacked vibrance. Overall, great instructional DVD and I highly reccomended for begginers only.
best belly dance instructional video!!, June 9, 2007
I have purchased other instructional belly dance videos and had a hard time seeing the dancers movements. This video has multiple camera angels so you miss nothing! Plus the music makes you want to shimmy. I also am a big fan of Amira. I have been to one of her workshops and she is just as amazing in person as on the video.
Beginner or advanced this will improve your technique.
Great for Learning and Drilling Basics!, June 2, 2007
By Vegas Bellydancer (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Amira is an excellent teacher! She really knows how to break down the basic moves for beginners and remind more advanced dancers of proper technique. I think EVERYONE should include drilling the basics into their bellydance practice and this DVD really helps with that.... I look forward to her next project!
Great quality & detailed instruction for beginning bellydancers, May 22, 2007
By Lena "TouchRemedy.com" (Nassau County, NY)
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)
This is a good production quality dvd with chapters & bonus performance by Amira.
This is set so that it looks like Amira is in a traditional Middle Eastern tent. The choices of volors/fabric & decoration is wonderful, though to me it felt a little claustrophobic but doesn't hamper/distract the great teaching.
Amira is very relaxed, friendly, patient. This is a learning like a class dvd, not a workout, though she does have you practice for a decent amount of time before moving on. Even better, the music is slow/soft to start which bored me, but it increased in tempo so that I did full speed on moves since I already knew them from my many other bellydance dvds. Even though I own more, her teaching is great, she taught me that snake arms come fron the shoulders, not the arms which makes a huge difference.
Amira starts with a short 3 min intro about belly dance history & benefits.
There is about a 5 min stretch with head rolls, shoulder rolls, hip stretch, squats & spine stretch movements.
Head/Sshoulders - head shifts, snack arms, wings
Chest - shifts, vertical & horizontal chest circles, camel
Hips - hip single & double bumps, hip circles, hip lifts & drops & w/kick & diff directions, hip twists, figure 8s, vertical figure 8 is touched on,
Shimmies - Lebonnese/hip focused & Egyptian knee focused
Combinations - simple routine of shoulder shimmy, chest lifts, shoulder roll, hip lifts/drops, body wave & ends in shimmy done 4x in faster succession.
The learning/practice portion ends at about the 55 min mark.
This dvd is best for people new to bellydance or feel that they didn't get enough detailed instruction on ones they already own. If you feel you already happy with how you execute with the moves listed above, skip this dvd.
Great for first timers, May 8, 2007
By Constance D.
I belly dance and this video is the best at teaching the basic and some advanced moves. If you only buy one video or a first video this is the one to buy. She teaches the moves in a clear and easy to follow manner.
Amira's Bellydance 101 DVD, May 6, 2007
By A. (Michigan, USA)
Excellent! This was my first ever bellydance dvd. Amira does a fantastic job and gives me the confidence that I need to tackle something so new for me. I can't believe how "lucky" I got on my very first search for bellydance dvd's!
This is a great DVD., April 24, 2007
By Moriah Dancer (Georgia, USA)
I really enjoyed this DVD - it was a great way to begin, and now that I'm more advanced, I like to layer moves on top of the moves she does in the video. The music is great, the instruction is great, and like others said: the camera work, voice over work, and the like are wonderfully the way they should be - in stark contrast to many other bellydance videos. Amira takes the time to go over and explain movements, and also includes an effective warmup and cooldown. I'd definitely vote this as a smart addition to any instructional collection.
This is a Great intro to Bellydancing! For Beg. to experienced, April 15, 2007
Reviewer: Mysticalrising (Florida United States)
I read a lot of reviews and they all kept recomending this product so I read this review and said what the heck...if it isn't any good I will send it back....but to my suprise it is GREAT! I am not in the best of shape so I was looking to find something fun to do so I could get off my butt. I am not able to keep up with most cardio or dance dvds as I am uncoordinated...so I was apprehensive about buying any dance dvd including bellydancing....Let me tell you I was sweating after the warm up(did I mention I was seriously out of shape) I did the first half and will do the second half tomorrow.(again seriously out of shape) I highly recomend it for beginners.
She has a very soothing tone which you won't get sick of hearing. She isolates all the movements and then does a combined move. She breaks down the parts of the body head, arms, chest, hips, shimmies, ect. You can play all from the beginning or go through individual chapters. So if you have the shimmies down but really need to work on the chest you can with out having to run through the whole dvd. The music is great to because it goes to each move and at the correct speed for the section she is showing you ( I know that last part is a little hard to understand but when you get the dvd you will go "I get what she was saying"!).
I would recomend for anyone wanting to learn or perfect there technique. For some like my self you will get some cardio benefit, but for girls that are in shape the best that this can do is perfect your movements. All in all it is a win win for everyone.
Too Fun!, March 14, 2007
Reviewer: Jennie A Z-A (North Carolina)
I read the great reviews of this and decided to give it a shot, on a whim, not really thinking that I could learn belly dance. I can't dance to save my life, but she breaks it down and makes it simple and not intimidating, so that even someone as totally un-coordinated as I am can actually get it. (although I'm still working on doing the opposite snake arms...) And it is too much fun! I have a very hard time sticking with any form of exercise, but I really look forward to doing this every day! I am out of shape after my 3rd child and having knee problems; this is no impact but you are working your muscles and really feel it the next day. I have also seen an amazing decrease in general "aches and pains" since starting this; I don't know if that's due to posture improvement or better muscle tone or what, but I'm thrilled and I know it's related to doing this DVD. I am a total beginner and obviously no expert on belly dance, but I can say that this is a lot of fun and really makes you feel good!!! I think that someone who really picks this up quickly might want something more challenging, or maybe just a longer section of actual dancing, after several times through. I agree with the person who suggested having a mirror when you do this; that really helps.
GREAT Workout, March 8, 2007
Reviewer: Busy Mom
After years of trying & failing to stick with a regular workout plan of any kind I decided to try to find something that sounded like fun. I just happened to stumble upon Amira's Bellydance 101 video while surfing around on Amazon.com, and decided to give it a try. I absolutely love it. It's a lot of fun and in the four weeks that I've been doing the workout I'm seeing my extra belly fat literally melt off of my body, my arms are becoming more toned, and I feel great! As an added bonus, my husband is really enjoying my new "moves!" :-) The instruction on this video is perfect for a novice, and I really appreciate that Amira is so encouraging, affirming, and sometimes even funny in her instructions and descriptions of moves. The costuming, music, and set are all very tasteful and are nicely photographed--the camera is, as another reviewer stated, exactly where it should be. If you're looking for a fun way to get into a regular and effective workout program, you can't go wrong with this DVD.
Good begginners cd but not much longevity, March 8, 2007
Reviewer: Kindred_Spirit "Tracie" (Carbondale, IL USA)
I became infatuated with belly dancing not too long ago and rather than pay for an expensive class I decided to buy a dvd. I believe that is the way to go and I recommend getting a dvd even if you are taking a course. I researched which belly dancing dvd's were great for beginners and Amira is definitely up there. She teaches you some of the very basic belly dancing moves. The dvd is broken into sections isolating the hips, the chest, shimmies, etc. She gives you verbal and visual instruction on how to perform the moves. There is a descent warm-up and cool-down and a nice comibnation at the end that puts together some of what you have learned. After a while I had become bored with the dvd not because I had mastered all the moves but because I noticed other beginner dvd's had some more advanced moves in addition to what Amira was teaching. You feel a slight burn as you do with most physical activity but this is not a cardio dvd, not much for fat burning. I don't think Amira covers the most important basic movements of belly dacning but she does a great job with what she does cover.
Good for basics..., February 19, 2007
Reviewer: Kim "bead baby" (Indianapolis, IN)
I found this video to be fun for learning some of the basic moves, but really lacked any substantial content. It felt like there was more to the advertisement for her shows than what was in the actual "fitness" video. It was interesting to watch, but seemed to lose something in translation.
(Editor's note: There are no advertisements on the DVD, and no mention of any shows, but there is a bonus performance video included)
Clear, Easy to Understand and sensitive to the beginners needs!, February 18, 2007
Reviewer: KELLY (Gloucester, UK)
I trawled the internet looking at other reviews on different belly dancing DVDs. At the time I had just begun a belly dancing class in my local area by a teacher that was a terrible teacher for beginners she prefferred to show off instead of break down the moves. By my 3rd week I felt worse at belly dancing not better so I left her class. Anyway I bought this DVD and did not use it until many months later when I found an excellent teacher in my area which I am still learning with now. The moves in the DVD are clear, easy to understand and the ladies voice makes me feel like I can do it. She gives a lot of compliments throughout and this is very supportive.
My teacher even borrowed my DVD as she found the description on the shimmies an excellent way to teach and was new to her which she now teaches in all her beginners classes. Overall I highly recommend this if you are new to belly dancing! and keep at it, its life changing!
Fooling Myself in a Good Way, February 4, 2007
Reviewer: Margaret "Just Margie" (Dallas, TX United States)
I hate to exercise. But, I do like to dance. My husband and I are planning a trip to Rome this fall and I realized that I had better get in shape. There are a lot of stairs in Rome. We are staying in a penthouse apartment and if the elevator breaks I might not make it up to the fifth floor in the condition I am now! So, I bought this DVD. I figured, I'm just learning a new way to dance. This isn't really exercise. It's dancing. And you knwo what? I think I've got myself fooled pretty well. I have a great time with this beginner's session every time I pop it in. It moves at a reasonable pace for my 44 year old self. By the end, I'm "glowing" but not actually panting. Amira is just darling. I recommend trying it the first few times in a room with no mirror. Just imagine that you look as cute as she does and have fun! After a couple of weeks, I have acquired my first jangly hip scarf. This is going to be more fun than I thought it would be!
Learning to shimmy at middle-age., February 1, 2007
Reviewer: sohonz (New Zealand)
I never contemplated learning belly dancing as a fitness workout. I am your classic couch potato, sweating is just not my idea of fun. Yet, I am aware at my age that fitness and flexibility are important. Muscular women standing at the front of a class yelling out the tired old motivation phrases in a gym doesn't do it for me. I was cruising around here on Amazon and I found belly dancing for fitness. The reviews helped me make up my mind and I bought Amiras DVD. While Amira is gorgeous, young and a body to die for. You soon forget all those details as she takes you through the routines. Perhaps its the cultural background she gives, belly dancing is by women for women. Size or your present fitness levels should not restrict you from at least trying belly dancing. Amira shows warm up and warm down exercises that naturally flow with the dance routines. Slow, methodical and easy, and yet she tested body parts I didn't even know I could move. Rewind to your hearts content until you get it right. Amira has a nice soothing, inspirational voice. Great camera angles to show you how to do certain steps. Practise your shimmys while you do the dishes.
Only one gripe, the DVD format is being sold as all regions. It's not. It's probably US & Canada. Luckily my daughter has a laptop, and I use that for viewing.
(Editor's note: Sorry, but this is not correct. It is in fact region free and plays worldwide)
Toning The Older Belly, January 18, 2007
Reviewer: Pamela S. "eternally learning" (Lutsen, MN, USA)
I've often thought that if having a belly is a criterion for belly dancing, I was certainly well-qualified; further, if I'm going to cart this belly around, I might as well tone and slim it down. Since I am a woman "of a certain age", there are muscle groups I haven't used since grade school, so I was anxious that I not rupture anything. Amira's Belly Dance 101 provides simple, straight-forward, easy to understand directions (including what NOT to do) for each movement. At first, my brain sent signals to large muscle groups that were ignored, as though the muscles were on a coffee break and couldn't be bothered to respond, but by persistently sending the signals over time I could see things like lateral chest movement, alternating shoulder thrusts, and smooth hip slides. I used Amira's warm up, isolating exercises, and cool down like a regular exercise tape and disregarded combinations until I had every one of the individual isolating movements down pat. Then I moved on to Ansuya's Lavish Layers in much the same way I approached Amira's 101, and now I do both tapes. Ansuya's tape is also excellent, but for jumping into belly dancing as a rank beginner, Amira's Belly 101 is far and away the clearest route. In addition to toning up my mid-section, I've increased my spine and neck flexibility, and mobility of movement overall. Want to know the best part? IT'S FUN!
Perfect for New Dancer, November 16, 2006
Reviewer: New Bellydancer
Amira breaks down each step so the absolute beginner can actually learn to bellydance.At the end she puts some of the moves together (the combination) and it is very easy to learn.I have purchased four other videos before Amira's and could not actually get the hang of it.Amira's Bellydance 101 is the very best instructional video for the absolute beginner and I beleive Amira can teach anyone to bellydance.My husband was amazed when I went through the combination dance for him. I just can't wait for Amira's Bellydance 102 to come out!( Hope there will be one)
Amazing, October 18, 2006
I am using this DVD as a supplement to the class I just started and I must say this DVD is amazing. Amira is very clear in her description of the movements and allows time to practice each before moveing on to the next. Need more time on a move, just back up a bit go through it again. She also has great warm-up and cool-down routines that start and the the DVD (I also use the warm-up in the morning bfore starting my day). The movements are also divided into catagories by what part of the body you are using (Head and shoulders, chest, hips, etc. also has shimmies). Also, the set design is not distraction and the costumes simple (and I feel affordably replicable). Over all a great DVD to pick up if you are starting bellydancing.
Absolutely great buy!, October 11, 2006
I'm very new in the world of bellydance and I truly needed something which would make me continue what I started a little while ago- learn how to belly dance. I took couple of classes and it got very confusing with the end result of belly dancing being too hard and unreachable for me. Then my husband got me this DVD trying to help my dream come true. I was amazed how well and in a sweet simple manner Amira tells you exactly what and how to do and also what not to do. Plus I was surprised how good of a workout I got! With the help of this insturctional DVD I got back my desire to really learn the magic of this dance style! Thank You!
Best Instructional DVD, October 2, 2006
Reviewer: Verna D. "nijiyyah" (rochester, ny)
I started a belly dancing class 3 weeks ago. My class is every monday night.
The instructor's goes through the belly technique so fast, it's hard to get the basic. I purchase Amira 101 Belly Dance Dvd, I learned so much from this dvd, then I did in my three week class. Amira is so good, very clear on the technique. She show you the technique in many different speed; slow, medium and fast. She gives you tip on the correct way of doing the technique. I highly recommend this dvd for any one who is a beginner, semi-advance beginner or for folks for home viewing. If there was more stars I would give this dvd a 10********** Stars.
Excellet Bellydance DVD for the Beginner!, September 6, 2006
Amira's Bellydance 101 is a great instructional dvd for beginners to bellydance.
Amira gives clear explanations and visual demonstrations step by step to help you understand the basic moves that are the foundation of bellydance. She teaches many foundation movements from hip drops to basic shimmies, pays special attention to proper dance posture, and includes a warm-up/cool-down.
The overall production of the DVD is very professional, good lighting and sound. There are no annoying, abrupt camera angles or zoom effects. Amira's outfits are tasteful and appropriate, and do not distract from, or hide her movements.
Though I enjoyed the "combinations" section, a short repetitive drill of the moves learned, I have to say I was disappointed that it did not show how to layer the moves together to create a simple dance routine.
Overall, I would highly recommend this DVD to anyone who is a beginner to bellydance. It is a good "starter" instructional DVD for the person who does not have access to a bellydance class and great for "at home practice" for those that do. Another great beginner bellydance DVD to try is Bellydance Basics and Beyond with Jenna. Both of these DVDs will cover most of the basic moves that would be taught in a beginner level bellydance class.
Superb instruction and production, but not a true workout, August 10, 2006
Reviewer: Tamara (USA)
Amira is a terrific teacher. I find her instruction impeccable, plus she stresses things that are easy to forget for a beginner and identifies common mistakes. Her presence on the video is so warm and elegant. The production quality is also impressive. My only complaint is that this is advertised as a workout as well, but I wouldn't say so. I didn't feel really warmed up to do the stretching at the end. The exercises are very low impact and not long enough, and the breaks between them are kind of annoying (every time before the next chapter begins, you have to wait for its name to show up slowly).
PERFECT FOR BEGINNERS!, July 27, 2006
Reviewer: G. F. (Winston Salem, NC)
This is the perfect beginners DVD! After a couple of weeks of pure fustration with other DVD's (not having the move fully explained, or not being able to see anything other then the workout instructors navel), I ordered this one. If you are one of the totally un-initiated like I am, this work out is for you. Granted once you master the moves, you will quickly want to go on to others, but this has been a Godsend. She explains, goes slow, does plenty of repetitions and gives great visual technique! Even I was able to accomplish the body wave (maybe not well...)after the first workout.
I highly recommend this video for all literal beginners!
I loved It! A must buy for beginners., July 24, 2006
Reviewer: Ashley "The belly" (Oregon)
I liked the movie a lot. It is very relaxing too. I love the cool down. I always feel great when its over. As far as the set goes, I thought it was nice. Kinda cozy. Anyway evry belly dancer should own a copy.
The Best DVD for Learning the Basics of Bellydance!!!, July 19, 2006
Reviewer: Naimah "creative spirit"
Amira provides an exercise video that celebrates women's natural bodies, strength, grace and beauty.
This DVD offers a solid foundation in bellydance by expertly teaching basic movements and techniques. I am impressed with Amira's teaching style, the beautiful dance moves, her clear and concise commentary, and the quality of the video. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning this sensual and creative art form.
I think it is important for instructional videos to provide proper guidance and explanation of the techniques. I never felt like she was moving too fast, and I appreciated the combination of technical and artistic explanations of the movements. It also never felt boring or slow. Plus the setting looks like an Arabian lounge complete with Persian rugs and velvet pillows, and the music by Hossam Ramsy is gorgeous! It really added to the sensual and relaxing feeling of the video.
I definately give this DVD two thumbs up!! (Or two hip lifts!)
Amira's Belly Dance 101 teaching DVD, July 16, 2006
Reviewer: Barbara (Tiverton, RI United States)
Amira has done a fantastic job of presenting this material on the " basic movements of Middle Eastern/ Belly Dance". Her presentation is very clear and well expressed. Her introduction to the history of the dance is wonderful including the variety of beautiful diverse photos . I am very impressed with the comprehensive quality presented by such a young dancer. It is the first teaching DVD, I recommended to all my "ageless students , 10 - 67, who I am currently teaching now. Bravo Amira!!!! Sincerely Barbara of RI [...]
I agree with the previous reviews, June 17, 2006
Reviewer: R. G. "Book and Music Buff" (Dallas, TX USA)
As a total beginner, I watched this DVD once and was able to keep up with her pretty accurately at the end when she put all movements together. I'm 54 and have gained 40 pounds over the past two years (up from size 6 for 30 years). I was delighted to feel graceful and feminine while going these exercises with Amira. I'm slightly sore today...not an unpleasant sensation, but a sign that muscles were really used. If you're interested in Belly Dance, I think you'll really like Amira.
Good Instruction, May 14, 2006
I really appreciate the proper instruction in this DVD. The first sequence about posture is very informative and I like Amira's efforts to contrast 'this is the correct way to do a move', and 'this is not the correct way to do a move'. It gives you great pointers and I find it most effective to have a full-length mirror next to the TV so I can see my form properly. I would like it if there was a second combination at the end or more moves to grow with. Lastly, I don't recommend this for 'production snobs'- this is about bellydance, not cinematography. Nonetheless, this provides great instruction for a beginner.
Among the best, May 5, 2006
Reviewer: A woman
First of all, I think the best instructional and workout DVD is "Learn lavish layers with Ansuya".
But Amira's disk is also of exemplary quality, and I can see how for some people it might be the best place to start:
- Amira teaches the proper posture and reminds you about it throughout her lesson. Majority of instructional videos neglect that.
- Her instructions are more thoughtful than in any other bellydance program I've seen so far (except Ansuya's).
- Unlike some instructors who don't realize that you need to practice the moves individually before you can put them together and up to speed, Amira makes sure you absorb each movement by repeating it many times.
- The camera is always where it belongs (which is rare in the world of bellydance videos).
- Amira's style is very soothing and helps focus on movement execution. There are bellydancers that are more picturesque, but their intense Mideastern charm might overwhelm or distract a beginner. Their bodies also may intimidate an overweight novice, whereas Amira shows that you don't have to be slender to be able to move with admirable grace. And Amira is certainly pretty as well.
- Amira's appearance and the choice of background and music are very tasteful.
This video is probably the gentlest, non-intimidating introduction to bellydance I've seen so far. But the drawback of this approach is that you might outgrow it rather quickly. "Learn lavish layers with Ansuya" will prove much more efficient in the long run.
A must-have!, April 8, 2006
Reviewer: Serena (Las Vegas, NV)
I must say this DVD is an excellent start for anyone interested in bellydance. Not only does Amira break down and explain the movement and how to execute it, she also shows you different ways of learning and breaking down the moves. It is extremely helpful as everybody learns differently. I have been bellydancing for a little over a year but rarely get to take a technique class anymore. I do this DVD everyday. It has definately helped me improve, especially my shimmies. One of my favorite aspects of the DVD is that Amira not only focuses on the movement and technique but your breathing and mental clarity as well. She uses some "meditation-like" visualizations during the warm-up and cool down that I find help calm me down and relax. Having taken class with Amira a few times, I can tell you she is an absolutely amazing and beautiful person inside and out and it shows through on this DVD. A definite must have!
Easy to Follow, February 17, 2006
Reviewer: Susan M. "Susan" (Oklahoma, USA)
I received this cd in 2 days. The learning pace is excellent for a beginner. I would definitely recommend this cd to begin your belly dancing fun and exercise.
Great instructional video, February 12, 2006
Reviewer: Randi M. Chatterton
There are many bellydance videos on the market that promote bellydance workouts, but they do not break down the moves to help you learn and they don't educate you on bellydance history or terms. Amira's Bellydance 101 is an excellent resource for anyone interested in learning more about the art form. Amira breaks down all the basic moves to help you begin a hobby that will surely turn into an obsession. I have been dancing for over a year now, and Amira's instruction has helped me improve my skills and feel confident about my dancing. She has such a beautiful spirit and disposition, you will fall in love with her the minute you watch it!
Wonderful Instruction!, January 4, 2006
Reviewer: Bianca (Bellingham, WA)
I am new to bellydancing and I have not found an instructor in my area. As a result, I have slogged through a lot of instructional DVDs trying to find a good one. Let me tell you they are few and far between. This is an EXCELLENT instructional DVD. Amira gives you wonderful tips and visuals for learning the different moves. Besides the quality instruction, this is shot very well: the camerawork and the voiceover are right on cue, and that is not easy to find. If you are interested in learning to bellydance, do yourself a favor and buy this DVD. You will get a lovely introduction to this dance from a very good teacher. I promise you will not regret it. If you are still unsure after reading these reviews, then look at the price. Amira's DVD is half the cost of other instructional (not fitness) DVDs out there and she is a far better teacher than many of them. You won't regret it. I hope she comes out with more DVDs soon!
Amira's DVD - Opinion by Linn/YaShara, December 30, 2005
Reviewer: Linn (Las Vegas, NV)
I know Amira personally & like her very much; however, this review is NOT based on that. This DVD is a very good start for anyone interested in belly dancing - Amira has studied with several professionals herself & done research before putting this DVD together. This DVD is easy to see what's being done; easy to understand; is well put together; and will benefit anyone getting started in belly dancing. I definitely recommend this DVD for your beginning collection.
Dancingly Yours, Linn/YaShara
Amira's student's review, December 26, 2005
Reviewer: Aigul B. (Las Vegas, NV)
I'm proud to be Amira's student. Her unique teaching technique and all-the-time positiveness make "Bellydance 101" DVD so easy and fun to follow! It's not only the best way of working out, it is also a key to the magic and beautiful world of bellydance. Love yourself, your body and soul with Amira's "Bellydance 101" DVD!!!!!
A review from BellyDanceGoddess.com, December 23, 2005
Reviewer: BellyDanceGoddess.com (Miami, Florida USA)
I had the pleasure of seeing Amira perform at a show in Miami this past year. Her grace and control was exceptional! She was a pleasure to watch and I was excited to get the DVD.
Amira's teaching style is both supportive and reassuring. She emphasizes posture, form and solid technique (for beginners) in the DVD. The production quality of the DVD is EXCELLENT with quality music, set, costumes and video technique/effects to illustrate her explanations, demonstrations and descriptions (and her soothing voice/unique accent make it all the more enjoyable). The extra effort into the production quality makes this DVD leagues above much of what is on the market. There are some nice extras on this DVD as well. You get to see Amira perform with an Arabic band/singer for a live audience (a rare treat in the world of Bellydance DVDs)! 5 stars, I reccommend this DVD to my beginner students. :-)
"Bellydance 101" DVD became my Bestfriend, December 22, 2005
Reviewer: Zhanna (Singapore)
I would like to thank's Amira, my Bellydance teacher who gave me the possibility to continue her cours and to improve my knowledge of dance thru "Bellydance 101" DVD. Now that I am in Asia, I really appreciate to have with me Amira's DVD which is fun,organiezed, easy to follow and which offers me the choice of different levels. I'm working now with good teachers in Singapore, and I value even more Amira's work. She gives me inspiration and motivation.
Amira: Personal Friend and Definite Inspiration!, December 22, 2005
Reviewer: Damien Burt "Maharasha the Male Bellydancer" (Las Vegas, NV USA)
A Personal Letter I Recently Wrote To Amira:
"...I gave my Mom your bellydance dvd a month before her birthday, so she can perform a routine for the family on her birthday. Her confidence and commitment to bellydance has skyrocketed already, and it has barely been a week.
So I just wanted to thank you for being one of those teachers who proper posture and technique is important to while also teaching at a pace that is truly welcoming to all! You have given my mom the courage to step into the spotlight and be beautiful. THANK YOU!
Damien aka Maharasha
I have been Amira's ONLY regular male bellydancer in her weekly classes at the Las Vegas Athletic Club for 3 months... I say this without exaggeration: Amira's DVD is made for everyone and everyone can learn something from it, no matter if you are the budding enthusiast or a seasoned professional! I will start teaching bellydance in early 2006 at the same gym she does and without question, I am using her DVD to develop my curriculum. It has been an invaluable help!
PLEASE check out this DVD... It will pay for itself time and time again in the techniques you will master and the confidence you will inevitably gain. Enjoy!
Amira's "Bellydance 101" DVD, December 22, 2005
Reviewer: Iris Sally "IrisS." (las vegas, NV United States)
This DVD is all that & more. I learned so much after watching it only once & was actually doing some of the sexy moves! I would highly recommend it to anyone that wants to add that missing or somewhat lacking "something" back into their lives. It also helps that my hubby of 20 years loves what I've learned.
It's a no brainer to me!