Sunday, April 21, 2013
Never thought I would see the day that I would find dance-exercise classes worthy of my participation.
A special note: one of these classes is at The Nameless Studio (a.k.a., the unpronounceable 3nergyrooms ... now, would a real studio call itself something unpronounceable? Don't answer that until you see your lawyer.)
As ever, living in an outer borough of New York City, I live very, VERY far from a yoga-sparse-zone. There are more yoga studios than Starbucks where I live. Seven venues within a mile radius, at last count (not counting any secret basement shalas run by Hindus, etc.--which of course I know nothing about, of which associated ethnicity abounds in my immediate neighborhood ... and there ARE some attending 3nergyrooms, too) ... Anyway ...
THIS is why I got dance classes (in bulk purchase) at one of those primarily-yoga-studios for a veritable SONG ... because they lost their dance students either to yoga or to better dance places, probably in the City (Manhattan) ...
With those logistics, of course, these dance classes (in Indian/Bollywood dance aerobics, called The Masala Bhangra Workout) are not given every day ...
I also have online help from My Yoga. Leilainia has a dance class on video download, which--while not for exactly a song--but for an itty bitty kazoo tune, has PLENTY of yoga in it.
My thing is, I am great at making up my own belly dance exercise routines. Shimmy-intensive, they do not attack the core very much [No, I need floorwork as prime motivation for core if I am going to author my own moves. And, quite obviously, my knowledge is whatever I can bring to the table skills-wise, with an eye towards: "How could I challenge myself beyond current capacity?"--and also this more old-school framework of the ACSM bell-curve in cardio-intensity]
Now, there IS a way to get at the core (and the arms better than I do), within the dance-exercise genre ... if we are speaking cross-cultural, low-impact dance-exercise.
One way is with the Masala Bhangra Workout. And the other way is (not much trial and error before taking the inductive leap on THIS find) with SharQui - The Belly Dance Workout.
Now, that Level 2 DVD is really expensive, as DVDs go (I don't think their Level 1 is any less expensive); and it's worth every penny, imho.
As far as cardio intensity, both of these dance-exercise workouts take a more "moonshot" approach to the workout pacing. Just no gradual lessening of intensity from peak towards cool-down. Not like in the bell curve, which--any fitness professionals who know, in the house?--may have gone out of fashion. Or possibly earliest '80s aerobics influence kicking in--before the bell curve made the scene and then the trend? At very least, the cool-downs are of the adequate length ... which is the mark of the professional ...
[Ahh, the drawbacks of being THIS old and just knowing the ideas and trends that came before ...]
When a teacher (on DVD) could get an energy reading (via telepathy?) from her participating audience, this is the kind of teaching mastery (charisma?) I guess I rarely encountered from a live cardio-dance teacher. [Of course, I took classes when I was young and more the "class-taking type".] This is probably why Richard Simmons has had such a long-lasting career--"old school" or not. And was flabbergasted to have found identification with their students/audience/participants evident with so many yoga teachers. Until, of course, they would invariably start to p-- me off with their food phobias that they would trot out during dharma talks in yoga class. At my age and strength level, I DO see what the big deal and draw is with overpriced live yoga classes for young people. Just because of that.
Anyway, I just want to say ... if you have trouble with finding a good workout on video or classes you could do ... don't overlook these two led classes ...
I do not have the physical space in my apartment to do justice to The Masala Bhangra Workout on DVD, or I would do that one at home, too. Such is living in the New York City area, in a tiny railroad-ish studio flat. I really have to improvise on all those "travel sideways" moves, and I do. And still, it's much fun!
The best thing about this dvd is: No talk about being sexy, feminine wiles, zipping up to fit into your skinny jeans, fitting into a bikini or talking your way out of a traffic ticket ... this is a serious belly dance exercise dvd. The moves are serious; the tone is fun but serious. Kind of like yoga class that way.