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Dance HiiT by Jazzercise DVD Review — Not for the Uncoordinated

51vX6qUFMkLThe last time I did a workout DVD was probably Billy Blanks’ Tae Bo in the 90s — and I was born in the 90s so you can probably guess how serious I was about that. So when FBG gave me some workout DVDs to check out, I thought I’d go for some Jazzercise. I figured, you know, I took dance classes in jazz and tap, so how hard could it be? Surely some muscle memory will come flooding back to my body, right?

In the DVD, you have a choice of either doing the full workout, which incorporates high-intensity interval training (HiiT), or breaking it up into one of three options. There Pure Cardio (5-minute warm-up, 23 minutes of cardio and a 2-minute cool down), Pure Strength (19 minutes with no warm-up or cool down), or HiiT Express (no warm-up with upper-body strength training then cardio, more strength, cardio and core).

I decided, what the hell, let’s do the full workout and see what this pretty blonde has to offer! From the beginning, I struggled. Oh boy, did I struggle! The class is led by Shanna Misset Nelson with four background exercisers at her side and a large group of 1,000 people in a crowd. They are up on a stage in beautiful California. Sadly though, there were no palm trees or beaches in the background. Sad face. The thought of me in a bikini on the beach would have totally been a motivator.

Shanna lets you know in the beginning you will either need hand-held weights or an exercise band. The full routine is 48 minutes and is broken down into 10 routines that are broken up by the transition of songs. It begins with a 5-minute warm-up where you then move right into the first high-impact cardio session. Each session lasts approximately five minutes. Here is the breakdown of the full workout: warm-up, cardio, upper-body strength, cardio, lower-body standing work, cardio, upper-and-lower body strength, cardio, core, cardio and finally stretch for two minutes.

Like I said, I struggled. I could not get the moves down for the life of me. Who knows what kind of “dance moves” I was doing, but it sure as heck wasn’t no “chassé” or “plié” (side note: I thought it was “clie,” until the ever-so-informative Google told me it was actually “plié” — so much for those dance classes). Shanna was fun and upbeat and really down-to-earth. I really enjoyed her as an instructor, but the whole time I just couldn’t help but laugh at myself. Frustration crept in a few times, but the humor overcame that.

I also noticed when looking in the audience, every one seemed to know exactly what they were doing. Am I that bad? Surely not, right? Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized there ain’t no way that audience is just picking up these moves so easily. They had to have had previously rehearsed it. The DVD is definitely choreography-based and not user-friendly in my opinion, unless you’ve had some years of dance training. I was definitely sweating and my heart rate was up, but it just wasn’t the kind of workout I would enjoy doing. Sadly, I used my brain more than my body.

Now, I know I may seem like I’m doggin’ on this DVD, but there were a lot of great components. The music itself was great — they threw in high-BPM, top-40 music that I knew and loved. You could totally feed off the music’s energy and the audience’s energy (no matter what kind of moves you choose to exert that energy with). I really enjoyed some of the moves — especially those I could get down. She incorporated planks, squats, and some great butt, leg and arm exercises with the resistance band, plus a lot of enjoyable cardio moves that really got my heart pumping.

While this video was fun — and would be really fun for those who already do Jazzercise and know the moves, I probably won’t be adding it to my weekly workout routine. While it’s a full-body workout that incorporates stretching, cardio and strength, I just don’t think it’s my jam.

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

Fit Bottomed Line: If you are a (coordinated) FBG who has some previous experience with dance and Jazzercise and are looking for an intermediate workout DVD that has a fun factor, then I would suggest giving Dance HiiT a try!

Do you enjoy dance as a workout? Or are you just as uncoordinated as I am? —Erika

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  1. Marabeth Duncan says:

    I was in the audience because it was filmed at the Jazzercise convention, which I paid to attend. I can assure you that we were not rehearsed at all. It was a live taping experience. The reason we all look like we know what we are doing is because everyone there loves Jazzercise (they paid $200 to come dance for a weekend!) and is familiar with the basic moves, like chasse and plie. If you’ve never done a dance based workout, you should try a Jazzercise class and give yourself a couple weeks to get familiar with it. It will be more of a brain workout the first few times, for sure, but once you start to get more comfortable it will be the best total body workout you’ll ever find. Bottom line: don’t be discouraged! You are coordinated enough, you just need a little more practice 🙂

  2. Marabeth Duncan says:

    Also, you can go to http://www.jazzercise.com and click “learn the moves” … they’ll break it down slowly for you!

  3. Susan says:

    Any workout DVD can be challenging to understand the moves. If you do it every other day or a few times a week, you will know and understand the moves better each time, and get a better workout. Yes, uncoordinated people can do this DVD!!! Never give up after the first time!!! Any fitness professional would tell you that!

  4. I have to second the first comment that Marabeth made….I am a Jazzercise instructor and I remember my first class – I never thought I was going to get it! Everyone else seemed to know what they were doing! I always tell new students to just keep moving and not to worry about getting the moves during the very first time. Jazzercise bases a lot of their routines on the same moves (chasse, plie, triplet, etc) and, once the lingo is learned, new routines are easy to pick up! I say to give it another try! I think it’s one of the most fun and effective workouts! (although, I might be a little biased) 🙂

  5. Christine says:

    I would recommend that you do keep it as one of your weekly fitness DVD’s. At first Jazzercise can seem overwhelming, but as mentioned from the others, give it a try, don’t give up.
    I have been teaching for 20+ years and I can tell you my very first class I felt like I was the most uncoordinated person in the class. It does get easier.

  6. Intern says:

    Thanks for all the advice! I completely agree that you must give it more than one try. By doing more than once, you will definetly get more the hang of it. This is just a first impression — by no means to discourage anyone! It was a fun DVD to try!

  7. Jennifer says:

    This is very random, especially considering the age of this post, but do you still have this DVD by any chance? I’ve had a hard time finding any available online. There is only one on eBay up for auction right now. I would love to buy one!

  8. Karen Smith says:

    I have been looking for a copy of this DVD FOREVER. Any idea where I can purchase a copy? I love Jazzercise and there are no classes near me. Anyone have any ideas?

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