One of my favorite belly dance videos is Aziza of Montreal’s Practice Companion. As she states in the intro, the video was produced at the request of her many students and workshop participants. It follows a format of a typical Aziza class, with her at the head of the room facing her students leading them through a series of belly dance drills.
I adore Aziza as a teacher. You can tell that she loves this dance, and that joy rubs off. Following this video is much like attending a workshop, which I had the privilege of doing last year. Not the part where you learn an intense choreography in 3 hours, but the part where you go through every shimmy you know, for what feels like three hours!
The video is shot in first person, as if you were an abnormally tall student in the back of class. You are drilled in what is guaranteed to be a workout that will make you sweat. Bonus features include a performance by Aziza infront of a live audience.
What do you learn
The DVD begins with a ballet inspired warm up that focuses on strong arms and perfect posture. As always, Aziza instructs you to “be amazed” – let your arms move with intent and purpose. After you are finished drilling your arm positions you quickly transition into the isolation portion. This is an amazingly intense workout. Once you finish a few hours worth of shimmying (just kidding) you finally get a great cool down followed by a special performance by Aziza.
All in all, I give this video 5 stars, two thumbs up, and a Zaghareet!