Video Fitness

Aussie Fit - Dance Aerobics (aka Funk for Everyone)

NOTE: This is a PAL-format tape and will not play in most American NTSC VCRs.

This dance aerobic routine is led by Michelle Dean, accompanied by the other members of the first Aussie Fit team (John Novak et al.).

The dance moves are mostly familiar, low-impact aerobic moves (grapevines, easy walk) made a bit funky, so they aren't too difficult to pick up. I'm not very good with choreography, and when I previewed this tape I didn't think I'd be able to do it, but after three or four sessions I started to get the hang of it.

After a four-minute warming up, you learn what Michelle calls "isolations": funky moves for the shoulders, ribcage and hips. After this she teaches a short series of steps, used a couple of times in the workout as an easy, no-thinking-required break. There are two main parts to the workout proper, in which you learn various moves and then put them together and take it from the top a couple of times. The instructor also gives a few intensity options. The workout finishes with a five-minute standing stretch.

The music is sort of funky, as suits the workout. Like most Aussie Fit videos, you can do this in a smallish space without too much bother (grapevine sideways and walk 4 steps front and back).

There are two moves which I find awkward on carpet: pivots and fast heel jacks (lift the toes of your right foot up while turning out slightly on your heel, at the same time lifting your left heel and twisting on your toes towards the right; then alternate feet several times - quickly!). I tended to stick on the carpet, so I keep to the (slower) beginner's version of the heel jacks, and I don't do all the pivots, but substitute a front-back move that fits in with the tempo.

I found that my heart rate dropped during the teaching section where you learn heel jacks. Now I fast forward through this part and find this helps to maintain the pace of the workout. There are also two or three tips during the workout. You're supposed to keep moving, but I usually fast forward through them, too.

The workout is rated "for all levels", but I think it's more suited for beginners and intermediates.

This is an enjoyable tape, not too intense (but it would be more so if I wasn't working out on carpet, I think), but it gets me moving and smiling on days when I don't really feel like it. Plus, you get a bonus ab workout, from laughing at the antics of John Novak.

Instructor comments: Michelle Dean is upbeat and having fun. She is good at breaking routines down to learn them. Her cueing is usually good, although in this tape she does make a mistake which she notices immediately and says: Did I say that? I'm glad you didn't follow me. I still keep forgetting to look out for it! After the workout, Michelle does a short funky dance, showing what you can do when you're not choreographically challenged!

Glynis van Uden
gvanuden@home.nl 20 May 2001



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