So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Tone and Groove Review
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If you’re not familiar with the show which inspired this DVD, So You Think You Can Dance is basically an American Idol for dancers (created by some of the same people, no less). Now a collection of finalists and contestants from the show’s previous seasons have come together to teach you dance basics on the So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Tone and Groove.

There are three different types of dance that you’ll tackle on this DVD: hip-hop, jazz, and cha-cha. Each helps you work on slightly different areas of your body. Stephen, a.k.a. “Twitch,” works on hip-hop moves in an all-around aerobic routine that focuses on your core. Next, Katee teaches you some basic jazz moves. Her routine isn’t quite classical jazz dancing but a nice moderate interpretation of it, focusing on hips, thighs, and glutes. Finally, Dmitry teaches you the cha-cha. Even though his routine of classic ballroom basics works your legs the most, I actually found this to be the most intense workout. While you aren’t jumping around like crazy, you have to rely heavily on good form and posture to execute these moves correctly and get the best results. You can really work up a serious sweat doing this last set (heck, even the instructor is winded at the end).

The disc also includes a bonus dance routine, which is only accessible through the Workout selection on the main menu. Here, the dancers combine moves from all three routines and mix them together in one dance. There are also warm-up and cool-down exercises, which are important for any workout. Unfortunately, though, these sections offer the least amount of instruction. Directions are mentioned by the dancers, almost as an afterthought at times, with little explanation on how to execute them, leaving you little time to figure out what you need to do.

Throughout the workout, instructors break down all the moves step-by-step before putting them together. However, if you don’t know what a Pony or Grapevine is in dance terms, you’re slightly coordination impaired, or you’re just so mesmerized by the Technicolor costumes they’re wearing that you forget what’s going on (honestly, who exercises in half laced-up, oversized high tops and leg warmers?), there’s a good chance that, at first, you’ll find yourself exercising your pointer finger more than anything else. The terms aren’t really explained in great detail, and if you can’t get the moves after having them shown to you twice before the instructor moves on, you’ll be rewinding this DVD quite a bit in your first time through.

On average, there are only about eight moves to a routine. This is good news for beginners who just want to get their feet wet, but it may not be as exciting for those who are looking for a serious challenge. It would have been great to have “Beginner” and “Advanced” circuits, or, at the very least, advanced options for some of the moves. With more challenging moves available, this DVD could have become a staple in my routine. In its current form, repeating the same eight moves about four times at three different speeds can get a little repetitive after a while, so it will remain as a way to add some variation to my overall cardio routine.

By no means is So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit: Tone and Groove a replacement for the more intense cardio already in your schedule, but it’s a good place to start for those who are just getting into an exercise routine. It also works well as a supplemental moderate workout. Tone and Groove will help to keep your interest piqued in exercise, and it definitely beats the constant pounding of a treadmill.

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