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Kathy Smith - Latin Rhythm Workout
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Latin dance has been sweeping the nation -- it's been spotted in nightclubs, feature films, dance classes, and even exercise videos. Aerobics goddess Kathy Smith has created a Latin dance workout that has the look and feel of a Latin nightclub. It was filmed at the Conga Room in Los Angeles, and the music is performed by a live conga band. Kathy Smith: Latin Rhythm Workout is an aerobic dance routine which is divided into two 20-minute workouts. After a rhythmic warm-up, Smith teaches combinations based on three dance steps -- the cha cha, meringue, and salsa. These same three steps are used throughout both workouts; students are simply moving across the floor and adding turns, pivots, lunges, and swats to increase the intensity and complexity of the choreography. The second workout skips the demonstrations and goes right into the routine, followed by a romantic cool-down. This workout is incredibly fun and suitable for all fitness levels, although advanced exercise enthusiasts will really have to work the hips and arm movements to get a high impact workout.
You've got to hand it to Kathy Smith--the indefatigable diva of fitness has a knack for staying on top of the cultural curve. Her peppy Kickboxing Workout came out right on the kicking heels of The Tae-Bo Workout and added much-needed polish to that popular workout's moves. Smith's Latin Rhythm Workout, released in the fall of 1999, capitalizes on America's love affair with Ricky Martin and Latin music in general. The workout has great music (unlike a few of Smith's previous videos), provided by a live band at the Conga Room in Los Angeles, and a lot of infectious energy from Smith and her core group of fellow dancers. Whether this works as a workout for you, though, will depend on how quickly you can absorb dance steps. In fact, it's unlikely to get your heart rate up to decent workout levels, unless you're a fairly accomplished dancer used to throwing yourself into the steps. The tape includes a very brief warm-up, and then segments that essentially teach steps like the cha-cha, the samba, and the merengue, followed by a few minutes of cool-down. Because the steps aren't strenuous per se, there aren't two workout levels provided, as in most of Smith's tapes. Included is a bonus segment for you and a partner, to teach you how to take the steps onto the dance floor of your favorite salsa club. --Anne Hurley
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