Lionsgate // 2007 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // January 2nd, 2009
Get fit and have the time of your life!
Fitness DVDs always try to come at you with a newly inspired angle, and this one seems to think the freshest thing is to base an entire exercise routine around a movie that came out over 20 years ago. Maybe they are smart, since most people seem to love the idea of learning how to dance like Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze while getting slimmer. But why now? One motive is this cardio feature is tied to a stage show aiming for Broadway, and we get a preview trailer of the theatrical production as an extra on the DVD. It looks like they are even on the set of the musical. So it's time to pretend you're at Kellerman's, and get ready to dance the summer away.
The hosts are Tracey Mallett and John Byrne. Tracey looks more like a traditional dancer with a nice sense of rhythm, while Mr. Byrne appears as an exercise coach more than a mambo king. The odd thing is Tracey is a fitness star, having produced mommy tone up videos and cardio blast features. Meanwhile John Byrne is known as a choreographer in the dance world. This routine will work if you want to learn some basic dance moves built around mambos and slow marches. An introductory session called the "Syllabus" is meant to give you the basic steps, and it is eleven minutes with the breakdown needed for each routine. There is an option to do the dances with or without instructions, meaning once you feel comfortable with the choreography you can ditch the spoken commands and just listen to the music. Also each routine is offered in detail with how to do the choreography which is a workout on its own. Or you can just roll through all the songs and exercises one after the other without having to do the easy simpler versions.
"Love Man" -- 12 minutes
A routine that incorporates a swivel and snake move along with tons of grapevines. The DVD claims it is inspired by Kellerman's hot dance staff.
"Yes" -- 13 minutes
Your legs will burn as you go through the Charleston and a triple step that is designed to give you great gams.
"Johnny's Mambo" -- 14 minutes
You get to sweat it out to an adaptation of Patrick Swayze's famous movie mambo. Luckily for viewers -- no partner needed.
"Do You Love Me" -- 12 minutes
A more traditional cardio routine built around mashed potato and the twist as well as lots of "forward and back" coupled with "side to side."
"Saturday Night Dance Challenge" -- 11 minutes
The most advanced routine on the disc designed to just let you dirty dance until you're a wet ball of sweat on the floor.
This Dirty Dancing workout could be quite intimidating to people without any dance background, and it's best for those who have a basic understanding of choreographed movement. Anybody who has done step aerobics, Tae Bo, or any dance based cardio should be able to learn this, yet a newcomer wanting to kick off an exercise resolution will find this frustrating enough to give up. The instructors move very fast, and seem to figure you will just use pause and rewind on your remote if you can't get it. But let's face it, even the hired dancers in the background doing the routines look lost at times through this one. That's a sign that things might be a touch too difficult for the average person to pick this DVD up and run with it. If it's challenge you want, here it is.
Okay, so these routines are not exactly what they did in Dirty Dancing, merely inspired by the dance classic movie musical. The mambo emphasizes the "1" count rather than the "2," meaning it is dumbed down a bit to "white people" rhythm rather than an authentic Latin flare. Often these instructors have taken the syncopation out to make things simpler for a general audience. Yet somehow these routines aren't all that basic by any stretch of the imagination, so I would suggest people be prepared for some frustration if you're not a natural dancer. The good news is it's on DVD, so pause and rewind are viable options. It'll definitely make you sweat and should be good for anyone who wants a strong core and a dancer's body. If you can mumble through the choreography, the pay off should be good, and in the end that's probably what you want. Just don't expect to dance any better than Jennifer Grey at the start of Dirty Dancing.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Dirty Dancing: The Musical