This Instructional 2 – DVD set quickly became one of my favorites within the first 5 minutes of popping it in the player. And is now one of the DVD’s that I frequently play to do the Yoga portions and to practice drills. Her Yoga portions in this DV have such a great flow to them, that most other warm ups (yoga or otherwise) seem to lack.
The opening and closing Yoga instruction is phenomenal. Rachel Brice takes her knowledge of Yoga and Dance and creates a warm up and cool down portion that is site specific to the dancer to help the dancer lengthen, strengthen, elongate, and create the flexibility needed for safe dance practice and performance. And includes proper breath technique!
The Instructional Drill portion is invaluable for anyone Bellydancing. Great descriptions that leads itself into the fluidity of the moves. This section is divided into Leg Strengthening Drills, Isolation Drills, and Shimmy Drills, making it easy to pick one to concentrate on if time doesn’t permit the full DVD. Her drills start out with the fundamentals and then how to layer, then how to travel, making this DVD a valuable resource no matter what your dance style/level/experience is.
Then comes learning and incorporating various moves and some of Rachel Brice’s signature moves into not one, but two choreographies. One being a fun and playful routine, the other her slow & sultry routine with her signature serpentine style and backbends. The choreography section is nicely done with a slow and meticulous breakdown of the moves in stages at a slower pace, and then builds up to tempo. There is also a feature on this DVD that enables you to ‘loop’ these practice sessions, as practice makes perfect.
As Rachel Brice is also known for her backbends, she also includes a yoga portion specifically to open the areas of your body to do these moves. All of her yoga sections incorporate a beginner version on up to a more advanced, so you can definitely grow and improve with this DVD for years to come.
The final icing on the cake ~ Two performances by Rachel Brice. And who isn't captivated by the diversity, strength, fluidity, range of motion and body subtleties of Rachel Brice. A true Bellydance Superstar.
Rachel Brice first fell in love with Belly Dance at 16 years old, when she saw The Gypsy Moor Dancers (who later became Hahbi'Ru) at a Renaissance Faire, and started classes with Atesh immediately. Soon after, she discovered a video of Suhaila Salimpour which she obsessively studied. She began making her living by performing American Cabaret Belly Dance at restaurants and teaching yoga while putting herself through school.
A decade later she discovered Carolena Nericcio's American Tribal Style, which shifted her aesthetic from nightclub to nomad, and Jill Parker became her technique inspiration. She then studied several world and contemporary dance forms as she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Ethnology. The fresh immersion in these dance forms and exposure to San Francisco culture began to mix with her 10 years as a restaurant dancer, and she (unwittingly) started to blend these influences and create something new.
In 2001 she was accidentally discovered by rock mogul Miles Copeland, and toured for several years with his company, The Bellydance Superstars. Through The BDSS, Rachel had the opportunity to work with the incredible Mardi Love, who quickly became her hero and muse. Mardi had also started with Cabaret before discovering Tribal, and as they made dances and costumes together for BDSS, a new style, influenced by the late 1800s to 1920s, emerged. These international tours, along with the newly born YouTube, sparked a global interest in this emerging style of Belly Dance, which has gone on to grow, change, and evolve.
Today, Rachel studies with her teachers Carolena Nericcio and Gary Kraftsow. Whenever possible, she takes classes with her colleagues.
When not teaching on the road, she lives and teaches at her home studio Datura, located in Portland Oregon.