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UnderReview: Dance ’til You Drop!

Group Of Women Exercising In Dance StudioNope, that’s not the name of a workout DVD. Instead, it’s what I’ve been doing in order to review three of the latest dance workouts: Dance and Be Fit, Dances of India and Dance with Julianne! Read on for a hip-shaking, booty-bopping round-up and a chance to win several dancerific workouts!

Dance and Be Fit

The Dance and Be Fit line of workouts has a ton of variety, so whether you’re looking to tone your abs or firm your lower bod, you’ll be able to find a dance workout to fit your needs. I rocked out the Lower Body Burn workout, and while it’s a solid DVD, it didn’t blow me away. The instructor cued by voiceover, which I never prefer to a talking trainer.  The seated warm-up felt a little awkward to me; I tend to prefer standing movements to get limber, rather than the hip openers and straddle stretches that were key in this warm-up.

The Dance and Be Fit segments were fun and easy to learn, and while it’s cardio and toning  in one, I thought it best for a recovery day, rather than when you need a kick-your-butt workout. The Heavenly Hips section focused on hip-swiveling moves—great for the hips and the core. I found the Lovely Legs segment to be much more fun, and they even disguised lunge-type moves as dance. Nice!

Bonus: Eighteen additional minutes of two other Dance and Be Fit series earned this DVD an extra half star!

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★

Overall: ★★★

Best for: Those who don’t like surprises and need an easy-to-follow dance workout.

Dances of India: Urban Bhangra Bounce

For those who love the culture of India and enjoy Bollywood-esque dance workouts, Dance of India is for you. This fun and energetic workout is easy to follow and chock full of unique dance moves that I’d never seen before. You learn all of the moves for each combination before putting them together at the end. Once you learn the Dance of India routine, you can jump straight to the advanced workout and skip the lessons.

The dance moves were fairly easy to learn, although they do take a bit of coordination (think arms doing one thing while your bottom half is doing another). You’re bhangra bouncing and kicking and punching your arms and shrugging your shoulders for the whole workout. And it really is a workout; the constant Dances of India bouncing keeps your heart rate up but isn’t too high intensity that you can’t keep up. The negative? Again, no live cuing. (I hate that, can you tell?)

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★

Overall: ★★★1/2

Best for: Those who want a unique, high-energy Indian dance experience.

Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom

I’ve watched Dancing with the Stars only sporadically, so I can’t say trying Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom was at the very top of my workout priority list. Even though the show is fun to watch, I had it in my head that a ballroom dancing workout would be boring. I may not have been a Julianne Hough fan before trying this DVD. But after trying it? I love her! Not only is she an awesome dancer, but she alsoturns out to be a great instructor and dance teacher. She turns the cha cha, the jive and the paso into super-fun cardio workouts.

When you first pop in Dance with Julianne, you’ll want to take the private lesson with Julianne. In the lesson, she’ll go over the steps from the workout and give you pointers and tips for doing them well so that you’ll get the most toning bang for your buck. After the lesson, you’ll do the workout, which consists of a great warm-up (complete with a squatting cabbage-patch move; that’s for you, Jenn!) and then all of the ballroom combos themselves. The moves are easy-to-follow, high-energy, and will get you breathless. Julianne’s energy and sass comes through in a big way to keep you motivated and on track. Plus, she’s cute as a freakin’ button and makes leg warmers look cool again. For real!

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★

Overall: ★★★★1/2

Best for: Those who want an updated ballroom dance workout with a fresh and sassy trainer!

Fit Bottomed Line: If you like basic, go with Dance and Be Fit. If you like your dance to bounce, go with Dances of India. If you want a refreshing and fun take on ballroom, Dance with Julianne is your DVD!


Disclosure: All DVDs were provided by their respective manufacturer, but in no way is this post or our review of products sponsored, influenced or paid for by any company. We tell it like it is!

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