Before I started doing the dance cardio, I had been warned by other reviewers that it wasn't for non-dancers and that the instruction was limited. But I was so interested to try something different, I didn't really care - so what if it's hard? What if I look stupid? I'll get used to it. I am an AWFUL dancer and am not graceful. I have rhythm but I am by no means a ballerina, and I get dizzy with spins. But I am a runner and I'm fit. If you're in terrible shape and have no ability to dance and are extremely overweight, then no, you shouldn't do this video. Isn't that obvious?
When I put the DVD in and started with the first dance, I knew right away that I would have to learn dance by dance and not try to learn them all within the first day. The key to this program is patience, which no one has. Once I learned the first dance, which did involve watching 50 times, I was stoked to have memorized it and be able to dance and actually get a work out without counting or worrying about form. Granted, I only did one song. I did the same thing the next two times I did the video- just the first song and I did that over and over again (so that I got a total of 20 minutes of cardio). The repetition was a little boring at first, but I got good at it. Then I moved onto the next song and so on for the rest. I can do all 6 songs in a row with the choreography memorized. But this did take WEEKS not HOURS.
Honestly, after you've done this for a few weeks, you are so thankful that she doesn't talk. I've done P-90X and Slim in 6 and all these others where they just babble the entire time and it's like shut up already. You do not need instruction after you've learned the dances, which is what Tracy says. Trust me - you just have to be patient.
Here are some tips for getting through her videos with some modifications:
-You do need a lot of space. Particularly if you plan on doing all of the jumps, turns, and traveling movements to the full extent, don't try to do this in a small bedroom. That is the one downside. Luckily I have a large living room and I'm not in an apartment, but I imagine if you're in a building, the people below you will be pissed at the stomping.
-Stretch your calves. I'm a runner, so my calves were already used to bouncing. If you're not, this video will do you in. Stretch them out, soak them in hot water, do what you can to keep them from locking up. It's a lot of hopping, jumping, skipping, and bouncing around.
-Avoid the spins if you get dizzy - every time she spins, I do a jumping jack. I am not a coordinated dancer, and the turns were just too much, so I skip them. Easy.
-Stay casual - particularly in the third dance, she messes up and doesn't keep the choreography perfect. You can even tell where they edited the video to repeat her moves over again. Just be easy. I've read people complain that the dance wasn't perfect and THAT'S why they stopped. Please. The woman is incredible, so cut her some slack and just go with it. So your dance is a little interrupted - cry me a river.
-Do the cardio BEFORE the mat workout, not the other way around. You want your muscles warm during the mat stuff and you don't want your legs to give out during the cardio.
-Dont' quit, just skip a series - if you get tired, just bounce in place during a full combination and jump back in when you can. Don't give up - the cardio is totally doable for someone who is in moderately good shape.
-Watch those hips - esp if you do this with the mat workout, your hips might lock up. If your hips start to hurt, lower the intensity of kicks or jumping jacks to minimize the range of motion.
So yes, Tracy is not the best dance instructor in the world - but this is not meant to make you a better dancer, it's meant to help you lose weight. The dancing part is just means to the end, so don't worry about whether or not the combination is perfectly taught to you. I read reviews all the time from people complaining how she's a bad dance teacher so they stopped doing it - that just sounds like laziness to me. Yes the program takes at least 1.5 hours/day 4-5 times/week, yes it's a time commitment. But guess what - no one gets toned and sexy doing nothing. It requires hard work - so if you're not willing to put in the time and effort and patience, then try jogging for 2 hours/day or stop eating.
I wrote this about her mat video, too - the moves are not straight forward. Just watch it over again to learn it, but don't complain that the video didn't magically make you drop 5 pounds instantly. Tracy is not a genie. It is challenging, hard work but it gives results. I went from size 6 to size 2 within 2 months.