Years ago, I used to dance around, high impact aerobic style to Madonna's first album (sing with me "I'm burning up, burning up for your love"), so I find it humorous that over 20 years later I am dancing around my living room with Madonna's trainer. Well not actually with Tracy Anderson, but with her new Cardio Dance Workout DVD ($30).
Anderson believes that dance cardio is the perfect aerobic workout for creating long, lean muscles and a feminine, toned physique. When dancing you work your muscles from a wide variety of angles as opposed to running or biking, which are repetitive in one direction, which in her opinion can create bulk. This workout is high energy dancing, dare I say high impact aerobics, full of hopping, jumping, high kicks and even the 60s dance step the Pony. The eight combinations that make up the workout are like a jazzy version of petite allegro (the jumping section of a dance class). Even though it is high energy and full of movement, I was able to dance almost full out in my tiny living room.
To see how the workout is broken down, just read more.
Tracy begins the workout with a brief explanation of her fitness philosophy, and tells you that you should do this workout four to six days a week. Then in a very detailed, but unfortunately music free section, Tracy breaks down the movement of the eight cardio dance combinations. In this 47-minute section, she teaches the combination facing away from you so you watch her back, just like you would in an actual dance class. She also shows you the moves once from the front so you get a feel for the dance. Learning the combinations is a workout unto itself, since you dance and hop around, which is why I was confused to have a five minute warm up follow this section and appear at the beginning of the actual dance workout. You can follow the 45-minute dance workout section with Tracy facing you or facing away from you. I found it much easier to follow her back, since this is how I learned the combinations. The camera work for the workout section is a little busy so if you don't have the movements down, which you won't after just one viewing, you might find yourself bouncing around until you catch up with Tracy. There is no cool down stretching section at the end of the workout, which my legs really needed after dancing for a total of 90 minutes. Since Tracy rarely talks during this section, it felt like I was having a personal dance party in my living room, or in her beautiful dance studio.
This DVD is challenging and my legs are feeling it in a good way today. There is little chance of you getting bored with the DVD since the dance steps are complicated and fun, and I think it would take multiple viewings to really learn them. I would love to take one of her classes in person because the group energy of dancing would be very motivational and maybe I would run into Madonna or Gwyneth if they were in LA.
If you want to dance your heart out to get your heart rate up, you can purchase this DVD from the Tracy Anderson Method website.