Video Fitness

Balletone

Jody Hoegstadt

The first section of Balletone is a 26 minute beginner ballet center barre warm up. It can be made intermediate with careful attention to form, maintenance of the port de bras arms, and by following Jennifer, in the back, doing the more advanced modifications - mostly legs in dégagé (disengaged from the floor).

The second "bonus" section of Balletone is floor work - pilates-style ab work and some tres elegant floor work including pilates-style side leg kicks and a series of donkey kicks, hydrants, or poodles, depending on your fitness era. I wore sneakers and very light weights for the floor leg work.

Balletone (pronounced "bale-it-tone" according to Ms. Hoegstadt) is very enjoyable. I would have liked something a little more advanced but bottom line, if you're doing centerbarre work correctly, its never easy. its hard to gracefully hold your center while lifting your legs off the floor (dégagé) with your arms gracefully lifted in port de bras.

Some odd notes - Jody Hoegstedt has a noticeable Great Lakes rust belt accent that isn't typically associated with "elle danser".

Ms. Hoegstedt is inconsistent about using actual ballet terms, for instance, she will *not* say "first position", but later uses battement, dégagé and fondu , which she unhappily associates with moving through honey.

It annoys me that the floor work section of the DVD is referred to as a "bonus track" - she'd be charging $25 for a 25 minute dvd (the VHS is currently $20 at Collage.com) without it - so where's the bonus? Its produced by Lynn Shelton of Shape Magazine, and that might explain a bit of the Weider-esqe marketing sensibility.

but I'm nitpiking. Ms. Hoegstedt does pretty well. The set is mostly white with some gause draperies, the music is that muscle-mix track on, i think, Cathe's CTX and some of the "Final Cuts". Easier and more advanced modifications are shown, the time moves quickly, the attitude is pretty straight forward (she doesn't condescend).

An advanced version of this workout would be very welcome.

Instructor comments: She's very good, straightforward and likable. Her verbalizations about melding "ballet" with "fitness" feels a little forced, but what the hey. Compared to the affectation of Richard Giorla (CardioBarre), Jody Hoegstadt is a breath of fresh air.

Jane C



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