I am a huge fan of Dancing with the Stars and I really like Julianne Hough (and her brother Derek, too. *growl*). I was pretty stoked to try Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom because Julianne's got an infectious personality, clearly knows how to dance, and is gorgeous. I figured there was no way that this workout could be anything but a ton of fun.
Well, I liked it but found myself confused by the complicated steps and frustrated that the camera focused on Julianne's face or upper body when I needed to see what the heck her feet were doing! Also musically, this workout is a dud. I didn't like the generic blah music. It wasn't fun enough to keep me motivated.
About Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom
This DVD has a private lesson with Julianne that lasts around 10 minutes and a short, giggly interview with her too. The lesson is just her alone in the studio slowly going over the steps you will use later on. There is a ton of repetition but she builds slow and allows novices to get to know the steps and move faster until they feel comfortable doing each one. I liked this part of the DVD. I felt I was really learning true dance steps which were already familiar from other Latin dance workouts I do but have never really been broken down as well.
The workout itself is about 48 minutes long. Julianne is wearing a cropped, off the shoulder ripped (Fame-like) T shirt and a pink sports bra, booty shorts and leg warmers. She has two women working out with her in pretty much the same attire.
The setting is just a simple studio. Nothing elaborate.
The warm up is good and I really felt confident going into this workout that I would come out with a smile (albeit sweaty) on my face. After the warm up, they cut to a pink screen that tells us what dance we are doing first and that would be the Cha Cha.
Julianne's face and body are impossibly perfect which will either turn you off or make you try harder to look like that. She looks very much like a young Denise Austin and is almost as bubbly. The Cha Cha takes steps that we learned in the private lesson and cranks them up to almost impossibly fast speed.
The Cha Cha is the easiest of the three dances, in my opinion. Once that ends, a pink screen comes up telling us it's Jive time. The Jive is comprised of lots of kicks and some jumps. No one modifies for those of us who are 46 years old and had knee surgery and have been advised to keep at least one foot on the floor at all times when dancing.
I just faked the jumps. The music is better during this segment but it drags on and on. I did like that Julianne added some elements of the Twist into the dance because that's such a fun and beneficial dance. This is when I really noticed that the camera was spending way too much time showing Julianne's face and not her feet. They don't, in any way, try to focus on her perfect body or do anything sleazy. They just feel we need to look into her eyes when she is doing the Jive that we don't know how to do.
Finally that segment is over and the pink screen tells us we are doing the Paso. This dance is fun in its own way. The footwork is nowhere near as tough as with the Jive so maybe that is why I liked the dance more. It goes on too long though and I found myself bored. I started to improvise moves to keep my heart rate up because the pace was just too fast and I couldn't see the footwork.
At last, the cool down comes and it's wonderful. The stretches and other moves feel great and I found myself happy the workout was over but disappointed that I wasn't smiling like I do at the end of Zumba and Core Rhythms.
I think if I do this workout several more times I may enjoy it more because I won't be tripping over my own feet and getting frustrated. This workout seems much more strict about dance moves and less about exercise ones although Julianne does acknowledge that the workout is trough and that we just have to keep at it.
If the music were better and if there were a couple of other dances so that each of the three weren't so darn long, I would keep at it. As it is, I did get a good workout in and I am sure I burned calories. Some parts of the workout were fun and invigorating and some were frustrating because I couldn't see anyone's feet and I didn't know what was happening. I also got sick of all the jumping during the Jive which is actually a really fun dance. Try Core Rhythms' Jumpin' Jive DVD and you'll see how fun it can be when the trainers slow the pace a little (not much) and focus on the exercrise aspect of the dance.
In all, I did like this workout but I certainly didn't love it and I will probably not do it often. I will definitely give it several more tries to see if I start to feel better about the long 10 minute plus dances and all the repetition and jumping.
Julianne is a wonderful dancer and, although she tries hard to break down the steps for us novice dancer wannabes, the dancer in her speeds things up fast and leaves us, well, me in the dust too often.
Still, if you like Julianne Hough (and how can you not?) and you like dancing workouts, Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom is one you may want to try. Many love it. I am more of a fan of the workouts put out by the kids from So You Think You Can Dance.
Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom is available on DVD for about $10.00 to $11.00. There's nothing fancy to it like multiple views or alternate music or really anything you can control. It's very simple in its format. You can buy the DVD online where they sell exercise workouts of offline in mass-market and DVD stores.
I really wanted to love this workout! I don't hate it by any means and I will continue to do it but it isn't one of my favorites, at least not now. Perhaps after several tries, I will suddenly get the hang of it and love it. if so, I will rerate. But right now, considering the camera forgets we are trying to keep up with crazy complicated footwork and focuses on Julianne's face rather than feet and until I figure out what to do while people are jumping, I am giving Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom 3 stars. I do recommend it as everyone is different and this may get you up and dancing. DO watch the private lesson. It will help you a lot when the workout starts.
Viewing Format: DVD
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