71 of 72 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2003
This dvd does much of the same exercises from the first New York City ballet workouk, but the combinations are different and somewhat more difficult, and there is also a final allegro. You are also taught a couple of different steps such as fondu, and there is a glossary to explain the steps for those new to ballet. The final combination is something new to vol 2. It is fun, but fast, and it was my favorite part of the tape. I did not think it was hard to pick up, but I have been dancing ballet for some years. For a begining student it might be somewhat complicated, but the video does brake down every step into sections so that you get extra practice before being expected to do the entire combination. As for the music you are offered two choices. The contempery music is not rock or techno, but more like new age, and I much prefer the classical selections. You may also turn off any vocal instructions if you wish. Also you may create a personal exercise program by selecting or repeating the exercises you liked the most. I am giving it only four stars because I wish that it taught you more steps and more moving combinations.
54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2005
I have owned and used the first workout in this series for several years now and enjoy it thoroughly. I have no ballet training and purchased the video after getting interested in Pilates. I bought the second workout on DVD despite one reviewer's comment that it is virtually the same workout as the video I already own. I was glad to learn this wasn't true. The first workout is far easier as it requires less coordination while the second workout incorporates dance steps and arm movements in a much more complicated fashion. It also transitions from one type of move to the next much quicker than the first workout which broke each type of move (plies, tendu, etc.) into separate segments. Furthermore, I find the abdominal work and floor bar exercises much more challenging in this workout than in the first.
Perhaps what most distinguishes this workout from the first is the dance routine included at the end. The first workout has little cardiovascular work and this segment (which I skip to before Reverence) really kicks up the intensity of my workout. I also feel like I'm really learning how to dance ballet - not just engaging in ballet exercises. I get better at the routine each time I do the workout and find myself motivated to work out more as I attempt to master the steps. This routine is difficult to follow for those of us without dance training but equally thrilling when we amateurs find ourselves keeping up with the professionals (even if we aren't quite as graceful).
I recommend that non-dancers buy both workouts. The first allows you to concentrate on learning rudimentary postures and moves. The second increases the challenge with a more dynamic workout, preventing plateaus. I now alternate between the two workouts, doing each about once a week as a supplement to my other fitness activities.
57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2006
I won't go into detail about the breakdown of the workout as others have more than adequately done this - I wanted to address some of the UNFAIR CRITICISM.
Firstly those who say there is no instruction (especially the dance section at the end) may not have used the very comprehensive menu. Choose the 'play all' option and skip until you find the 'teaching combination' sections. The dance combination is taught in 4 sections - each move is shown in slow motion with excellent voice over instruction then goes 'up tempo' and shown in the speed that the end dance has. These segments can be repeated over and over until you 'get it'.
I have no dance experience and the grace and poise of a lame duck but it only took me no more than 5 attempts to learn most of it (by replaying each section). I have had longer learning periods with my Cathe Friedrich step workouts! Why do you want a dvd that you can do when you first put it in? That is just a waste of money as you will get bored quickly - I want to be able to progress.
Another criticism was the lack of explanation of ballet terminology - rubbish! DVD comes with a booklet that shows each one and explains, and the glossary on the dvd does the same. As Peter explains, you can go to that glossary at any time in the workout if you need more help with positions. Remember these people had years of training to get the bodies they have, it is crazy to think you will have their grace and mastery of the movements with one workout! But with many uses of this workout you will come close, the instruction is EXCELLENT and the closest thing to one-on-one instruction you will get.
And to address one other unfair comment - you CAN skip through sections and program any/all parts of the workout USE THE MENU!!
I'd rate this workout 11/10 and only wish they would release no. 3. A lovely change of pace from high impact aerobics and step for me - but still a challenge - especially if you do the 'dance' at the end twice!
A beautifully produced dvd, excellent quality, great menu system (especially being able to choose the music) and voice over instruction is calm and soothing to listen to. You won't regret buying this one.
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2004
(See my review of Volume I) I enjoyed the first NYCBW so much that I got Vol. 2 shortly after its release. Basically, it's Volume 1 at a faster pace, contains corrected technical glitches from its predecessor, and has a couple of new exercises not found in Vol. 1. I also believe that anyone in some semblance of physical shape can do the exercises in this volume. One thing I really appreciate is the dancers mirroring your movements. For example, when you're instructed to move your left leg, the dancers move their right legs because they are facing you. Nice touch.
The content is well-balanced and well-paced. I don't have a problem making time for a nearly one hour workout. The dancers are superb once again. There are more features contained in Volume 2 than the first volume. But I don't know if I'll ever get the Balanchine dance at the end! They make it look so easy. A little bit at a time, perhaps, and I should have it down in a year.
Anyway, I mentioned NYCBW to a friend. She purchased Vol. 2 and was glad she did. If this type of workout is new to you, I suggest getting the routine in Volume I down first before Volume 2. Experienced dancers can obviously get right into this volume.
These workouts are educational, too, in that you learn the names of particular ballet steps and poses, thanks to the video glossary included. It gives you a greater appreciation of the art form. Athletes from a variety of sports would find this program beneficial, even football players. It helps with coordination, posture, and balance, among other things.
I do the workout three times a week and has given me noticeable results in strength, stamina, toning, and posture.
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2004
After trying this video twice, I've basically got the steps down and can keep up with the dancers without constantly stumbling about. I have no prior experience with ballet but I still didn't find the video too fast or daunting for an absolute beginner (with very little practice). Watching it for the first time, I couldn't keep up, so I would rewind the video watch the move one more time, pause, and then try the steps on my own with my own pace. By the second time watching it, as I mentioned above, it took little effort to keep up. But, this is omitting the dance combonation at the end - I'm completely lost here!
There is only one complaint that I have about this video, there could be more instructions involved during the excercises and a bigger glossary at the end.
The video is great for those who want to improve flexability and posture (it's amazing how after going through the workout you still maintain the posture) and for those who are not looking for a cardio workout and fast music to workout to.
If you enjoy the idea of dancing/ballet and want to actually feel relaxed and good after working out - this is the video for you!
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2003
I purchased the first volume of this series almost 3 years ago and became so utterly consumed by it I signed up for adult ballet classes and still take them! I recommend this video for anyone toying with the idea of getting in shape using ballet and think this one is probably more ideally suited to a true beginner than its predecessor (due to glossary & more instruction). However if you already own and love the first volume, then by all means buy this! It is very similar, and I think I may enjoy the floor & barre work more on the first one, but the dance sequence from Tarantella is so much fun to learn & will make you feel like a true ballerina!
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2003
I bought this with the NYC Ballet Workout Vol. 1. Don't buy both, they are very similar and buying both is really a waste of money. I am a HS/MS music teacher, and I was very satisfied with some portions of this and very unsatisfied with others. I may be a musician, but I am a HORRIBLE dancer. I was relieved to find out that you don't have to be very coordinated to to do the regular workout (which is much better than the original...better descriptions, better use of tracking and sections, a glossary of ballet terms for the dancing impaired, etc.) However, the cardio dance routine at the end is a disaster. The dancers don't "teach" anything....they just show the movements without breaking them down, and you are expected to pick them up. They also don't do a very good job of showing you how many times you are going to be doing a particular step. If I was trying to teach my marching band this way, they would be running into each other on the field. One other downer, it is very long. The basic workout is about 1 hour, and if you want to do the cardio as well, you are looking at about 1 hour and twenty minutes. I do like the slow methodical way that muscles are built though, and it does work. even my husband noticed that my legs looked alot better!!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2004
What it IS:
This video is very good if you have generally performed traditional calisthetics. The ABs section is great and challenging. Its very effective at core strengthing. It's great for people with desk jobs who want to improve their posture - and for joggers who want increase range of motion in the hips, as well as strengthening the core. If you pay CLOSE attention to what the instruction is, you WILL feel a burn. These are not sloppy movements, nor quick. They are subtle, and easy to miss. The dancers go faster because they are experienced, but the beginner will have to take it slow to understand the correct position. Form is of utmost importance in this series and you have to carefully observe the movements to make sure your form is right.
What it's NOT:
This is not a typical exercise DVD nor a ballet instruction video. This is not for dancing, but for general fitness. This video is *not about* dance technique and will not turn you into a dancer. If you are someone who has owned a million aerobics tapes, this one is a very interesting change of pace. If you have never taken ballet, its a refreshing introduction to movement.
The classical music and haughty voiceover may not suit the 'hip' areobics approach, but the movements are good and the video is comprehensive. A good deal.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 20, 2006
I'm in many dance classes and on a dance team. I was looking for a way to condition on my own outside of class and this is the best thing i have found. At the end of the workout my muscles feel like i've just been in class for an hour. There are great excercises for everything. It will be harder to learn if you have never danced before, but it's a good workout for anybody. It deffinately makes you sweat.
If you're trying to decide between one and two there are only a few differences because i have both
-the first one is better organized and has more "workout" sections, but really they are just the overall workout broken up.
-the second one includes a choreographed dance like excercise that is very fun and challenging and broken into sections to make it easily learned
-the second one has a handy dandy glossary for people who aren't enrolled in ballet class
Other than that their the same mostly except for the actual excercises which vary. But their both a great workout
50 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on June 24, 2004
I recently bought both DVDs for this series however they are both exactly the same, but with different dancers. you only need One of this series. I will however say that these videos have the best stretching excerises that I have ever done. and this dvd offers you the option of choosing how you want your work out to progress.