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on September 11, 2013
I really don't enjoy working out, so I thought I'd keep myself interested by trying new things (bellydancing fitness DVDs, dance fitness DVDs, pilates, yoga, etc.). I previously used the Ballet Beautiful series, and although I still love it, I feel like it's more of a workout and less of a dance experience.

When I started this DVD, I started with the first option: Swan Lake Arms. I was worried it would be 10 minutes of grueling arm workouts, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was more of a stretch in combination with the arm movements. Nicky moves quickly through the routine, and I enjoyed the pace because 10 minutes passed as if it was nothing! I decided to do a few more sections from the DVD, and I really felt like I was dancing, not working out. The movements were so fluid that it felt effortless. At the end of the workout, I was certainly out of breath, but I wasn't aching anywhere like I usually do after using other fitness DVDs. I was a bit worried that maybe I hadn't worked my muscles as hard as I should have.

Then the next day arrived. My abdominal muscles were aching in that good, you-really-did-an-amazing-workout-yesterday sort of way.

I'm really looking forward to using this routine regularly, as it makes working out easy and fun. I'd say if you enjoy dance, or if you want to find a fitness video that makes exercise fun and easy, you'll probably want to check this out. Thanks Nicky!
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on December 14, 2013
As a disabled veteran with chronic fatigue, I am constantly looking for short, but effective workouts. I don't know any ballet, but found that I could do all of these moves (though I sometimes use a chair to help balance). The sections are split up in reasonable portions, so you can do as much, or as little as you want. I have lost weight, and built muscle tone just doing 7-15 minutes a day. I would recommend this video to everyone.
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on December 4, 2013
This is an excellent DVD of Ballet Conditioning. I love the music, which includes many classical pieces from Ballet. It also has some elements of Yoga music as well. Nicky is great, in one section she refers to the exercise "Bingo Wings" for Bat Wings which is hilarious. This DVD is actually 65 minutes, and divided into 6 parts, all great. If you are looking for a conditioning class that can give you great results, this one is it. She uses the elements of Ballet (and some Yoga) to strength and elongated the limbs, and tone the abs. So if you work slowly at this routine, it will definitely give you the long lean figure you are wanting. It worked for me!! Watch out for some cueing omissions when doing some leg exercises, other than that, it is great. Hope this review is helpful to you.
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on October 7, 2013
Amazon doesn't allow half scores so I would rate it 3.5 stars if I could.

Ballet Fitness is the sort of workout you would expect a ballerina or dancer does as part of their fitness/toning regime. It is all very doable for a non dancer such as myself - though a strong core is needed for the core, belly and back section (titled Fire Bird on the DVD). In this section she moves through a sequence over and over quite quickly. I suggest going at your own pace until you've built up the core strength to keep up with her.

The workout is broken into 6 sections (as below). Each section is named after a ballet (as I have no interest in watching ballets I cannot attest to whether or not the moves are what you would find in the actual ballet routine) and focusses on certain areas of the body. With that said, even when you are working on one section of the body, the moves usually all involve the core and holding it in correctly. The workout run time is about 60 minutes.

1. Swan Lake: Arms (Warm up ) 10 mins
2. Fire Bird: Core, Belly and back 10 mins
3. Nutcracker: Hips, Butt and Inner Thighs 15 mins
4. Coppelia: Ankles and feet 16 mins
5. Cinderella: Dance Expression 7 mins
6. Sleeping Beauty: Stretch and relax 6 mins

Nicky works out alone in what looks like a loft or barn that's been converted. Very nice looking set. Nicky instructs the workout via voiceover which I usually dislike - and this is one of those occasions where I dislike the voice over. Her cueing is off at times so you have to keep your eyes glued to the tv - or risk having to press rewind several times. For example on one occasion when you are on all fours working one leg, I am happily working away on the one leg until she moves onto another move and I then realise she's switched to the second leg at some point without mentioning it. Frustrating! Also her breathing cues seem a bit off - you do a move lying on one side and she'll cue breathing out on the exertion but when you do the same move on the other side she tells you to breathe out but not on the exertion! Maybe it's just me. Ellen Barrett DVDs are excellent for toning (her workouts are a fusion of methods and combine strength, stretch, cardio, dance, yoga and pilates) and her cues for breathing and the next move are always spot on.

The stretch and relaxation section at the end is on the short side and doesn't feel anywhere near as good as Jennifer Galardi's stretch session at the end of Ballet Body.

The music is quite nice during the workout but the music that plays whenever you are on the main menu is quite depressing to me!

All in all, it is a good workout particularly for toning the legs and core. It is relaxing in terms of the music but you will be worked relatively hard during the leg focussed routines. On the scale of difficulty 1 being easy and 10 being very hard I would rate this a 4 to 4.5. I work out 6-7 days a week but as I find the cueing (or lack there of) rather annoying - plus I don't want to end up with pot belly due to the strange breathing directions - I will add this DVD to my workout rotation but use it only once or twice a month.
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on July 1, 2013
I wanted this video based on certain ballet moves and streches I am trying to learn. I do not have a barre and with Nicky's work out there is no need for one.You still recieve maximum results with minimum impact.

When I was searching for the video I contacted a company in the UK, not thinking she was going to respond back to me, but I was surprised. Nicky contacted me the very next day which made it even more impactful. The personal touch inspired me to purchase the video.

And I am glad I did. I love Nicky. She is so graceful.
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on December 13, 2013
I really love this dvd. It's something different for me. There's no cueing, so you really have to pay attention. But all in all it's interesting, and you really do get a workout.
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on February 7, 2014
I am so happy that I purchased this DVD. Nicky is absolutely wonderful. In addition, I love the music, the setting and the exercises. The whole experience of working out to this DVD is elegant and peaceful but you do work all of your muscles. You feel energized and yet relaxed when you are finished. I would rate the exercise routine as intermediate. It has been an excellent purchase for me as I love the barre-type workouts and this is one of my absolute favorites! Very well done!
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on December 17, 2013
I loved this workout. It really felt like I was in a ballet class at a studio. Not only that, it was easy to follow. The exercises were somewhat challenging, however. She is a very friendly, professional, encouraging instructor. By the end of "class" I felt like a graceful ballerina. I also appreciate the subtle, classical music because that's what I expect from an actual ballet class. I do recommend this workout.
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on July 14, 2015
as a former amateur dancer (ballet, flamenco, argentine tango) I have to say this is an EXCELLENT DVD. when short on time I just do firebird, nutcracker and legs/ankles/feet . . . and get a fine work out. what makes this better than other home DVD’s? i) her voice is relaxing to hear ii) the repetitions aren’t endless, so one doesn’t give up iii) she knows what makes a healthy good work out (a) slow movements done correctly require more work (b) after working a group of muscles, it gets stretched (c) integrates breathing properly. I actually prefer this to yoga! Hope to find more of her teaching. (and I don’t often post reviews).
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on April 10, 2014
I like this workout. It's easy to fit in one of the sessions because they are divided by the area to be worked. I like the precision, and the instructor. A nice addition to the variety of routines I use to supplement running, stretching, Pilates and hiking. Lastics is superior to any routine for stretching.
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