Dance-inspired Workout DVDs

The Library Life

  - Sara,  Electronic Services Librarian

Bellydance: Cardio ShimmyI am at the tail-end of my first week of the two-week vacation I saved up for this year. Today I decided to do some of the 9 workout videos that I checked out on my last day of work before vacation. The first was "Bellydance Fitness for Weight Loss: Cardio Shimmy." A couple years ago I went with my friend Anne to her bellydance class at the YMCA and was astonished at what a good workout it was. This video offered the same. The instruction was given in voice-over (for those who do or don't like that) and the people doing the workout were not at all annoying. I enjoyed it and actually got up my heart rate and a bit of sweat.

Bellydance: Hip Drop Hip HopI followed with "Bellydance Fitness for Weight Loss: Hip Drop Hip Hop" and found it not at all difficult, but still very fun. However, my disclaimer should be that I have always had extraordinarily strong legs, so I'm not always sure if something would qualify as difficult for others when it focuses on the legs. Still, it was very fun. If you have absolutely no experience in dance, it might be difficult, but I would gather, even so, that would still only be a marginal factor.


Because I still wasn't fatigued, I put in the next DVD from my stack: "Dance and Be Fit: Lower Body Burn" which turned out to be extremely easy. However, this one, even more, might prove difficult to those with no dance background. Dance and Be Fit: Lower Body BurnOh, and the warmup was TERRIBLE. Having already done 2 DVDs prior to this one, I was ok; but it seemed to be the kind of warmup that would cause pulled muscles or strains if you started cold. I never like warmups that consist of stretching; obviously, the point of a warmup is to warm up the body which you do best moving from light activity to increased levels that only then allows you to safely stretch and proceed to the workout. As I said, the first workout, after the warmup, was extremely easy; I didn't break a sweat and barely, if at all, raised my heartbeat. The second workout was more difficult, but in comparison to the first that isn't saying much. Still, it was enjoyable and I wasn't annoyed with the instructor (though I had been in the warmup). One thing I appreciated was that it went quite fast; though that could be problematic at the start, if I do a video over and over I have found that I really appreciate the fast pace once the routine is familiar.


Dance and Be Fit: Brazilian BodyFinally, since the prior DVD was so easy, I put in one more: "Dance and Be Fit: Brazilian Body" and it was SO fun. Obviously the theme of these DVDs is dance, and I have done a very large amount of dance workout videos in the past. However, I have never done one that included Maculelê, Samba reggae, or Capoeira. These workouts also went quite fast, and would be difficult not only for those with no dance background but also likely so for someone new to working out. I really loved it. I will be interested to see, over the next week as I do it again each day, whether I might get too used to it. I find that it really helps to do a wide variety of workout DVDs to combat boredom with them; getting them from the Library is perfect. Quite a few I have liked so much that I have purchased my own copy, and this final DVD is one that I am seriously considering purchasing -- I'll have to wait and see how I feel about it after doing it more over the next week.

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