Judge Cynthia Boris feels lighter just watching this thing.
Fat Burning Fun!
If you watch Dancing with the Stars, you'll always see a couple of celebs who go from chunky to trim by the end of each season. It's not surprising given that they're practicing high-energy dances 20-plus hours a week, but as far as I'm concerned, bouncing through a jive routine is a lot more fun than running on treadmill at the gym.
That's what makes the concept of these fitness DVDs so appealing—it's not exercise, it's fun!
Dancing with the Stars: Dance Off the Pounds takes you through three routines each designed to be performed without a partner. This is no simple feat, as ballroom dancing is decidedly made for two. In this DVD we have Kym Johnson teaching Swing, Lacey Schwimmer teaching a Jive, and Dmitry Chaplin doing the Quickstep. There's also a cool-down that involves all three of the pro dancers.
All four routines are performed on the Dancing with the Stars stage, which adds a little sparkle to the workout, and the music is easy to listen to over and over again.
Kym, Lacey, and Dmitry are a great mix. Kym's a little more easy-going, Lacey's bouncy, and Dmitry has the charm. But that's where the "good" ends and the "not so great" begins. All three of the dances are built around a complex series of steps that would take any newbie dancer awhile to learn. Trouble is, there's no beginner phase on the DVD. All three instructors move quickly through the steps giving you only a few repetitions before adding another layer. Worst of all, the moves are all done at full-speed. I've worked with other dance videos before and they always teach you the steps in half time before upping the tempo.
Once you master the routines, there's no doubt that these are great, fat burning, cardio workouts. There's an option to shut off the instruction at that point so you can just dance away!
The cool-down session is a series of stretches, and you'd probably benefit from doing this routine before and after the more intensive dance sessions. You can program the DVD to set this up for you with a customizable panel that allows you to put the four parts together in any order you want. This customization is really the only special feature on the disc, despite there being a menu choice labeled Special Features. What you'll find in there are trailers and the credits—really. The credits are a special feature.
The bottom line is this: if you have a dance background or you're already very fit, this DVD is an enjoyable way to burn some calories. If you're a beginner, you'll probably end up frustrated with the speed of the routines.
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