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86 of 88 people found the following review helpful
Format: DVD
Sizzling Salsa is one of the latest offerings from the Dance Off the Inches series, which has produced fun, generally easy-to-follow dance workouts. This one is led by Stella Sandoval, and as in the other DVDs, she teaches a class of four in what almost looks to be someone's living room. This time, two of the background exercisers are other instructors, Michelle Dozios and Marie Forleo.

This DVD has a particularly nice feature called the Step Guide. This is a 17-minute segment in which Stella breaks down some of the dance steps from the workout, first showing the move, then performing it slowly, and finally, bringing it up to tempo. Even though I've done some Latin dance workouts before, I found it very helpful to review this section before attempting the main program. However, keep in mind that Stella does not teach every step from the workout here and also that some of the steps are performed a bit differently once they appear in the workout.

The workout itself consists of a 5 minute warm-up, 3 dance routines (Spicy Salsa, Latin Lime Twist, and Mucho Mambo Combo), and a 2.5 minute cool-down. Each dance routine is approximately 9 minutes long. Stella teaches in an add-on style, showing you a couple of moves at time, having you practice these, and then gradually adding more moves to the mix until you have worked your way up to the full routine. One you have learned all of the moves in the routine, Stella "takes you to the dance floor" (her way of saying that you complete the entire dance) four times total. Each of the three dance segments is stand-alone (ie, the Mucho Mambo Combo doesn't repeat any of the moves from Spicy Salsa), and the DVD is nicely chaptered so that you could mix-and-match if you chose to do so.

I would rate the choreography of this video as moderate: those who enjoy complex choreo might find this a bit on the easy side, whereas those who prefer very simple cardio might get lost a few times here. I tend to be on the latter side, and while I was generally able to follow along my first time through, I did have to really concentrate. I'd say the intensity level is about low moderate as well: the workout did get my heart rate up into my target zone, although it dipped below during some of the teaching/other inbetween moments. I clocked the workout in at just under 37 minutes.

Overall, I found this to be a nice dance routine that was enjoyable, moderately complex, and seemed to have a real Latin dance feel to it. It would probably be suited to advanced beginners to intermediate exercisers who enjoy fun dance steps and easily able to pick up moderately choreographed combinations.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on November 19, 2006
Format: DVD
This is another workout in the Dance off the Inches series, led by Stella Sandoval who I haven't seen in another video. She is joined by 4 other ladies including Michelle Dozois and Marie Forleo, who are leads in other Dance off the Inches workouts. They are in a comfortable living room setting all ready to dance to some fun and spicy latin moves.

One of the features on this DVD is a step guide which teaches many of the moves that make up the foundation of the dance routines. I found this very helpful, some dance workouts look easy but once you attempt them it's not the case so this came in handy. Each step is demonstrated slowly, then faster, then arm movements are added, then any other variations that might take place in the workout.

There are 3 dance routines plus a warmup and cooldown, the first dance routine is called Spicy Salsa. The steps seen here are the salsa, cha chas, merengue, hip rolls and walking cha chas. Stella will lead you through each step, repeating each one a few times then adding one step at a time. As the steps are added you will take the routine from the top which might be repetitive for some but it didn't bother me.

The next dance routine is called Latin Lime Twist. Here you will see the latin twist, box step, sambas, mambos, shimmeys, stomps plus some interesting arm movements such as flamenco and ole arms. The final dance segment is called Mucho Mambo Combo, which is mainly a mambo and a tango. Some additional steps are mixed in though such as tap hops, cha chas, and salsa steps.

I liked this workout a lot, thought it was fun and Stella does a good job leading this video. She is enthusiastic and seems to be enjoying herself. I thought that she and all the backgrounders did a nice job with the moves too. The moves aren't too terribly hard, though it might take a few tries to get them down, but there is the handy step guide if you need to review them. I think I will be using that feature of the DVD a lot. The music was decent, I thought it fit the workout well, though it was on the softer side. Overall I give this workout 4 and a half stars.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I agree thoroughly with Kate and Donna! I wish I'd seen their reviews before ordering this. After an evening of salsa or merengue dancing, I have often thought what a great workout it was, so when I saw this, I thought it would be perfect. I was so wrong! On the plus side, she's definitely enthusiastic. However, this is really aerobics with a hint of Latin dance steps (or Latin steps the way an aerobics instructor would do them) set to Latin elevator music. I've TRIED to do this twice now with the hope that it wasn't as bad as I'd originally thought, but I had to stop and write this review. Here's what's going on while I type: "Let's go into the Mambo move. Now let's add the Ole arms. Tap it out. Go back to your Ole arms.... box step, mambo ole, tap it out, ...flamenco arms, samba, mambo ole... tap and then hop..." Boy, it would be interesting to picture them doing this at a dance club.

When I searched for "dance" I got this. I think that if I'd searched for "aerobics" I wouldn't have been as completely disappointed.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I like Stella as an instructor, but this workout didn't have the same pizazz as the workouts led by Michelle Dozois and Maria Forleo. I agree with the other reviewer who found the moves repetitive. I also agree that this workout won't get you sweating. It's a good workout for a lighter day, or to pair up with another half hour DVD. As far as workouts go it is safe, will get you moving, and provides proper instruction, but it lacked the wow factor (for me, anyway).
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
I took ballroom dance lessons last year and I found the latin dances to be my favorite. I thought if Salsa which I loved the most is incorporated into exercise, it would be perfect! But when I started the DVD, I was very disappointed. The music was annoying and the steps were very simple, repetitive and boring. For me, dancing salsa with salsa music would be the best exercise and more enjoyable.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2007
Format: DVDVerified Purchase
This 38-minute salsa workout features genuine latin dance moves that are put cleverly into three sections to create a great cardio dance workout! The three sections are "Spicy Salsa", "Latin Lime Twist", and "Mucho Mambo Combo." There is also a warm-up and cool down that are both fairly good.

Stella Sandoval is a great teacher, not annoying at all, and constantly throwing out fun encouraging comments and reminding you of what is coming next. And if you can't follow the steps just by watching the workout, there's the very helpful Step Guide in which she breaks down every one of the steps for you. If you're a non-dancer or just like to be more prepared, it's really helpful to watch this before attempting the workout. However, the first time I didn't want to bother watching this first, and I was able to follow them about 90% of the time. The second time I decided to go through the Step Guide and it really helped with moves such as the tango step.

Overall, this is a great workout. My favorite parts are the "Spicy Salsa" and "Latin Lime Twist", but I feel like I burn most of my calories in the "Mucho Mambo Combo" so I don't dislike that part. It may be a bit too easy for the very advanced, but for beginner to intermediate, ESPECIALLY those who love to dance, you'll find this something you actually look forward to each day.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2008
Format: DVD
I've had a couple of salsa lessons, and even with that, I found this hard to follow. Her cueing is very poor, so you can't follow her instructions. And to make matters worse, quite often the camera doesn't show the participants' feet so it's very hard to figure out what they're doing by watching.

I would steer very, very, very clear of this one if you have knee problems, too. There's a lot of twisting your legs from side-to-side that I found very painful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2011
Format: DVD
I bought this dvd thinking it would be a fun workout, different from what I normally do. However, I got bored doing this dvd. The main motion is swaying your hips. You pretty much do this the whole time while sometimes moving side to side and alternating leg movements. There isn't much varaition to the arm movements at all either. I felt all I was doing was stepping into place with a little extra hip movement.

The steps weren't terribly hard to follow, and the energy of the instructor is good. It's about a 35 minute workout total, and there is also a tutorial about 15 minutes long that goes over the steps. I did the tutorial before starting, although I think you could jump right into the workout and still be okay.

This isn't a very strenous workout, and it's very repetitive. I do not see myself doing this dvd again and wish I wouldn't have bought it.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2007
Format: DVD
Perhaps the title should be changed. This is by no means a pure salsa workout. It is rather a mix of latin moves (some salsa, merengue, cha cha cha, even samba). I find it a joke that it doesn't even feature latin music. There are countless great salsa tunes that would have made this workout much more fun.

And for the workout, you can hardly break a sweat! You follow the instructor in a succession of movements, with little aerobic exertion. I would only recommend it for people who are absolute beginners or for people who are very deconditioned or uncoordinated. Otherwise the workout is boring, unexciting and a waste of time & money.

However, if you like latin moves and are looking for a fun workout which will not only burn calories, but also improve your coordination while teaching you some fun moves, I highly recommend the Kukuwa dance workout. It is one of the best afro-latin based workouts in the market and the instructor is a blast.

Have fun! Diviertanse bailando al compas de la mejor musica del mundo!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2007
Format: DVD
As it even says on the back cover "This fat burning fiesta is hot, hot, hot and it's super effective." . I tend to agree. It's fun to do and the instructor, Stella Sandoval, is motivating and encouraging. The music is also motivating and before you know it the workout is done because you were having so much fun with it, you didn't realise that you were working out.

There is lots of variety with the movements so you won't get bored. She teaches you the moves in such a way that is easy to learn because you learn a foot pattern and after adding arms or your hips you do the entire sequence. While there are the mambos and samba's, there is things like back step salsa's and tango mambo. You are on the go almost the entire time and the energy is high. The set is simple yet nice and all the other exercisers are colorful and fun to watch. I like how at the end there is a dance tutorial. It makes it more helpful if you didn't pick it up during the workout.

Overall, I'd recommend this to people already semi fit. It helps to have done some dance before, and an enjoyment of latin music and dance is a must. I like to do this once or twice a week along with a more cardio challenging workout, but this is a great fill in for a change of pace from your normal routine. I really like it.
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