Get up and Dance!
Paula Abdul, choreographer for the Lakers and the Jackson Five, brings us her workout: Get Up and Dance!
The video begins with a disclaimer that most of the dancers in the video are not professionals and have never taken a lesson before in their life. It has some words of encouragement to stick with the program and not to get discouraged if the steps are hard to learn. Well, the truth of the matter is that the video and the routines presented in them can be extremely difficult to learn, and both coordination and rhythm are a stiff requirement. After 12 years of dancing, I had trouble picking up some of the routines; someone who is not coordinated for jazz dancing could get very frustrated very quickly.
This exercise routine requires a lot of space; I felt cramped in 5' x 8'. My recommendation is not to try this one unless you have the space to enjoy it. I would recommend tighter fitting clothing that is easy to move in, since bulkier sweats could get in the way of some of the more intricate dance moves. I'm not sure what to recommend footwear wise, but it strongly depends on what type of floor you are dancing on. Do not try this on any type of carpet other then a thin industrial carpet. A hard floor is probably the easiest and most enjoyable choice. This routine would work best in a large open space with full-length wall mirrors extended in front of the entire dance floor, though most people do not have access to dance studios for hour-long workouts. Overall, the routine is fun (at least once you can learn it), especially the YMCA cool down at the end. It is a nice cardio work out, but the video is certainly not for beginners to aerobics, dance, or other complex cardio routines.
The DVD case stated that the video had a widescreen format, however I could not actually find an option on the disc itself that allowed me to view the video in the widescreen format. The video transfer to DVD is excellent; the colors are vibrant and the blacks are true. The shot composition is as entertaining as any exercise routine could be, with the camera moving around several angles. Some of the angles and shots seem rather music video inspired, which makes it difficult for a new dancer to follow the routine and learn the moves. The shots move to varying angles throughout the film, from bird's-eye views, to face shots, to shots from the waist up, while the whole video should be centered on the entire dancers' bodies from the front. Some of the dancers, and Paula herself, wore black leggings, which made it extremely difficult to determine exactly what the dance moves should look like, like distinguish knee bends and such. The sound on the video is extremely clear. Though this is only presented in stereo sound, this was fine, since surround sound would have been overkill. The DVD didn't have any extras, but it's a workout video, and you are obviously not going to get this one for the extras.
This is nowhere near the best work out video I have ever seen, but if you like Paula Abdul, her music, and you love to dance (and I mean love to dance), this is not a bad choice. This court rules Paula as guilty as charged, and she is reminded that this is a workout DVD, not a music video.
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