Best Belly Dance DVDs

Best Belly Dance DVDs
5 (100%) 4 votes

Best Belly Dance DVDs:
Mellilah’s Top Picks (Return for updates!)

Sahra Saeeda I recommend any and all performance or instructional videos/DVDs by Sahra Saeeda for her authentic Egyptian style and excellent historical and practical knowledge of Egyptian style dancing. I love her performance “Sahra Saeeda” DVD in which she performs 9 dances in 9 different locations throughout Cairo. I find myself watching it over and over again!

sahra saeeda

“Sahra Saeeda” DVD

Jamila Salimpour’s Archive Series Volumes 1-4 – Learn Jamila Salimpour’s format that she developed from Bal Anat and tribal belly dance over 50 years ago. This is a valuable historical collection of the roots of American style belly dance! It’s challenging and well organized. I love the review at the end of each volume, performed with finger cymbals. Every belly dancer should have this collection. Not sure where you can purchase these but I’d check with Suhaila.

Hadia I recommend Hadia’s “Oriental Belly Dance System” for technique and knowledge of warming up, stretching, and body mechanics that all dancers should know. Hadia also has a series of choreography DVDs that will help reinforce good technique. Every dancer should own these!

Shimmies with Khalida This is the absolute, hands-down, best shimmy DVD ever made, in my opinion. Khalida does a great job of breaking down the technique needed for the different types of shimmies and layers used with each shimmy. The best part is the Extended Shimmy Drill which is a full 25 minute drill moving from one shimmy to the next and adding layers. It’s a great drill for professional dancers, too.

The Baladi: Bellydance Egyptian Style, with Ranya Renée (TWO-DVD SET)“Belly Dance Egyptian Style- The Baladi” – Ranya has definitely done her research, and this DVD contains two discs for the price of one. She teaches you the parts of a traditional baladi progression, introducing you to the instruments and rhythms you will hear. She breaks down belly dance moves appropriate for each section and provides improvisational drills. I love how she drills each section of the beledi separately. All and all, Ranya’s is a remarkable DVD. Although some of the moves may be difficult for beginning dancers, it’s definitely appropriate for all, beginning through professional. I really love her other DVDs, too!

Aziza – Aziza always does a great job, as a master performer and instructor. You’ll most likely be satisfied with any of her products. In particular, her “Hands, Arms, and Poses” DVD is well organzied and appropriate for all levels. I also recommend “Veil with Aziza.”

Rakset Assaya an Introduction to Egyptian Saidi Technique This is my favorite Raqs al Assaya DVD taught by Nourhan Sharif. She does a fabulous job of breaking down the various stick movements, transitions and poses. She clearly defines each of the moves and provides practice. Well worth it!

Yasmina Ramzy’s Belly Dance Technique Volume 2 – I really like how Yasmina breaks down the movements, making it easy for all levels. In this DVD she uses mostly a Gawazee 3/4 shimmy (up down up) with the exception of chapter 9. I prefer the Hagala myself for a more Egyptian look, but it’s easy enough to make that switch yourself. A definite plus was how she performed the variations of each movement with the band so you could see it applied in a performance setting, and there are a lot of interesting ways in which she layers a 3/4 shimmy. I’m looking forward to reviewing more of Yasmina’s DVDs. Even if you don’t buy her DVDs, you should definitely check out her school and dance company!

Turn it Up With a ballet background, Summer Sahar helps you master turns and spins for belly dance. She is easy to follow and breaks down each part of the turn, including spoting and arm positions. This is a great addition to your belly dance DVD collection.

Flawless Floorwork: The Lost Art of Belly Dance Floorwork (2009) Ruby is a phenominal instructor and performer. In this DVD she teaches you pilates technique to help you with belly dance floorwork with attention to correct form. She provides you with exercises to strengthen your core, floorwork technique and movement, and floorwork combinations to get you started. If you’re thinking about getting down to the floor with your belly dance, this is the DVD for you.

The Legends of Belly Dance 1947-1976– Performance footage; an excellent collection of the most prominent belly dancers of the past. A DVD every dancer should own.

Leila – Bint al Belad A performance DVD with Leila of Cairo and her band. Contains post modern Egyptian style dancing. Her music CDs are excellent, too!

The Bellydancers of Cairo Not an instructional or performance DVD, but rather a look at the current dance scene in Cairo from a few dancers’ perspectives. I found it very interesting. Available on Netflix. Article about the production of the movie.

To purchase most of the belly dance DVDs recommended above and more, visit my Store.

You might also want to read my article Learning from Belly Dance Videos.

I don’t review the DVDs that I didn’t like, and I surely haven’t seen everything. However, you can email me or leave a comment if you are looking for a 2nd opinion on anything.

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About Mellilah Jamal

Mellilah teaches belly dance classes in Redmond and Bothell and performs for private parties and restaurants throughout Seattle.

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