Last week, I revealed that I had purchased two work-out DVD’s (for less than $20!!!). One of them was a Pussycat Dolls DVD, and the other was “Dancing with the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance”! This week, I’d like to talk about how much better DWTS’s DVDs are than PCD’s.
Because seriously, they’re much better.
DWTS’s Latin Cardio DVD walks the viewer through four essential Latin dances: the merengue, cha cha, samba, and mambo.
I would just like to say that the twists involved in the latter half of the merengue dance absolutely destroyed my abs. It. Was. Awesome. I truly did not expect to get that much of a workout out of these dances.
Needless to say, I was quite mistaken.
This DVD is exactly what I was looking for. There are no extended breaks or pauses. DWTS’s workout keeps you moving the entire time! The steps are complex enough to keep it interesting, but not so hard that the average person cannot keep up. This was an excellent purchase, and I plan on using it frequently over the course of the summer!
Knowing that MU Zumba was shortly coming to an end (as it sadly did last week), I browsed Best Buy a few weeks ago to look for fun fitness DVD’s. I picked up two of them for less than $20.00 (a steal!). One was a “Dancing with the Stars: Latin Cardio Workout” DVD, which I’ll talk about next time.
The other was “Pussycat Dolls: Dancer’s Body Workout”. I couldn’t help myself. It was $9.00. PCD promised to teach me awesome dance routines to some of their singles. And while their music is subpar at best, you have to admit that their choreography is pretty rockin’. Besides, I’m on a Dance Workout Adventure. This means trying new things that I may have avoided up until now. Oh, and did I mention that it only cost $9.00?
Needless to say, I was eager to try it.
At first, the DVD seemed hopeful. They start out by leading the viewer through a standard—yet effective—warm up routine. Then, PCD breaks down the moves to their hit, “When I Grow Up”. Initially, my blood was really pumping. I was thrilled! But before I knew it, choreographer extraordinaire and creator of PCD Robin Antin said that it was time to “perform” our brief choreography bit to the music. Already? I thought. But, I wasn’t going to question her. Sure enough, the song started, we did our 30 sec. choreo…and then we freestyled until the chorus, where we repeated the choreo. What?
And this wasn’t just an issue with the first song. Oh no, all of the songs followed this pattern. Worse yet, the following songs didn’t even make me sweat (and I sweat fairly easily).
Ultimately, this DVD is only a great purchase if you’d like to learn how to do (very) small bits of PCD dance routines. If you’re looking to truly attain a “dancer’s body,” you’ll have to look elsewhere.
I’m disappointed, PCD. Then again, your DVD was only $9.00. And who knows? Maybe I’ll be able to whip out those saucy dance moves at someone’s wedding reception one day…
I first started exploring the caveats of dance workouts when I signed up for Zumba classes here at Marquette. The 12-12:50 p.m. time slot on Mondays and Wednesdays fit perfectly into my busy schedule, and the facility that it takes place in is conveniently located a few blocks away from my house.
Zumba Fitness LLC (http://www.zumba.com/en-US/about/) describes this special dance workout as:
"an exhilarating, effective, easy-to-follow, Latin-inspired, calorie-burning dance fitness-party.”
…also noting that…
“Since its inception in 2001, the Zumba program has grown to become the world’s largest – and most successful – dance-fitness program”
With other words in the description like “contagious” and “exhilarating” also littered throughout their message, how could I pass it up?
So, when February came around—I signed up.
Friends, let me tell you: This. Class. Is. Glorious. My instructor (Morgan) is incredibly energetic, constantly using her great attitude and quirky sense of humor to pump us up and keep us going. In addition to using some great Latin tunes, Morgan has choreographed some Zumba routines to songs that we’d be more likely to recognize (i.e.: “Bottoms Up”—Trey Songz feat. Nicki Minaj and “Party Rock Anthem”—LMFAO).
For 50 minutes (minus a 2 minute water break in the middle), Morgan leads us in a fast-paced session as we bounce around, swing our hips, throw our arms in the air, and generally gyrate like crazy. If you do it right, it can be a wonderfully intense and sweaty experience. You’ll feel your calves and abs tighten while your hips and shoulders loosen. Lovely!
Of course, this will only happen if you put 100% of your effort into the maneuvers. Like any good workout, MU’s Zumba class is tiring. But, if you give up in the middle or only put half of your effort into the moves, you won’t get anything out of it. I’ve noticed that several of the girls in my class don’t put their full selves into the class. They stand still instead of bouncing, they don’t put any energy into their kicks, punches, or thrusts, and they don’t twist/bend hard/far enough. As a result, they do not get the full Zumba experience. It’s not nearly as effective as they might have imagined it would be.
The only unfortunate parts are that:
- It costs $50 per semester to participate in this class 2x a week. A bit over-priced for students, especially if school work or other obligations prevent you from making it to 100% of the sessions. Zumba at UW-Madison only costs $15 per semester…and that price covers any other fitness class you may want to try as well. Hmm.
- The room is kind of small.
- The speakers in said room are not always up to par. We’ve almost always had one of them blow out at some point or another, and even when they don’t…the sound quality is questionable. You can always hear the beat though, and that’s the most important part.
However, if you can look past those elements, I highly recommend these classes!
As you might assume, staying in shape is a must for competitive figure skaters. In high school, it was easy for me to maintain my ideal body image. Every day after school, my dad would pick me up and cart me to the Pettit. I’d lace up my skates and practice for two hours. On the weekends, I’d skate for 3 or more hours per day.
However, I’m in college now. I have to rely on the bus system to take me where I want to go (unless my wonderfully selfless boyfriend isn’t working and finds himself willing and able to drive me around). Fact is, I have been rendered unable to get on the ice nearly as often as I could in high school. Not only do I face transportation issues, I face time constraints.
But, I’m still a competitor. I still need to stay in shape, even when I’m off the ice. I need to keep my muscles toned, my stamina high, and my flexibility on point. Running, crunches, push-ups, etc. may help, but they simply cannot complete all three tasks.
So, this past semester I started participating in various Dance Workouts. Dance workouts are as similar as I can get to an actual figure skating session. Unlike skating, I can do them on home (or on campus). My blog posts will discuss and critique the variety of methods I’ve been using, from Zumba to the Pussycats Dolls dance workout DVD.