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Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance!

An open letter to Paula Abdul:

Oh, Paula my dear, Paula. We’ve had quite the relationship over the years. When Straight Up first came on the radio, it was love at first listen. I, a mere mortal young’un and oh so impressionable, spent my waking non-school hours singing your songs and memorizing the choreography from your video with MC Skat Kat. I attended your Spellbound tour, binoculars in hand, hand at my heart, musical timing out the window (for me, not you). In my head, I danced just like you. You were my role model and probably the majority of the reason why I started teaching aerobics eight years ago. (The wannabe pop music star in me started early but didn’t find a home until later in life when I came to grips with the fact that I have minimal singing or dancing talent outside of the comfort of my own four walls.)

Over the years, I’ve cheered for your comeback. I bought your 1995 CD Head Over Heels, and I believed that Crazy Cool was, in fact, cool. I watched American Idol when it started, and I still do. I watched your short-lived reality TV show Hey Paula and spent each episode pulling for you and a worrying a tad. This is not the Paula Abdul I remember over the years.

No, siree. I remember this one. The one who energetically hosted Paula Abdul’s Get Up and Dance workout. This fantastic 54-minute workout was the perfect high-low danced-based routine that even beginners could follow. It was fun, it featured your music, and it allowed all viewers to channel their inner Paula.

Nowadays, the VHS tape is on DVD and features a handy chapter selection to help navigate through your welcoming introduction (including your smart tips about warming up adequately, going at your own pace and staying hydrated), warm-up, dance routines and cool down. But it still captures all of your greatness. You cue well, your energy is contagious, and you make the dance combinations easy to learn, resulting in one big dance party at the end.

Even during the unusual parts of the DVD you keep your cool. For example, at the end of the dance party finale when three normal-looking guys from the back of the set take over for an odd-yet-rousing rendition of the song Y.M.C.A., you roll with it. You even stay collected when one of your co-hosts, Nancy, decides to hijack the cool down with her military-esque style. You remain upbeat and even thank her at the end (although we all know she tried to steal your spotlight).

God, you were glorious! Look how smiley and happy you are in this VHS. How coherent you are! How beautiful and nimble!

If any of the above Paula is still in you—and I know she is somewhere—please bring her back. And make another exercise DVD. I want another one to covet…and review.

Forever your girl,
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Overall: ★★★★
Fit Bottom line: Putting aside my love for Miss Abdul, this is a really fun dance-based workout. It’s not the hardest cardio session of your life, but if you’re a fan of looking to spice up your circa 1992 dance moves, this is—straight up—the right pick.

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  1. The Dieting Ninja says:

    I love your movie reviews. <3

  2. Mark Salinas says:

    Thanks for the review! Straight up! 🙂

  3. John says:

    How has she stayed so hot for so long?

  4. Marcy says:

    Really?!? I’m surprised at this review (I haven’t seen the DVD). I don’t know, for some reason I thought it would go in the comedy bin with the other one LMAO! You just never know, now do ya? 😉

  5. Elizabeth says:

    And you know how I know that Jenn isn’t just writing a gimmick? ‘Cause within the first month of our friendship over 8 years ago, I had heard nearly this exact thing coming out of her mouth. In fact, our mutual love of Paula is what bonded us together for the long haul… now, if only I were so certain that my relationship with Paula will stand the test of time.

  6. Jenn says:

    Aw, what has happened to her? She is absolutely nuts on American Idol! But still fun to watch. I’ve actually never seen any of her older videos, so it’s fun to know what she was like once upon a time :o)

  7. workout mommy says:

    I know, what has happened to poor Paula? I hope she pulls it together (ala Britney style) and makes her comeback too!

  8. Tish says:

    does “rush rush” appear anywhere in there? cuz if so i’m down

  9. Jenn says:

    John: No idea, but it may not be legal. That was a low blow. I retract my comment. Forever your girl, Paula!

    Marcy: It’s for sure not a super intense workout, but it’s more of the Richard Simmon’s type, with less glitter.

    Elizabeth: See, folks. No frontin’ here.

    Workout Mommy: Maybe they’ll come back TOGETHER? Paula could do the choreography. Brilliant.

    Tish: Sadly, no. But, dude, that would make a perfect cool down song.

  10. Hangry Pants says:

    This is hilarious. Thanks for the review!

    I will trust you and not question even after you admitted watching every episode of Hey Paula.

    – Heather

  11. :Fashion Frenzy: says:

    Great blog you have here!

  12. Erica says:

    hahaha! Thanks for this :). How painful is it to watch Paula on AI knowing how awesome she use to be?

  13. fatfighter says:

    I miss the old Paula, too – it’s hard for me to even watch her anymore because it is sad. So, seriously, you like her workout DVD??? I didn’t even know she had one…

  14. Jenn says:

    Hangry Pants: Thanks so much for not judging. 😉

    Erica: It’s BEYOND painful. Rips my heart out.

    Fatfighter: Yes, I actually did. It’s a really well done dance-based workout. I was suprised, too. She has another workout DVD that I tried as a teen and I HATED it. I think she collaborated with Karen Voight on this one behind the scenes, so that might have something to do with it being so much better than the first one. 😉

  15. Jamie Atlas says:

    So true about Paula. Now if only there was a way to get the girls from the firm videos to have their own tv series and have their comeback…

    Love your blog! You will be my new blog-heroes (since I am but an eager blogger newbie. If one of you girls would take a look and let me know any words of blog-wisdom I would sure appreciate it. Yours is so nice!)


  16. Anonymous says:

    Great news, I am also a big fan of Paula’s Get up and Dance Video. In just two months of diligently doing her exercises, 5 times a week at night, I lost 20 lbs. I just borrowed the tape from the library again today so that I could start losing some more lbs. My old weight was 185, current weight is 155 and I plan to make it to 130 before Feb. 2009. Thanks to Paula…cheers, clink toast!!

  17. Jenn says:

    Anon–Wow, congrats! And others were wondering if it really was a good workout. Tsk. Tsk. Here’s proof! 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    dear paula abdul,im a huge fan of you i love love your music and i have your voice i think i love love you to death i can not dance like you but i dont care i love to sing to your music and dance i listen to it ever day on my computer and the american idol videos P.S.PLEASE PLEASE COME BACK ON AMERICAN IDOL MY HEART IS BROKEN NOT SEE YOU LAUGHING OR IN THE JUDGES SEAT NEXT YEAR MY HEART GOES OUT TO YOU PAULA ABDUL. XOXOXOXO PEACE BE WITH YOU PAULA ABDUL.

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