Video Fitness

Get Up and Dance!

(Intermediate-Floor Aerobics)

Like "The Grind", this is a non-policed, "let's just dance and have fun" video. Paula, leading a big enthusiastic crowd of her friends and neighbors, shows us the dance moves that made her mark as a choreographer - slowly at first, then gradually picking up the tempo, and finally all done together in a combination. The steps are rather tricky, but you'll be having so much fun, you won't care whether you're on your right or left foot! Includes two of Paula's songs. A real blast!
Grade: A

Sue Bryant

Get Up and Dance

This is a dance video. I'm not really very coordinated. Usually when I do funk aerobics or something, I get so caught up in trying to do the steps, that class is over before I have a chance to break a sweat. Not with this video! My heart is pounding and I'm sweating after the first section. The dance moves start off relatively simple. That helped me to build my confidence. I even managed to learn all of the steps in the 5 months that I have owned the video. That's saying a lot for my two left feet. I have so much fun with this video that I forget I'm exercising. The next day, my body knows it though. There's a really good abdominal section after the dance section. This is the best video that I've ever seen or exercised to!

Della Stein

Get up and Dance

This is a very dancy video. I feel I'm pretty coordinated, but stumbled and fumbled through this video like a total klutz! For those who have patience and take the time to master the dance steps, this will be a great, fun workout. I didn't work up much of a sweat because I stood dumbfounded starting at the screen for such long periods. The slow parts were easy, but doing the steps to tempo was impossible!

When I try a video for the first time, I either hate it, love it, or put it away for a future date because it might have potential. One of these days I'll probably dig this video out and give it another try.

Joni O

Paula Abdul's Get Up and Dance

Instructor: Paula Abdul
Music: Mainly instrumental light rock
Length: 47 minutes. 12 min. motion warmup w/ almost no static stretches, 23 minutes of dance including a 3 min "cooldown" dance (YMCA), 2 min. of standing & floor-based stretching, 10 minutes of very fast floor ab workouts, a little final, floor-based static stretching.
Energy Level: very, very high from start to finish
Choreography: complex (if you've got two left feet)
Production: MTV-like production quality

I really should have known better, but I like Abdul so I decided to give it a shot. There is no way to do this tape slow so be sure you've got loads of energy. Abdul opens with the statement that she picked some people up off the street and that even those with two left feet can do the tape. Hah! She's never met anybody with two left feet. The opening "warmup", and I use that word advisedly, includes some neck snapping that should make orthopedic surgeons salivate and one-legged standing stretches (you stand on one foot and hold the other leg which is bent at a 90 degree angle) which Abdul and the others do without comment and perfect stability.

To give her some credit, her teaching method is pretty good. She runs through a step "slowly" a couple of times, does it to tempo, teaches another step the same way, adds it to the first step, then adds a third step, then combines the three. There are three sets of three steps and the last part of the main routine consists of two sets of all nine steps. Unfortunately, there is no visual or other cueing to the start of a new step so it's very hard to fast forward the tape to practice a step outside of your aerobic time, and you'll have to if you're not a natural or trained dancer and want to learn the routines. There are several steps that are murder on the knees and for which there is no low-impact alternative---and I wouldn't try this on a thick carpet. Worse, the camera has an unerring tendency to move to Abdul's face or overhead or at the back of the floor just when you're trying to figure out which leg to start with. (Disco Workout and Lean Routine have the same kind of MTV camera-work that is counter-productive when you're trying to learn how to do something.)

The music is fun, Abdul is infectious and generally gives good cues, and it is possible to learn the dance (or some facsimile thereof). If any dancers are reading this, you will probably get bored quickly by the "teaching" aspect of the routines. If she had included a section at the end with slow versions of all the steps, or if there were visual cues, it would work better for those of us who really do have two left feet. The tape ends with a series of aerobic ab exercises that will give you a real workout.

Diane Danielle

Paula Abdul--choreographer to the stars--and two of her colleagues lead a workout which will challenge your feet and leave you sweating. As far as I know, she's not a certified aerobics instructor, but she had Karen Voight serve as Fitness Consultant for this video, and that was good enough for me.

I have to agree with Diane when she said, "be sure you have loads of energy"--though Paula's only failed to motivate me once or twice in the six months I've been doing her workout. And there are no modifications given for those who want or need a gentler routine. But this is an intermediate program, after all. I've found that if I don't snap my neck all the way around, bend my knees too deeply, or jump--just raise my arms toward the ceiling and go up on my toes--then I'm all right. I'd also encourage folks who want to keep their heart rate up to use a full range of motion dring the "teaching" segments of the routine and really lift their knees up during the "march-it-outs." I found that even the "YMCA cooldown" can be aerobic if I make my moves bigger. If this sounds like too much work, then pick up a Kathy Smith or Donna Richardson video, practice the low-impact modifiers they teach, and come back to Paula's program later!

Having given those caveats, I must say I love this workout. One exerciser is 42, another is 50--so it's not all 20-somethings. I knew going in that it would take consistent practice to master the dance steps. After a month, I had most of them learned, and am almost ready to abandon my "modifications" and really go for it. I'm also glad to see an aerobics tape which includes abdominal floor work after the cooldown. The nights I use this workout, my back actually feels better than it did before I start exercising.

The most important things are to not get discouraged if you can't get all the steps down in a week or two, and as Paula says, "don't give up" and "have a great time!"

Melissa Cooper

This video is one of my favorites, it is so much fun!! Even though the video is an intermediate level I still do this tape about once a week because I love it. The steps are not overly difficult and anyone with a little coordination will be able to the tape within a few tries. The ending segment when the guys lead the class is hokey but the song is really fun (YMCA). The video is widely available and I recommend it highly to anyone who wants a fun aerobic workout which is a little dancy.

Paula is a very friendly, perky instructor. Her cueing is great and of course her dance steps are fun. She breaks each pattern up into chunks and teaches them first at slow tempo then up to speed. Some of the steps are right from her music videos.

Cinnamon Conrad

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this video! I do love dancy videos, which is why I wanted to try this one despite its intermediate rating (I'm advanced). It took a couple times through to master the moves, but I really enjoyed the feeling of being part of a large choreographed dance number. The cooldown is a little cutesy, but otherwise a good choice for those who like dancy choreography and/or Paula's style.
This is the video I reach for when I feel like dancin', not working out.

Wendy Niemi Kremer

This is a fun video if you like dancing. The moves are in no way "athletic" choreography. However, I think her excellent cueing helps you learn the steps easily.

The warm up is nice and long; right at the end of it, I can feel my heart rate is just about in the target zone. Some of the dance steps are higher impact, but can be modified (no modifiers are shown in the video, though). Just a word of warning: during the warm up and cool down, there are some "head-turn" moves. Paula seems to really whip her head around on these (must be a dancer thing). I always modify these to a slow, controlled head turn.

Just before the cool down, three guys lead a (thankfully) short routine to YMCA. It's funny the first time, but feels a little corny after that. But I just go along with it and get corny too.

The "teaching" phase of each dance step may seem slow once you learn all the steps really well. I still have fun during the slower parts (sometimes I make the movements bigger to keep my heart rate up), but not everyone may feel the same way.

The cool down is not too long, but maybe a little short. There's also some ab work at the end. If you're used to really tough ab workouts, this section may not be as challenging for you.

Overall, I give this one an A. It makes me work up a sweat, but it's so fun for me that I don't feel like I'm "exercising."

Lynne Lounsbury

This is an extremely well-produced video that makes you feel like you're right there with Paula and the others. Paula and her two assistants teach a roomful of people. The class participants wear workout clothes, but the instructors wear "regular" clothes, including their shoes. So you get both the atmosphere of being involved in a real MTV-type production plus a real workout. It's hard to describe, but it's very enjoyable.

The workout itself is definitely dancy. Paula teaches each move at a slow tempo, then speeds it up slightly, then a little more, and finally you're doing the real thing. I do reasonably well until about halfway through, and then my funk impairment rears its head.

The last song is YMCA, and some guys from the class come up front to lead it. They don't "teach" it, they just lead it and you follow along. It's a blast, even if you don't get all the moves right.

I would call the intensity of the workout intermediate. If you're really good at dancing, and I do mean dancing, then you could probably get "into" the moves more and make it more intense. I am not that person, though, so alas, I will be putting this on the exchange. Even though it's not for me, I still give it an A.

Instructor comments: If Paula ever decides to give up her music, I'm sure she'd be hired to teach aerobics at any gym she might choose!

Annie S.

Others have described the atmosphere and choreography of this tape very well. I bought this tape based on the reviews I found here. I'm an intermediate/advanced level exerciser, and I was interested in something different than the same old floorwork (lunges, grapevines, etc.). I was not disappointed in Paula's creative, fun floorwork. This tape really is a blast to do! I love the music - it's "The Way That You Love Me" and "Promise of a New Day" by Paula, and other songs of a similar style. The dance moves are fun to do and and rather complex. It probably took me 10 times doing this tape before I finally had all the moves down, but I liked that 'cause it kept it interesting. Therein lies my problem though. Now that I have the moves down, I have trouble with the first 2/3 of the aerobics because Paula is in "teaching mode". The moves are slowed down, and there is lots of marching between them. Not only do I get bored, but I have a hard time keeping my heart rate up. When we finally run through the whole thing twice, it's great. But it's too hard for me to get there. I guess all my exercising is paying off in that I've got more endurance and stamina, but unfortunately, I've already outgrown this video.

Instructor comments: Paula has a very warm, likable personality in this video. Her cueing seems a little off at times, though, especially in the warmup.

Mary Truscott

I liked the variety of steps in this video although I believe that the "hip hop" style could cause injuries in exercisers who are older than 30.

The best surprise in the video is the short segment with the "YMCA" dance. This silly (fun) dance is led by a group of football players.

Instructor comments: Paula Abdul has a great personality for leading a fitness workout. I would definitely like to see her do a more traditional "dancy" video. (My favorite instructors include Kathy Smith, Gin Miller, Kari Anderson and Karen Voight).

Marjorie Brigham

This video is fantastic. I use this tape to pick up my spirits and just have a blast, and it works every time. I can do this video on the same day that I do an intense strength or cardio video (I wait til a different time of the day, so i'm rested). I'm not a huge fan of pop - dancy music, *UNLESS* I'm doing aerobics or dancing, so Paula's music isn't too familiar to me. But i've always been really impressed with her choreography, and to a frustrated wistful dancer "wannabe" like myself this tape is terrific. By the way - I'm over 30, and I don't think that my age makes any difference to my enjoyment of this tape.

Instructor comments: Paula Abdul is a warm and friendly instructor who makes you feel that even if you are the least coordinated dancer around, you will eventually get the moves, and feel comfortable and happy doing them.

Leela Keshavan

It's a fun video, feels much more like dancing than aerobics. Doing the "YMCA" during the cooldown is the most fun of any tape I've got. I'm at an intermediate/advanced level, and it is challenging enough for me to get my heart rate up.

The problem I have is that the moves are so complicated that even after doing it many times, I still can't get some of them right. But there's a distinct fun factor that I like so I guess I'll keep trying.

On the other hand, there some great stretches that are often shortchanged in other videos, and the ab section, while not extensive, is certainly adequate.

Instructor comments: Paula is energetic but not annoyingly perky, like some other instructors can be. But it's hard to say she's even really instructing here - there's sort of a team approach, with two other dancers leading the pack. The cuing is pretty good, but hurt when on two occasions the camera shows the wrong area when the moves change (i.e. shows a face during a leg move).

C. McAdam

This video reminds me of Donnamite video by Donna Richardson except it has more background exercisers and of course it is more complex. The video quality is excellent. Except sometimes the camera does too many closeups so you get lost as to what you are supposed to be doing. The music is really upbeat. It goes with the moves. Paula teaches each 8 count slow and the beat of the music goes slow while she teaches it and then each time, it goes faster and faster. The background exercisers are not dancers. At the beginning of the video, Paula said that she just picked people off the street for her video( neighbors, baseball team guys). The warmup is a song by Paula. I don't know her music but it sounds like a singer is singing the first song. The choreography is very very complex like CIA moves. Most of the people in the background have practiced the moves for sure because it is tough. This video is one that you would want to get after Donnamite gets too easy. Paula has two of her dance partners helping teach the moves. Paula does not have workout clothes on but wears clothes that look like something she would wear on stage during a concert( a very tight uncomfortable looking vest with high heel shoes and flared pants.)

AFter the workout before the cool down is the dumbest thing I've ever seen. These 3 big tall guys come up and flirt with Paula and make her watch them act goofy doing the moves to YMCA by the Village Men. Paula then starts jumping and dancing around with them and giggling and laughing , flirting with them. I thought this really brought a stain onto the video. After this there is abs. It's an ok of a video. I wasn't that impressed. I guess I would rather do a fun step workout.

Instructor comments: Paula is very energetic and does a pretty good job on the choreography. She teaches it slow and then goes faster and faster. She is always communicating with the background bunch of exercisers which I thought was good.

Mandy Lee

This is a very fun, very dancy tape. I do it whenever I feel too drained to work out and come away from it revitalized. It consists of three segments of three "club-type" dance steps. Each segment is added on to the previous steps in that segment. At the end you do all the steps twice through. It may take a few times to learn the steps but they are not all that difficult. It is obvious the people are having fun and it is infectious. My kids love the tape too, because there is a cool-down to "YMCA". It is the best tape I have.

There is some toning and stretching at the end. The ab work is not as tough as some I have seen, but it is still okay.

Instructor comments: Paula and her two partners (and the class of ordinary people) are great. Their cuing is excellent. Their form is great and their personalities really come through


The choreography was a bit too complicated for me even though I had no trouble with The Grind videos and Paula didn't really motivate me to keep trying. After attempting to get all the way through this video 5 or 6 times I gave up. I didn't really enjoy the dance moves anyway -- maybe because this video's about 5 years old. I know a lot of people like this video and maybe it works for them, but it just doesn't do it for me.


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