I love to dance, though I rarely get to do it. This is likely why, even though I have rhythm, it can take me a while to catch on to the steps. So when the newest Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) DVD, Cardio Dance for Weight Loss, came across my desk proclaiming â€œPerfect for beginners! No partner needed!â€ I couldnâ€™t wait to get home, pull the rug back in the den, and bust a move.
The DVD offers samba, salsa, and swing routines, led by two long-time DWTS instructors: Kym Johnson (she partnered with singer Donny Osmond and football player Hines Ward to take first-place finishes in seasons 9 and 12, respectively) and Mark Ballas (who helped Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi and Shawn Johnson bring home the coveted mirror ball in seasons 6 and 8).
First, the good part: These routines will make you sweat, even if you donâ€™t get the steps quite right. Youâ€™re constantly in motion, so your heart rate gets up and stays there. And itâ€™s fun…some of the time.
Why just â€œsome of the timeâ€ you might ask? For each style, Kym and/or Mark teach three multi-step combinations in just 15 minutes, and I found myself wishing again and again that they hadnâ€™t tried to cram so much into just a short period. Youâ€™re given very little time to learn a step before moving on to the next oneâ€”not a good set-up for beginners, and something that caused me to mutter â€œslow down!â€ to the TV in frustration every couple of minutes. Seriously, cutting the number of steps in half wouldâ€™ve been a game changer for me.
What’s more, thereâ€™s limited specific instruction, and both coaches assume you know terms like â€œkick ball change,â€ â€œlocking,â€ and â€œpas de bourree.â€ I donâ€™t. Granted, the warm-up cleverly doubles as an intro to a few of the basic steps for each dance style, but those basics only get you so far.
Donâ€™t get me wrong: The routines are fun and lively, and I can totally see how a more experienced dancer would enjoy the heck out of this DVD. As for me, Iâ€™ll be on the lookout for a more beginner-friendly dance forum. Maybe a return to Zumba is in order….
Product: Dancing with the Stars: Cardio Dance for Weight Loss
Pros: The lively routines will get you sweating in no timeâ€”they make for an excellent cardio workout.
Cons: The routines are too complicated and fast-moving for beginners to master easily.
Cost: $13.49 at Amazon.com
Extra tip: Wear shoes with smooth bottoms so you donâ€™t wrench your knees.