Sunday, April 22, 2007

DVD Review: Dancing With The Stars Cardio Dance

I've gone through this program about 6 times since I bought it 2 weeks ago and it's becoming one of my favorite ways to shake my tailfeather at home. As an ex-ballerina, it's tough to find dance vids that are truly challenging. Ballroom might not sound like much of a workout but if you've ever watched the show, you know those cats really work out there. And this video really brought a bit of that home. No wonder they have such perfect bodies. I'm thinking a few months with Kym, Maksim & Ashly might do wonders. We'll see. :)

Dances include:

Paso Doble--Matador character dance. A fairly slow-paced low-impact segment but it does incorporate lunges. A bit too slow paced to be considered cardio but it's a good segway between warm-up and the medium-impact cha-cha and samba that follow.

Cha-Cha--Sexy hip-shaking dance! Medium impact/intensity. Really works your waist! My 2nd favorite, after the jive. I can see these moves coming in handy if I ever found myself at Latin night at a club. :)

Samba--An upbeat party dance. Medium impact/intensity. The isolations in the middle and the shakes at the end have me shaking it like Shakira and are super fun.

Jive--My absolute favorite! The jive is a mix of swing and rock 'n' roll. It's pretty high intensity and impact and it leaves me winded for sure (for reference, I'm pretty middle of the road as far as cardio endurance, not a hardcore athlete, not a couch potato). This is the most challenging segment, both intensity and choreography-wise but it's also the most fun. I actually smile through this routine (ok, i smile during the samba & cha-cha too because they're also favorites but the jives tops them all!). It's a lot of skips and fast (though not complicated) footwork. But there are breaks in there too that make for a completely attainable level of difficulty overall.

Things I liked:
*The warm-up and cool-down both leave me feeling properly stretched.
*The instructors are encouraging and pleasant to listen to.
*The routines are plenty challenging both in intensity and choreography.
*The routine's set in the DWTS ballroom, making it visually appealing.
*It's teaching me moves I'll probably be able to use in real life.
*Although I usually skip over it, there's a freestyle section between the jive and the cool-down where you can try freestyling using what you've learned.

Things I didn't like:
*They don't always tell you what to do with your arms so they're just kinda left dangling a lot.
*The instructors' occasional screw-ups during the routine, which throws me off. But of course after a few times through, the routine becomes more familiar and that doesn't matter as much.

Things first time dancers might not like:
*The pace is fairly fast without a lot of detailed instruction about the moves.
*They do toss around some dance terminology but they do pretty well at defining it.

That said, I think first time dancers who are patient would end up loving these routines just as much as the experienced dancers.

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