I should mention that I grew up dancing, so anything dance related draws my attention. I will spend a day watching the worst dance movies ever made just to see the choreography, and when "So You Think You Can Dance" premieres ever year I want to throw a party. I decided to try every dance related workout video out there until I found something I liked. Here are my top picks.
The NYC Ballet Workout is actually a video I picked up in 2002 before my own wedding. For people that have taken dance, it's basically an hour long intensive warm up which kicks the crap out of your legs and abs (in a good way.) It brings you through series of plies, crunches, small jumps and stretches. To me, it's the video I always come back to. I just ordered Part 2 and will let you know how it is.
Next up is Bollywood fun with Hemalayaa. I mean ... why not? This video isn't exactly a stand alone workout routine, but it will make you sweat and teach you how to shake your shoulders like a Bollywood star. I wouldn't do it in front of anyone as she has you doing things like "Gorilla Walking" and the classic "Running Man." In the end, it's a fun way to get your cardio in.
I decide to give Hemalayaa another shot and bought this video about a month ago. I figured, for $8 on amazon, what the hell? I have to say that this one is a much more intensive workout than the previous video. I did all 3 sections back to back and by the end wanted to curl up into a fetal position and rock back and forth for awhile. I liked that it mixed standing and floor work, and I really could see my abs working (aka wanting to jump out of my body.) I think adding one section of this workout to another routine would be great.
O.K... don't laugh. Actually, go ahead. I laugh at myself for this pick. Dade and I were on a JetBlue flight back from Virginia at 6AM and all that was on T.V. was infomercials. I got sucked into the Core Rhythms pitch and on Christmas morning their starter kit was waiting under the tree for me. This video is supposed to sculpt your body while teaching you Latin Dance. It comes with 6 different workouts, all of which are based on aspects of ballroom dancing. The 2 hosts are pros on Dancing with the Stars. I've done the long workout disc which is 45 minutes, and I have to say that I certainly felt my "core" working. One thing I do really like about this series is that you can flip your angle from being in front of the instructor to being behind her, and you can also pause to get help about each move. it's a little pricier than the other videos at $60 for the set, but I do think if you stick to it it will work to get you toned and drop a few pounds.
Last, and certainly not least is my weekly session with this guy ... Steve Ross. I didn't have a DVD image, so I just pasted his head into this post. He hosts a show on the Oxygen network called Inhale every morning at 6AM. I set my DVR to tape it every few days. It's an hour of high intensity yoga. What I like about it is that the music is great, and you're moving around a lot. It's not a "get into a position and hold it for a half an hour" kind of workout. It's more of a "twist yourself over and over again into crazy knots that somehow feel good" kind of workout. I've been taking his class off and on for about 4 years, and I have to say I always feel better when I'm "on" rather than "off."