Serpentine Review: Drills
So I've spent some more time with Rachel Brice's Serpentine DVD. As I mentioned before, it's a ton of material so it is taking a while to wade through it all. Rachel has posted sample practice schedules to help tackle the material and develop a structured practice that makes sense.
Anyway, this review is supposed to be about the drilling, so let's move on.
Shimmy Drill. You'd think shimmying for thirteen minutes straight would be boring and tiring, but no. It's all fun all the time. Lots of work with layers over standard big shimmies, but also 3/4 on the up and on the down, vibrations, and choo-choos.
Leg Strengthening Drills. Like the Shimmy Drill, this is a great full-body warm-up. There are simple, easy to follow movements that build upon each other to create a short combination, followed by some deep level changes.
Isolations. Honestly, I was underwhelmed by this portion of the DVD. I don't think the drills are long enough to be particularly beneficial. And I say that as someon who has an extremely short attention span when it comes to drilling! However, I did like the use of multiple foot patterns with each isolation. I just wish it was longer because it takes a while for my brain to shut up so my body can just do what it's supposed to.
There's not much explanation on how to execute the movements, which I suppose is fine for more experienced dancers, except that even I was confused by nuances such as the two "different" kind of chest lifts. Also, having two troupemates dealing with shoulder/upper body alignment made me hesitant to go full-force into the big shoulder isolations.
Overall, I am a huge fan of Serpentine. I have a pretty strong personal practice of yoga and dance, but I do still like to use DVDs, especially if I'm in a creative rut or if there is something particular I want to work on. I'm sure I'll get a lot of use out of this one because it has so much content but they are in segments short enough to insert into a longer practice. I am crazy about the shimmy drill. I've used the yoga as a warm up and as a cool down several times already. Seriously, this is probably the safest yoga practice I've seen on any DVD (including the yoga DVDs I've seen!) and it is a really nice pace for any part of the practice.
I would not recommend it to an absolute beginner because there is just not enough detailed instruction on how to execute basic moves safely and effectively. For someone who has some experience and body awareness, I think this DVD set is an excellent resource.