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115 of 117 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
I found this to be easy to follow, it is dancing, they do show you the moves, and your core DOES get a fantastic workout! Even doing only the warm up, one dance section, and the additional dancers workout at the end got my heart pumping and I was sweating up a storm! I love the fact that you can customize your working out by choosing which segments you want to do and it will play them seamlessly without you having to stop and push buttons!

Now for those with no musicality or rhythm, it may be harder for you to pick up and follow. I suggest just focusing on one segment until you master it. Watch the segment through a couple of times first then follow along and anytime it gets too complicated or you haven't mastered that step yet, just return to the basic step and keep trying till you get it.

And...you can take the steps you learn in this video, get with a partner and actually do them out on a dance floor! So, if you bought this video thinking you'll be able to apply what you learn on the dance floor, you can, but if you aren't a strong dancer and don't pick up choreography quick, try taking lessons from an instructor and use this video for practice.
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
I liked this DVD because it was customizable (you can choose 40 minutes of dancing and/or 15 minutes of toning with a 5 minute warm-up option) and I like a longer workout.
I did not like this DVD because:
1. There was a lot of standing and stepping with arms close. My heartrate monitor never made it to a full cardio workout.
2. I thought that the instruction was just okay. Not enough advanced warning as to what was coming up next. Now we'll do a cha-cha and "GO!"
3. I thought the instructors were not as "fun" as the first DWTS DVD. They were monotone and almost boring. Not quite, but close.
I really wanted to like this one because of the funtionality of it, but it didn't work for me....maybe for beginners?
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55 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2008
This one is much easier than the other Dancing with the Stars Cardio Dance.You can follow their moves without getting as confused. I like it alot but it's not as much fun as the other one. But at least with this one, you can actually learn the steps.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful
As a long-time "Dancing with the Stars" fan, I was really surprised--just recently--to discover this 2008 Latin Cardio Dance workout. I had no clue such a product existed. I immediately ordered it, not having the faintest idea what the DVD would bring. Suffice it to say, I was "very pleasantly surprised and pleased."

The DVD is 60 minutes of a great cardio workout. Even though other reviewers, who are already in great shape, were not particularly pleased, I am. It's been awhile since I have done a strenuous workout. Well, folks, you will get one here!! I have gone through the entire 60 minute program twice and have yet to complete each dance segment. (I'm too out-of-breath.)

Here's what I found:

1. Cheryl led the five-minute warm-up. These exercises must be universal because I did most of them with Jane Fonda back in the day. (Note: It is really fun to see Maksim going through these simple, slow routines as opposed to his lightning quick moves on the floor. He looks just like a normal guy in an aerobics class. Funny. Cheryl looks good.)

2. Chery led the first workout, "Merengue." Her teaching style is simple and direct, yet encouraging. When she shows the next step, she has the class continue to do the preceding movement, then adds the new. Because this is a cardio workout, there is no stopping to show in detail what she is doing. That is the purpose of the rewind button. Better yet, do these routines in front of a mirror or sideways to your television screen so that you can better process what is next. I found facing the screen made me do double processing: seeing, translating to the other side of my body, then doing. Standing sideways eliminates the translating step.

3. Cha-Cha is a 10-minute dance workout with Maksim. Surprise of surprises! Maksim is a patient teacher. Following his directions was a bit easier than following Cheryl. Each instructor, however, keeps viewers part of the team through focused directions. "Keep your hands at waist level." "Keep your core tightened." "Focus on breathing. Don't hold your breath."
And so on.

The Samba (Cheryl) and Mambo (Maksim) both follow the routine established in the first two dance workouts. What I learned throughout was how many of the steps I recognized from the competition. The viewer actually learns all the basic steps to the four dances, even including turns.

The final workout is "Dancer's Toning Workout," which Max says all "students" must go through before beginning rehearsal. It "improves strength and flexibility...to develop and maintain a toned dancer's body" (liner note).

Overall, I recommend this cardio workout. It is a fun (?), instructional, beneficial way to increase your heart rate and learn all the steps to four dances. As I am pretty much out of shape (for a short while longer), I find the workout vigorous. I have already ordered the 2007 workout with Maksim, Kym, and Ashly teaching the Cha-Cha, Samba, Paso Doble (my favorite), and Jive Dancing With the Stars - Cardio Dance

Hooray for "Dancing with the Stars" Dancing with the Stars. Congratulations to Brooke and Derrick for winning the Fall 2008 Championship!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on October 8, 2008
I liked the workout and got a lot out of it. I was a little weary because of other reviews on the site, but it is fun and it definitely works your legs. It may not be as fun as the other video, but they help you really learn the right way to do the steps, rather than just doing them. If you dance everyday, then you probably won't get much out of it, but if you're just looking for a fun way to get some exercise, it's a good video. Plus, any excuse to look at Maksim is worth it! :)
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2009
I am writing this review fresh off the first workout. I am 29 years old and somewhat out of shape, but walk on a regular basis. About 5 years ago and again 3 years ago, I took ballroom dance classes (including latin dance).

Pros: good cardio (I broke a sweat in all segments except the warmup); fun moves (not your traditional aerobic exercise video); ability to customize workouts.

Cons: rapid progress from beginning moves to more advanced moves (as someone who has taken face-to-face lessons enough to dance in social situations, I felt off-rhythm often and knew that due to the speed, I wasn't performing the moves technically.)

Suggestions: moving forward, I will customize the workout to include the warm-up, 1 dance and the toning exercises. Once that dance is mastered, I will add in a second dance. Therefore, increasing my length of exercise, but also increasing my confidence in the routines. I've found that if I get discouraged during a routine, I'm unlikely to want to continue the exercise, which is the ultimate goal.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2009
I LOVED this video. I haven't tried the first one, but after using this one, I'm definitely going to buy it as well. I danced and taught ballet for nearly 15 years, and I haven't done any of that for awhile after I had children. I got really tired of workout video after workout video that was just "exercising." This video is the first I've come across that is actually dancing! If you do this workout with the proper technique, your legs and core will be burning in the first five minutes. I had so much fun and was smiling the entire time. It was easy to fall back into steps that I'd learned so long ago as a dancer, and it made me feel young again. Love, love, loved it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on February 23, 2009
I love it!
I gotta say, I am a latina who knows how to dance... or so I thought. Definitely got schooled. I knew they (Mak and Cheryl) were great dancers, but now I know that they are great instructors. The way they break the steps down, how they encourage you to have fun, and the warm-up/tone-up excercises that professional dancers use in their studios, I have to say, it's superb! And for the record, you are not only working out, you are really dancing! Without even knowing! And sweating like there's not tomorrow!
The only thing I can say as a 'con' is that Cheryl goes a little too fast for beginners, and it was a little hard to follow her, Mak is better at explaining how the step goes.
Nightclubs, here I come!!!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Many people including myself complained that the "Dancing w/the Stars: Cardio Dance" had too little teaching & too much fake banter. Well, they listened. This is taught going slow at first & speeds up quick, with much more teaching (though could still be more & several times cues are missing) & almost no needless banter. You can tell they really tried to keep the pace up so people don't say it has too much teaching or not moving.
The classic ballroom music that myself & other people don't like as much as newer music, but that is the style/music they do on the show, so I guess I can't complain.
This only has the choice of music w/instruction or just music, though you can customize which segments you want to do in the menu. This is what I feel gives these workouts the stiff & tedious feel & that Cheryl & Maksim keep to minimal teaching. Also they stay "professional" which usually means for anything, stiff & cold. I think their warmth does come through, it's just the producers/directors idea to stay formal.

Warm-up - 4 min
Cheryl leads with all 2 other women, Maksim & 2 male dancers, basic isolation, hip & rib circles & stretching & etc.
Merengue - 10 min
Cheryl leads with all other dances except Maksim. She teaches you the basic & then teaches several other variations. She does teach slow at first, but many times goes from a nice slow pace to the normal VERY fast true speed which is jarring for all the dances she teaches. This is like being in a real dance class, but sped up.
Cha Cha - 10 min
Maksim leads with all dancers except Cheryl. He also teaches pretty well, going slow at first, he teaches front, back, side, crossovers, etc. He teaches also a couple steps at the end but barely teaches them.
Samba -
Cheryl leads with all other dances except Maksim. She does stay with a basic step touch way too much, but she puts great emphasis on the core & bounce & I did feel since I really exaggerated it.
Toning - 15 min
Cheryl & Maksim take turns teaching w/all the dancers. Cheryl w/a lot of squats w/side leg lifts, lunges w/toros rotations. Maksim is next w/ballet is next w/plies & grand plies, side leg lifts, standing knee lift w/elbows behind head touch crunch, w/etc. basic step moves (ballet workouts especially NYC ballet is much better). Cheryl w/lunges with dance step style, knee lift w/step out. Maksim w/wide stance side stretch, deep lunges, plank w/leg lifts, dolphin, static plank, push-ups, push-ups w/leg raised, breathe & done.

Yes, the music. Unless you like old band style isa bit of a drag, but I like they always have you moving as they teach. I think they should have build up the slow to fast so it can be more accessible to beginners with left feet, & anyone who knows the routine can do it full speed during the instruction like I do with all my dance dvds.
Speaking of which, most of these dances are basic 2-3 steps, step fwd/back or step to the side or cross. Most don't need a mirror or the instructor's back to you, but some really needed it as some will be lost. Considering they have all those backups, it's a waste they didn't have someone be a modifier of speed & another to always show their back. Having instructors face mirrors tend to make dance instructors more self-conscious, serious & concentrate on their form more then the teaching which makes it a bit more dull usually.
Saying that, if you can get past the music, it's a good workout & they teach you many variations of each style in a short time. Yes, this is easier to follow then Cardio Dance for beginners, though I am glad I have played COUNTLESS dance workout dvds in the past, especially Zumba, etc.

Another video clip: Collagevideo com
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2010
First of all, Amazon, why won't you let users give half values for stars? Because I really wanted to give this 3.5 stars.

Anyway. I have done two other Dancing with the Stars DVDs, Dance Body Tone and Cardio Dance, and this one is definitely my favorite out of the three. In this one, the dances are explained more slowly and clearly, and the annoyingly inept instructors (Kym and Ahsly--especially Ashly) are dispensed with. The dances are much easier to learn and therefore more fun to do, since you can really get into them instead of spending the entire time trying to figure out what the instructors are talking about.

However, this DVD is not without its flaws. For one, while Cheryl is quite good at slowly and carefully explaining things, she just doesn't have the right energy level. She talks slowly and dully, so I don't find her terribly motivating as a teacher. On top of that, she's constantly repeating herself: "feel it in your core" "bend and straighten your legs" etc. It gets tedious. We get it Cheryl. That's not really how you teach something, just saying the same obvious sentence over and over again. Maybe it would be helpful if she was repeating a difficult concept but bending and straightening the legs is generally pretty obvious when it comes to walking in place. Maksim's teaching style, however, is pretty good. He has a higher energy level and gives more helpful, less repetitive instructions.

The other problem I have with this DVD is the lack of variety. All the dances on the DVD are pretty much the same, and utilize basically all the same steps. While this is good in a way, because it really gives you a chance to learn the moves, it gets a little boring after a while. Where the other DVDs were too complicated, this one is a bit too simple. In keeping the dances simple and easy to learn, they became homogenized. For instance, the instructors don't ever really give you anything specific to do with your arms or upper body. Maybe if they added some arms/upper body stuff to make the dances a bit more complex, there would be more variation overall. And because the dances are so simple and taught slowly, you don't get a huge cardio workout here. Some, sure, but you won't be breathing hard and begging for water afterward.

All that being said, I will say that these dances are fun to do and their simplicity makes it easier to add your own flavor to the dances. I enjoy doing this DVD, I just don't think it's the best dance DVD out there. But if you're looking for something that's simple and gentle, that's broken down into short workouts that you can mix and match, and you like Latin dance, this DVD is not a bad place to start.
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