Video Fitness

Aerobic Dance Workout

Patrick Goudeau

I’m reviewing this workout after doing it several times in the year or two that I’ve had it.

General workout breakdown: This dance-inspired floor aerobics video lasts almost 39 minutes. It includes a separate warm-up (which includes a short combo, some dynamic stretches, and then a repeat of that combo) and cool down (which includes a few dance moves and static stretches), but the bulk of the video is spent building up the main routine.
Patrick doesn’t really do traditional hi/lo aerobics (grapevines, hamstring curls, repeaters, etc.). When people call him dancey, they don’t mean he does only Latin dance moves (mambo, cha cha, salsa, etc.) or bellydance or anything like that. Rather, Patrick borrows most of his moves from cheerleaders, dance teams, music videos, etc.; this is most obvious in his combos called “Janet Jackson” and “Laker Girls” and in his manner of teaching in 8-counts rather than building up combos from base moves.

Level: I’d recommend this to someone who’s at least an intermediate in terms of cardiovascular activity and who feels comfortable with complex choreography. I consider myself at least at a high intermediate level in terms of cardio; this video got my heartrate up but didn’t wipe me out. I can pick up any Christi Taylor, Marcus Irwin, Rob Glick, etc. hi/lo choreography within a couple of times, but Patrick’s combinations and manner of instruction are different enough to require multiple concentrated efforts before I feel comfortable with them. I personally need more of a break down, no more than 3 moves at once, whereas Patrick has no qualms throwing out 6 at a time. I was able to conquer this video, more or less, after a couple of weeks of trying, but I certainly wouldn’t want anyone to see me doing this because my footwork and arm movements are nowhere near as crisp as Patrick’s.

Class: 4 “pink ladies” (young women wearing pink shirts who are probably members of a dance team) join Patrick.

Music: pulsing dance club-type music.

Set: dark interior set with white panels with lights on top. (I don’t care for the low lights; the camera will catch them and almost blind the viewer.)

Production: good picture and sound. The camera angles are usually helpful, with small inserts of Patrick doing the routine with his back to you during the slow portions. But, as seems par for the course for many complex choreography videos, sometimes the camera manages to focus on the wrong half of the body just when you need it not to. Also, there are a couple of shots which show the TV monitor being used during the filming. I think this is supposed to be cool, but it’s a bit much for a simple fitness video…

Equipment: sneakers (make sure you can pivot).

Space Requirements: You’ll need quite a bit of space for this: something like three decent sized steps to each side, front, and back.

DVD Notes: The menu lets you play the whole workout or select your chapter. The workout is divided only into warm-up, two halves, and cool down, which is too bad because I’d love to have been able to skip all the way back to the beginning of a combo to practice it again. Patrick addresses you with the game plan for the main workout in between the warm up and main workout, which I couldn’t figure out how to skip.

Conclusion: Patrick’s energy and creativity are evident in this routine, which will delight choreography nuts. If you’ll scream if you have to do another grapevine or hamstring curl, definitely check this out. Also, if you want to be (or to have been), are, or were a cheerleader, dance or drill team member, back-up dancer, etc., you’ll probably find this video right up your alley. Teenagers will probably enjoy this video, as Patrick exudes a youthful vibe. I like—but don’t love—this video, and since I overwork my brain and have enough stress as my life now stands, I think I’ll pass this along.

Instructor comments: Patrick is energetic, enthusiastic, and encouraging. He mirror cues and cues moves well, although he’ll ease up on cueing the more times you do a combo. Patrick’s method of teaching is to throw whole 8-counts at you; he’ll do each combination at a slow pace, then at a medium pace, and finally at the final quick pace. (He says this will give you an interval workout.) He will put them together in blocks and of course TIFT (take it from the top). While Patrick teaches you the steps as they will be done in the final version, except for maybe adding in more turns, he does do some slicing and dicing (i.e. doing combo 1 on the right and then combo 2 on the left instead of combo 1 on the right and left, then combo 2 on the right and left). A few times you end up with your back to the TV.


March 17, 2006

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