I wanted this DVD from the first time I read about it. I ended up being a little intimidated by the reviews here because they said it was `so hard' and there was no explanation of the moves. So I hesitated to buy it. Then a friend gave it to me as a birthday present (I'd put it on my wish list anyway). Am I ever glad she did!
This is one of the best workout DVD's I've ever had (definitely the best dance DVD), and the previous reviews don't do it justice. Yes, it's a DANCE workout -- and yes, they just show you the steps and then get it on with the routine. However ... if you've EVER done any formal dance moves, you'll know or can pick up most of these moves anyway.
I'm not a dancer, but I've taken aerobics dance classes, a line dance class, and recently an intro to ballroom (yes, because of DANCING WITH THE STARS). I had no problem at all following this tape. When they showed a cha-cha step or a triple step or a turn, for instance, I already knew it. (BTW, it was not the ballroom class that taught me this, but the more general dance aerobics). The few steps I didn't know I just watched. The dancers repeated them several times (and the camera shows them full body), even if they didn't break them down and show them to you slowly. I caught on.
The workout was incredible! The individual dances are really long (ten minutes each of continuous movement), plus a warmup and cooldown which were each five minutes. The DVD has some excellent features, among them the opportunity to program your own custom workout. I did the warmup, the cha cha, the jive and the cooldown, which was 30 minutes total, and I could feel it in every single muscle when I was done. Also, you can choose to do the workout with and without the dancers' instructions, which I think I'll try later when I'm more familiar with the routines. It's well thought out and well put together.
The DVD features routines for the cha-cha, the paso doble, the samba, the jive and a bonus freestyle routine. I especially wanted to do the jive as it was never taught to me and I always loved it on the show. And when it was over -- I was SOAKED!
The dancers are familiar to us all from the show, and they're very personable and fun to dance with. They treat you as a fellow dancer in that they just show you what they're doing and expect you to follow along. They also tell you a little about the origin of each dance as they're starting it, which I liked. (You probably already know this from the show, but I appreciated hearing it again.)
Granted, this is NOT a workout for someone who's never danced and who needs the steps broken down bit by bit. But if you've had even a little dance training (or danced in clubs) and have seen the show, you'll be delighted at what this DVD can do for you. I seldom feel my workouts in my back and hips, but I feel this one! And because the moves are fun and high-energy and you already know the dancers, it doesn't feel like work (I HATE doing something just because it's supposed to be good for you!) It's a truly remarkable full-body workout, so your entire torso, arms and legs will get the benefit. And don't say I didn't warn you: Be prepared to hit the shower immediately afterward, because you are going to sweat!
In sum -- be aware that the DVD is not for complete beginners. But you can have a minimal amount of dance knowledge and do fine with this. If you give yourself time to learn to do it well, it will be an amazing workout for you very soon. As someone who loves to dance, I know this will be a regular part of my exercise routine for a long time to come.
Bravo, Maksim, Ashly and Kim!