While the set and "co-stars" are different from Get Up and Dance (this time she dances with four obviously professional dancers rather than the "ordinary people"), the format is the same: After a warmup, Paula teaches a total of six steps. Doing each one slowly at first, then gradually picking up the pace until it's at normal speed. The steps are then paired together, then at the end you do them all together. One added feature is that at the slow phase, a mini-screen in the corner shows Paula doing the steps with her back towards you so you can follow along. It does help somewhat, but there are two things that keep this from being as big a help as it could be: 1. As soon as the tempo builds even slightly, this mini-screen disappears so you have to adjust your vision back to the other group of dancers who are facing you. You have to adjust your thinking, all the while still doing the steps. 2. The cameramen haven't quite decided if this is an exercise tape or a Paula performance tape. Quite often, the camera cuts away from the footwork right when I need to see it.
When I saw the tape at the store, I bought it immediately because I LOVE Get Up and Dance. I put this one the for the first time yesterday, preparing to love this one too. Well, I didn't because it was hard to follow. However, when I tried it again today, it was MUCH easier, although I am defintely style-impaired compared to the dancers on the screen. I have to keep reminding myself it took a few times for me to get the steps down in Get Up and Dance, too. It's just that it didn't seem so long to get to that level on that tape because I was doing the steps with the ordinary folks on the screen rather than with these pros. I think this will be a favorite -- eventually.
Instructor comments: As in Get Up and Dance, Paula is very friendly and positive. Part of the reason I admire her is she shares my birthday and is actually one year older than me. Darn her, she looks like a teenager in this one, even younger than her previous one. So I guess there's hope for me! About the only thing I don't care for in her appearance are those goddawful black clod-hopper shoes with the white soles she wears. I know they're funky, but they make her feet look as clumsy as mine feel!
This is not your traditional exercise video-this is a reason to get up and dance again! Paula is dancing with two guys and two gals (who are obviously dancers) and trust me, your heart rate will go up. The steps will take you some time to learn so this is not a video for those with two left feet, although the teaching style is a little more patient than in her last video. You learn each segment of the dance separately and then gradually put it all together, until you do the whole routine at the end of the cardio segment. Then there is a cool down dance, some standing toning moves (which I found a little hard on the knees-all those plies) and a floor stretching routine. The music is basic synthesized aerobic stuff done in Paula's style without any actual singing. Paula and her fellow dancers are enthusiastic without being too goofy and their dancing form is very professional. There is plenty of advice in this video, both written and in voice-over which may become annoying to you once you learn the routines. The production quality is very clean and nice-like a warehouse style dance studio. Sometimes they do that thing again where they are focusing on the dancers' upper bodies and faces when you really want to see their footwork. All in all, I really like this video because it is going to keep me occupied learning the dances for quite a while and I like challenging footwork! But it may not be the thing for intermediate/high level aerobicizers because all the dance moves are low impact and not overly strenuous.
Instructor comments: I think Paula must have taken all that advice from her previous video to heart-her cueing is good and she's avoiding all those head-snapping moves everyone was complaining about. This is one fast video but this time she slows all the steps down first and shows them to you from behind in a window.
I'm the same Laura B. who wrote the previous review of this tape. Now, after having done it a while,I've decided I like Get Up and Dance better. This is mainly because the dance portion in Cardio Dance seems so much shorter. I nailed all the steps in this one fairly quickly and even though I haven't done the tape a lot, the challenge is already gone. One small complaint is that this tape requires a lot of room. I could modify the steps in Get Up and Dance so I could fit in my living room and in Cardio Dance I can't. Additionally, somehow it just doesn't seem as much fun as Get Up and Dance. While the toning section is a good one, I find that I don't do it. I guess I would rather spend the time working my abs and my legs and butt don't need the extra work. Perhaps I've gone beyond this tape's level or just in a different direction.
Instructor comments: I like her, I always will. She's fun and very
friendly in her teaching methods. Her cuing is great.
I bought this tape because I really enjoy dancing. I have also studied dance
(ballet and jazz) for years, so I tend to pick up steps and feel the beats
fairly easily. It took some viewing and several rewinds for me to pick up
the steps, but once I did the routine a few times, I got the hang of it and
it was fun. This tape consists of a dancy warm-up and then a routine that is
divided into 3 segments. Each segment starts out slowly and then gradually
the speed of the music is increased. At the beginning of each segment, there
is a small box in the lower right corner where Paula does the moves with her
back to you (so you can follow her), and the rest of the screen is Paula with
her dancers doing the moves facing you. The steps are fun and once you
master them, you feel like you could be in a music video.
The negatives are that the moves are taught quickly and you must rewind a
number of times to practice them. Also, the routine requires a lot of space;
I kept changing direction (due to lack of space). Also, you can't really
watch the TV while you are doing the routine, so you must get the routine
memorized in order to do it. She only does the routine twice through at the
end. She only does it on one side. I didn't really like the music very
much, and that was disappointing, since the music is so important for
motivation in a dance tape. After the dance routine, there is a short
cool-down followed by some plies and stretches.
Paula Abdul is a great dancer, but I didn't get the feeling that she was
really trying to teach in this video. Her voice seemed weak and babyish.
Her choreography is great, but I get the feeling that she would be better as
an instructor in a live class rather than in a video.
My general impression of this workout is that it is fine if you would like to
learn some good funky dance choreography. The routine is fun and I did work
up a sweat. After a few viewings, you would not need the instructional
sections, which make up most of the tape, and the actual routine is only a
few minutes long at the end. I recommend this tape to anyone who would like
to learn some fun dance moves. For a beginner, it would be a tape to do a
good number of times. For more experienced dancers, it would be more of an
instructional tape so that you could use the routine on your own with other
I liked this video a lot when I first got it. I really enjoyed the dance which seemed to me like a real dance practice. In comparison to Paula's other video, Get up and Dance, I prefered this one because it didn't seem to be modified so much for the home video exerciser. I like dance that travels more across the floor, like this one did, and the studio setting made it seem more like a real practice rather than something made up to please the home audience. I also really like the choreography here.
At first I found that the moves were taught too quickly and, like the previous reviewer, I had to rewind a lot. The more times I did it though, the more I caught on and eventually the instructional sections got too slow and almost tedious. This is why I have been using past tense in most of the review so far. I don't do this video much anymore because it has gotten too easy and I have other things that I prefer to use for short cardio.
I liked Paula a lot in this video. She's got a fun personality that really shines through in the workout.
Feb. 29, 2004
To buy Cardio Dance on Video or DVD