I just got Leisa's Sexy Legs from Netflix today. The total workout is 37 minutes. There are two ballet-inspired cardio sections although Leisa does throw in some non-ballet movements like "prancing." Then there is some standing toning barre work followed by a stretch at the barre.
I was shocked upon preview to see the footwear - they looked like they were wearing character shoes. These kind of shoes are find for Broadway type dance numbers, flamenco, character dancing, etc., but I think they are totally inappropriate for a ballet-based cardio/toning workout. I guess Leisa thought they looked "sexy," which seems to be the big theme.
Leisa must have taken 1-2 ballet classes and decided she was now qualified to lead a ballet-inspired workout. NOT!!!! Her form is horrible and her back-up people, with the exception of one lady, weren't a whole lot better. When she's pictured, try to watch the blonde lady with the blue camisole top - she's a former dancer with the San Francisco Ballet and has good form although even she had trouble following Leisa in the barre toning segment.
I didn't have high hopes for this workout when I actually decided to do it, but I tried to keep an open mind. Nevertheless, I shut the DVD player off after 11 minutes and ejected this dog. It's really hard to follow even simple movements, and I have a ballet background, when the camera is constantly where it shouldn't be - showing me a torso/stomach, or just showing me the upper body when I need to be seeing the lower body. I don't know who deserves to be in my personal Hall of Shame the most - Leisa or the camera person.
There are a lot of extras in the bonus section - scarf dance (looks pretty), intensive stretch, barre work, etc.
Someone should tell Leisa to never lead a ballet-based workout again and to get rid of those shoes.
I was really looking forward to trying Sexy Legs, as I tend to enjoy dance-inspired cardio as well as barre moves. The outside of the DVD case does a nice job of breaking down the workout, listing time durations for each chapter as well each bonus segment.
The main workout is 37 minutes long, and it begins with a 5-minute warm up. In this section, instructor Leisa Hart introduces some of the ballet moves that will be used in the workout. Next, there are two segments of "Ballet Dance," each 10 minutes long. I really liked the types of movements that Leisa was doing--eg, I love doing plies, knee lifts, kicks, and leg extensions--but overall, I did not enjoy this section of the workout. Specifically, I thought that Leisa moved much too quickly, and as a result, the exercises felt both rushed and jerky. In addition, Leisa did not cue very well and often failed to adequately explain the ballet terms she was using; the poor camera angles utilized further exacerbated this problem. In each 10-minute segment, she introduces several different moves and then combines them into a longer routine, which she repeats several times from the top (TIFTing); each segment has a total of two longer routines. Surprisingly, I did get a good cardio workout trying to keep up with the pace of the moves, but I did not find the dance work to be at all enjoyable; "fussy" seems like the best word to describe it.
Following the dance segment, there is a 7-minute bar work section. I expected this to be more focused on toning, but again, the pace was quite brisk, making it seem more like continued cardio work. Leisa was difficult to follow here as well; even the background exercisers obviously were confused at several points. The workout ends with a nice 5-minute stretching segment at the bar for a total of 37 minutes.
The DVD bonus features included several additional workout segments. There is a 5-minute "scarf dance," which is a slower ballet dance segment incorporating use of scarves; a 5-minute "intense stretch" which contains many of the same stretches from the main workout but without the bar this time; and an additional 5 minutes of bar work which is slower and thus has more of a toning emphasis. Other DVD features include a sneak peak of the class from a camera at the back of the stage, brief bios on Leisa and each of the five background exercisers, a music only workout option, and a photo gallery (why would I want to look at poses of Leisa in various outfits?).
One final important thing to note about this workout is that Leisa and crew are wearing "character shoes," a sort of heeled dance shoe that seems more appropriate to modern or jazz dance. Leisa recommends that those at home do the workout in fitness sneakers, which is what I did, but this felt awkward with some of the ballet moves. I really WANT to like this video, as I did feel it in my legs and thought that I got a good cardio workout overall--but after trying it only once, I don't think that I'm ever likely to do it again. If you are already familiar with basic ballet moves and have a preference for quickly moving, complex cardio, you may like this workout, but otherwise, I am unable to recommend it.
Leisa is enthusiastic and leads the entire workout with a huge smile on her face. However, her cueing was poor, including being late and/or inadequate, and I found her very difficult to follow throughout the workout (with the exception of the stretching segments).
Beth C (aka toaster)
July 20, 2005
Unfortunately, I don't have any positive comments about this workout. I didn't understand the hip skirts and character shoes that were used in an obviously ballet flavored workout. Also, I did not understand (with the exception of one woman) using background exercisers with no ballet training because many of the exercises were fairly difficult to execute properly and the background exercisers were obviously struggling - one in particular. I don't think Leisa has the background to do a ballet workout herself as her definition and execution of ballet movements was not very accurate. Several of the steps were way over the head of all but one background exerciser. One in particular had a difficult time keeping up with the workout and I cringed every time her feet would swivel and toes turn inward (not what you expect to see when ballet moves are performed). It only got worse when watching the bonus footage. The segment that showed one section being filmed from the back only highlighted the two background exercisers with the worst form as they were then the closest to the camera.
All I could think of is if they could refilm the workout, slow it down a little, let the one background exerciser with ballet training lead and use some of my teenage 2nd year ballet students dressed in leotards, ballet skirts and ballet shoes as background exercisers, instead of the people they used in this workout, they might have come up with something. The way it stands - it is a very poorly executed attempt at ballet-flavored dancing.
Leisa is lovely and obviously very fit.
I am the biggest Leisa Hart fan I have seen, and I am trying so hard to like this video, but to no avail. Other reviews have already summed up the major issues. I am not very coordinated, but I would hope that at least the performers in the video would be. The backup dancers are often going the wrong way, or doing the wrong thing. Even Leisa herself (bless her heart), miscues and even has a sheepish smile at one point after realizing her mistake. Again, I love Leisa, but she didn't seem to know enough about ballet to be leading this video. Usually, when I practice something repeatedly I start to like it (i.e. Gym in a Bax cardio section), but I have tried Sexy Legs 5 or 6 times and I still can't enjoy myself or get a workout. As some one has pointed out, the camera is often focused on the very opposite thing you need to see, but I suspect that is because the other camera angles were focusing on even more errors.
I love you Leisa! Please go back to your warm, welcoming self instead of going for this whole "sexy" thing.