I’ve always wanted to take a ballroom dancing class with my hubby, but since we’ve yet to find time in our busy schedules to get on that, I decided to bring the ballroom to my tiny, carpeted living room with Dance Off the Inches: Dance It Off Ballroom. While I don’t see a spot on Dancing with the Stars in my future, it was a good way for me to appreciate the talents of those dancers while getting my sweat on. The menu allows you to get in a quick lesson before trying the complete dance routine, which you can break into smaller segments if you're pressed for time.
Step Guide You might be tempted to skip the step guide, figuring you can just pick up the dance moves while doing the workout. If you’ve got some dance background, by all means, go for it. But I was glad I did this segment because you find that some of the moves are more complicated than they appear . Instructor Kristina Milova demos each move and then breaks it down, step by step, before taking it up to tempo. You won’t get your heart rate up in this section, but it’ll help you familiarize yourself with the moves so you can give them your all in the workout itself. It definitely helped me feel like there was hope for me after all.
While one statement on the back of the DVD says this segment is 10 minutes, it’s actually 18—but don't let that deter you because you should only have to do it once. The actual workout—warm-up, cool down and three 10-minute dance segments—totals about 42 minutes of cardio.
Warm-up The 5-minute warm-up will get you moving and ready for the dance to come. This segment introduces you to some of the easy moves from the step guide, swiveling your hips and doing some of the basics at a slow pace. Even the back stretches have a dance flare.
Cha Cha This fun dance segment gives you a chance to add some flavor to the moves you learned in the step guide and put them together for a mini dance routine. You repeat moves such as side breaks and lock steps before adding in the next new move. This can be a bit repetitive if you’re a pro, but I liked it because it gave me time to master the moves. Dramatic side toe taps called Cubans and the New Yorker are fun moves that will make you feel like a dancer.
Samba This segment is all about the hips. You start with a basic samba hip thrust before doing hip circles while turning in a circle. These hip moves are easy in theory, but managed to make me laugh at my ineptitude of rolling my hips in a circle while turning in bigger circle. The Volta, with it's fun name, was one of my favorites and involved steps to one side with hip rolls. Some of the moves are as fun to do as they are to say, such as the Botafogo .
Jive You might be more familiar with some of the moves in this section, namely kick ball changes and the pas de bourree. The big-band style music gets you moving in exaggerated triple steps, front kicks and the pas de bourrees . I loved the chicken walks, which look cuter than they sound, and the heel-toe -heel move is a cinch to pick up. I thought this segment was the easiest to follow, which meant that I could up my energy output to top off the dance workout.
Cool Down The cool down keeps you dancing while taking it down a notch. With more of those fun hip circles, you also add in hip stretches with a calf and hip flexor stretch that feels great. You even get to bow as a stretch. Cha cha cha!
FBG Rating (Out of 5): Instruction: ★★★★ Long-Term Likeability: ★★★ Music: ★★★★ Fun Factor: ★★★ Meets Expectations: ★★★ Overall: ★★★1/2
Fit Bottom line: While no boot camp, this ballroom dance workout will have you sweating in your dance shoes. With the step guide and the instructor's excellent cuing, it’s hard to get terribly lost even if you’re dancing for the first time. — Erin
Wanna dance the night away? Buy this one on Amazon!