I used to think I could kind of dance, but these Dancing with the Stars workouts make me look (and feel) like a bumbling idiot. Significantly easier than their other videos I've tried--Dance Off the Pounds and Dance Body Tone--Ballroom Buns & Abs still left me tripping over myself, couches, tables and my ego after it crashed to the floor. The video features three 15-minute routines--Paso Doble, Rock'n Abs and Argentine Tango--and a five-minute cool down. Throughout each routine, I get which moves are intended to target the "buns" and abs, but I find that I spend so much time over thinking each step and trying to keep up that it's difficult to really engage those muscles as intended.
Paso Doble - This routine is led by Chelsea Hightower who is upbeat to the point of being obnoxious. Still, it's the easiest of the three on this video so I found myself getting into the whole "look at me I'm a sexy bullfighter" deal. This is intended as the butt workout so get down in those lunges or it isn't doing a thing.
Rock'n Abs - Edyta Sliwinska takes us through this high-energy (read: fast and hard to follow) routine intended to "flatten your abs while tightening your entire core." The moves in this one are more fun than the Paso Doble so when I managed to move through a full 8 count without messing up, I celebrated just long enough to throw off the next three. I just can't win with these videos.
Argentine Tango - I think that this routine (led by Kym Johnson) could be a lot more fun and a LOT sexier were I not decked out in my standard video reviewing attire: sweatpants, no shoes, baggy shirt and hair a hot mess. It's a good bit slower but do not be deceived into think this makes it easier. This just means you look more ridiculous spending a longer time trying to look sultry in each move.
Just your body and plenty of room to move. The Argentine Tango requires the use of a chair, which serves as your partner for the routine but really just makes it look like a lap dance tutorial. Close the curtains lest you want the neighbors to get a show.
I may be the only one out there who really hates these videos. I can't get the moves down to make it effective or even the slightest bit fun. And I'm lucid enough to know that even if I did, a few 15-minute routines won't give me a body like that of the instructors. I have no delusions about that. If you're into dancing or you're just a fan of this show and the instructors, this could be a fun video for you. But if you're already into dance, I don't see this being much of a challenge for you. You see the conundrum?
Allow yourself plenty of room so you don't kick anything.
Chelsea Hightower, Edyta Sliwinska and Kym Johnson lead you through the routines. They each do a good job breaking down the moves and giving accurate, timely cues, but I felt like I needed it slowed down just a bit more. Maybe three 30-minute routines with more time spent instructing and breaking the moves down would make this more fun for me.
You get tango, jive and traditional Spanish music appropriate for each different routine.
The set is a clean, simple dance hall of sorts with wood floors and white walls.
As has been my complaint with DWTS videos in the past:
- They make dramatic, impossible claims about the physical changes your body will endure doing these routines
- They provide quality instruction but the time spent teaching is too brief so you're left stumbling through the routine later on
- Mostly I just look stupid
On the other hand, if you really like dancing (or don't and don't mind looking ridiculous), you might really enjoy this. I suppose I can't speak for everyone when I say I look like an idiot. Maybe you really do look like a sexy bullfighter. Who am I to say?
I don't recommend the Dancing with the Stars workout videos to people who are looking for targeted moves aimed at achieving real physical results. If you want a fun video or just really love DWTS, then go for it. If you want "sexy dancer's curves" though, I recommend a real dance class.