3 out of 5
While perusing low priced exercise DVDs on Amazon, I’ve seen quite a few that were produced by Dancing with the Stars. I put them all on a wishlist for later perusal and went about my business. How would I know which one I’d like the best? Plus, I had other exercises I wanted to try out first.
A couple of weeks ago I came across this title at the flea market. For $2 you better believe I snatched this baby up. The main draw that I can see for this over other fitness DVDs is if you’re a DWTS fan. I have been watching the show off and on (mostly on) for years. So yes, I’m definitely a fan. This title is hosted by Cheryl Burke (my favorite female DWTS dancer) and the sexy Maksim Chmerkovskiy. Kym Johnson is also one of the back up dancers. (She never speaks.) This title is from 2008 so you may notice that Maksim and Kym look much younger. Cheryl is pretty ageless. The other draw is that you can (supposedly) learn a well known dance routine solo.
The runtime of the DVD is 60 minutes. It consists of a warm up, 4 dance routines and a toning workout. The dances are merengue, cha-cha,samba and mamba. Each routine is 10 minutes long. You would be correct in thinking that one hour for all of that is woefully short.
The warm up is 5 minutes and is completely forgettable. I literally just did this title and do not remember it at all. (Okay, if you check out the video of it above, you can see that it’s basically stretching.) The four dances are split up between our two hosts. They go back and forth. We start with the merengue, which is hosted by Cheryl. This dance is okay. You turn your feet in, in an odd pigeon toed move. About halfway in many of the moves became difficult. Yes, spin around in a circle. Umm, okay.
Next up, Maks teaches us the cha-cha. This dance seems to mainly be twisting your hips and feet back and forth. While doing it in place I wasn’t sure I was doing it correctly at all. Eventually you will do the staple move of this routine so much that you will become comfortable with it.
I find being able to count along with steps very helpful. Maks does not always do so in this routine. In fact this seems to happen every once in a while throughout the entire disc. I’m also not sure that the numbers and the beats always match up (at least to a completely untrained dancer). In both this routine and Maks’ later dance he likes you to cover a lot of the floor. This looks great. However you are going to need a huge amount of space. I have a decent sized living room and still struggled. Again, I was doing well with this dance until the middle when he started going around in a circle. Por que?
Then we attempt the samba with Cheryl. This dance involves a lot of bouncing and stepping the feet behind each other. I found this dance to be more fun and less complicated than the merengue.
Our last dance is Maks with the mambo. This is sort of a smooth, sliding dance. For the most part I dug it, but again had trouble fitting all of the moves into my non dance studio sized living room. Eventually he tries to show us the box step and I faltered terribly at it. I still tried and kept moving but ugh.
Lastly, there is a toning workout. This is mainly aerobics with some ballet thrown in. I do have a big issue with this though. This section is only 15 minutes long, yet the dancers go back and forth four times. I don’t know if this was something the director wanted or if it had to do with egos (equal screen time) but it’s sooo annoying. I wish they would have stuck to one of them throughout the whole thing. Either would have been good. It did seem like Cheryl had it memorized better than Maks. However when Maks barks orders at you like, “on your knees!”, damn, that shit is hot! Whatever you say Maksim.
Overall I like it but I don’t love it. I’m a huge fan of both dancers but it made me wonder if they give clearer directions when teaching their stars on the show. It seems to me that the demographic for this DVD is an average Dancing with the Stars viewer. I’m guessing that most, like me, are not dancers and will not automatically know how to do the steps.
Since the routines are so short, dances move quickly and are not explained in enough detail to truly master them. Yes, you can do the DVD repeatedly and try to master the steps. I feel like if I try to do that in the future that I’m not going to get a tough enough workout. Yes, I was sweating but it was my first time. It’s not unusual for me to only be able to make it partway through a brand new workout because I throw myself in and can’t keep up with the intensity of it. Since this does have cardio in the title I had to address this fact. It just seems bad to me that this title often offers less instruction than my current go to title, which is ballet and sometimes the narrator just goes with the French terms for the steps in that one.
The menu of the DVD is set up nicely. You can choose to do one section or play all. Plus there is a music only option if you do not want to hear their instructions and a custom dance matrix. I have not played with either of these but I’d probably enjoy the custom dance matrix because (I’m guessing) you get to choose which dances you do together and I do prefer some over others.
At under $10, if you truly love the show and these dancers in particular then you may want to try it. I feel that there are probably better, more in depth fitness DVDs out there to learn the dances properly as well as those that would be simpler but elevate your heart rate more.
You can purchase Dancing with the Stars Latin Cardio Dance from Amazon (Note: This is an affiliate link.)
You may also enjoy:
Thank you Elizabeth Berkley!-about her Saved by the Bell themed dance on Dancing with the Stars
Candy Colored Dreams starring Dancing with the Stars’ Anna Trebunskaya
Note: I do realize that the whole workout is in this post. That’s good. You can fully judge if you want to purchase it.