Zorba, Male Belly Dancer

Henna Design Learn The Art of Male Belly Dancing Henna Design

Learn The Art of Male Belly Dancing by Wesley Gomes, with Cory Zamora

Zorba Rating: Solid Zill Picture Solid Zill Picture Solid Zill Picture ghost Zill Picture ghost Zill Picture

2005, DVD Logo (apparently region free), run time 70 minutes.

Bellydancing for Beginners Video
This video is taught by Wesley Gomes, a well known male Belly Dancer in the Seattle, Washington area. Cory Zamora, his teacher, also contributes. A second male dancer, Gregory, appears in the performance segment at the end. Certainly there are other videos produced by male dancers, but this is the first one I've seen that perports to teach a "male version" of the dance.

Disclaimer: I've exchanged numerous emails with Ms. Zamora as she has taught several male dancers at her studio in Fresno, although I cannot claim to know her well. I am also acquainted with Wesley via on-line forums and emails. I've never met Gregory.

The back cover of the DVD reads in part, "There is an art to 'Male Belly Dancing.' It differs from how women traditionally do the dance...". Those familiar with my philosophies know that I take exception to this viewpoint. Ms. Zamora knows this also, but we have agreed to disagree on this point and respect each other. I will take the video from the maker's viewpoint and attempt not to let my own prejudices cloud this mini-review.

Similar to other videos from Ms. Zamora, this video is a no-frills, no-nonsense, get the job done video. The set is basic, but well lit and effective. Accompanied by "Brothers of the Baladi" music, Wesley and Cory get right down to business.

First, we get a personal greeting/explanation from Cory and Wesley, then we dive right in. Wesley shows us a number of basic Belly Dance movements, including wrist circles, snake arms, chest isolations, figure-8s, shimmies, and several traveling steps. Most movements are first presented, then presented again whilst playing Zills.

Several problems here:

This section closes with Cory explaining her views of male costuming and how to teach a male student.

The last two sections are performance segments. Both Wesley, and Gregory perform for us, and there is a brief interview with Gregory who is, refreshingly in my view, wearing earrings in both ears (not that that has anything to do with Belly Dance, but hey! I'm a sucker for earrings.). Wesley and Gregory both dance very well, and I found their performances enjoyable. Although they do limit themselves as to what they feel appropriate for males to do in this dance, they don't noticeably "masculinize" or stiffen up what's left - they're very fluid and smooth. This video is well worth buying just for the performance segments.

What I liked about this video:

What with the extreme reluctance of males to become involved with our artform, this video shows us that males can indeed do this dance. The instructor's "males dance different" philosophy will definitely resonate with a number of men who otherwise wouldn't consider it.

There is nothing here that isn't on 10,000 other videos by female instructors, but the very fact this is a male instructor will be appealing to many. On the other hand, a prospective male student will need to move on to other videos fairly quickly. In other words, it serves as a good introduction.

The video is well lit, and sound quality is good, although editing is rudimentary.

Its a DVD! YAY!

What I didn't like about this video:

Problems as detailed above

Not enough chapterization. The instruction segment is one chapter, the performances are divided into two more. Makes it hard to "rewind" to repeat movements as the instructional segment moves right along.

You can purchase this video from Link opens in new window Cory's WebSite.

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