Video Fitness

Chair Dancing

(Beginner-Seated Aerobics)

(I borrowed this from the library)

If you like Barney, you'll love this tape. The brightly-colored set and outfits, kiddie-show music and perky hostess all remind me of an old "Romper Room" show. This is the first video I've seen with kids participating. Jodi, whose body obviously didn't come from kicking around in a chair, begins by discussing the benefits of fitness, takes a resting heart-rate check, then leads an approximately 20-minute workout where everyone is seated in an armless, dining-room-type chair. The routines, mostly pantomimes ("pretend you're an you're leading a band") use both arms and legs, as well as two paper plates for various fanning motions. Jodi emphasizes safety; there are two more heart-rate checks within the workout, and a final one at the very end to insure you're back to your resting rate. There are a few count-alongs and sing-alongs, but Jodi doesn't always count down or give advance warning when another move is coming, so it might take several viewings to learn the routine. Also, the combined arm and leg patterns will put your coordination to the test. Two exercisers - one very pregnant - show a modified version using much less leg movement. "Chair Dancing" might benefit disabled, elderly, obese or pregnant persons, and parents and young kids might enjoy doing the workout together, but it's a little too sugar-coated for most grownups' taste. Grade: B

Sue Bryant

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