Video Fitness

Yoga Booty Ballet Live: Cardio Cabaret

Teigh McDonough & Gillian Marloth

About me: I’m a former advanced exerciser, now squarely in the middle of intermediate and at a stage in my life where I prefer to enjoy workouts. Caveat: I’m partial to Yoga Booty Ballet, which is a “love it or leave it” workout.

CC begins, as all YBBs, with intention and breath work; here it is Kabalabati breath with sharp downward arm movements. After moving from seated into Cobra then Child’s pose, you step upright and directly into the warm-up. “Sunflower” moves where you circle the upper body around and down to either side, with some undulating spine movements and shimmies to loosen up.

The cardio dance segment is a sultry, hippy routine of add-ons and TIFTing. Hip rolls, shimmies, burlesque-y moves such as “stockings on and off,” “come hither/go away” and “Coquettish Kitty,” a version of YBB’s signature Bad Kitty. (Is that a real dance phrase or YBB term?) Very first time I felt ridiculous doing it, but this evening I had a blast with it. Cardio is approximately 17 minutes then stops abruptly. As with all the YBBs, the moves can be embellished and you can keep it low or work up a good sweat; also repeat the dance if you choose.

Cardio is followed by approximately 4 minutes of standing ballet movements; wished this were longer because it’s a swirly, graceful segment, much more interesting then eternal side lifts. Raising alternate front legs and the signature “cannonball belly” move follows.

Everyone takes a seat for “Spider Walk,” a rather tough sit-bones balancing/leg switching movement. Yoga seated twists are incorporated into this, then you finish with the heels together and lie backward into Reclining Goddess Pose.

Music: good energy, burlesque type music. Ravi is drumming live on stage, wearing a fedora and making goo-goo eyes at the girls which might bother some. I overlooked it because there is such fun chemistry going on with Teigh, Gillian and all the dancers that I couldn’t take it seriously!

Instructor comments: As always, a fun and upbeat production from two friends with a great on-screen chemistry!

Pat58

August 8, 2005

A very good description of the workout has already been posted, so I won't go into the details again.

I really love this workout! I think it is my favorite of the YBB Lives (tied with HHA, I think) It is really fun light cardio. I love the silly aspect of it, but still feel like I am getting a decent workout. The time goes by quickly, so there is no dread factor to it.

The ballet section of this is my least favorite ending section of the YBB Lives. I like the balancing moves, but am not as big of a fan of the "calf stretch" as Teigh calls it, though I don't feel it in my calves.

Instructor comments: I really love Teigh and Gillian. They have a great rapport, are unintimidating, fun, silly, but serious when needed. Can't say enough good things about them.

Krista (benemma)

17 Sept 05

I did this video tonight after a stressful day at work. I am a yoga fan, and also enjoy dance. I loved this routine. I hammed it up and had a blast. I appreciate the variety of body types in the cast, and felt great when the workout was over.

Instructor comments: Cute, positive, excellent team

Sarah

9/26/05

I think this may be my favorite among the YBB Live series. There are other dance workout videos in the style of hip-hop, Latin dance, and Bollywood dance, and other sculpting and fusion workouts, but so far I haven’t found anything else similar to the cabaret / burlesque moves done here. (I can’t comment on comparisons to the workouts by Carmen Electra, Jeff Costa, or Sheila Kelley, unfortunately. Go-Go is also unique, but I think my style is better suited to burlesque! Perhaps I’ve found my inner exotic dancer. But I suspect that the dance moves here are more influenced by Broadway shows than the striptease workouts are.)

Cardio Cabaret / Burlesque Style was faster than I’d expected for the style of dance. But since YBB is about moving rather than posing, I just went right along with them. (And this is “cardio” cabaret after all, anyway!) There were some classic Fosse-inspired movements, like extending your arms down by your hips and flexing your hands to the right, then left, but done much more casually. Another familiar one was the “knocking-knee” move where you and open and close your legs in first position plié, while dangling and circling each arm from the elbow, kind of like a marionette. The “burlesque”-style moves include pantomimes of pulling on gloves and stockings, plus plenty of hip swivels for which Gillian urges us, “Make it flirty,” making eyes at the camera herself.

After the dance segment comes some standing ballet, with the “swirly leg lifts” another reviewer described (these are developpés to the side: passé, turn in, turn out, then extend), and a move that Teigh called “cannonball belly” (developpés to the front in parallel, contracting the torso and extending the arms forward). There is also a small amount of balancing in relevé and on forced-arch, with a few spinal rolls tossed in. Some floorwork at the end includes “spider walks”, which are like seated fan kicks. These moves aren’t strictly ballet, but mostly just capture the flavor of it—actually, they’re more jazz than ballet. As Teigh encouraged us here, “Find your inner femininity!” (to which Gillian added, “Or your masculinity!” in honor of the one guy in the class). Short though it is, the ballet segment here appeals to me more than many ballet segments in other videos, which are more traditional in their format. Evidently I prefer the jazz-dance influence in Gillian and Teigh’s choreography. It feels more natural and flowing to me, free of the classical-ballet constraints that dictate moving only in certain prescribed directions.

I really love the non-judgmental, celebratory atmosphere here that persuades me that I can do anything. Having background exercisers who look like (and are) real people who enjoy these classes themselves reminds me that I’m doing this to have fun and to feel good about myself. So what if someone doesn’t have a ballet background, and so what if Gillian or Teigh loses her balance while talking? All I care about when I’m doing these workouts is that I love to dance.

Instructor comments: Gillian is particularly delightful to watch in this video, in the way she hams it up for the camera. There’s also some charming physical banter between Gillian and Teigh when they playfully bounce into the other person’s space during some of the moves.

KickDancer

8/23/05

This one has been reviewed very well in detail before. I just wanted to add my $.02. I'm a recent YBB fan. I find YBB to be fun and uplifting even if I don't find it to be all that challenging in terms of a work out. I did Cardio Cabaret for the first time last night, and I had a blast! What a great stress reliever. I was having a ball, smiling, laughing, dancing my little tush off without a care in the world! The moves aren't so difficult that you feel like you will never look as good as Teigh, Gillian and the class do doing them. Even if you don't aspire to be a polished performer, you will have a ball just hamming it up, dancing away. I consider myself a strong intermediate exerciser, and although I broke a light sweat, I certainly didn't get much of a cardio workout. I think the next time I do this one, I'll do the dance section 2 or 3 times. That should constitute a cardio session of 30-50 min., and a fun one at that! Otherwise, if you don't have much time and just want to have some fun, relieve some stress, get your energy flowing and put yourself in a good mood, run through this one just once, and you'll be feeling the love!

Instructor comments: These two are so darn perky and fun, I can't help but like them. They're great dancers too, and a lot of fun to watch. They have a great "go with your own flow, be happy, be joyful" kind of vibe.

ssgilby

November 2, 2006

I’m reviewing this workout after previewing once and doing it twice.

General workout breakdown: Pat, Kickdancer, and the other reviewers have already given great descriptions; I can only add that this runs about just over 30 min. total.

Level: I’d recommend this to experienced beginners (e.g. someone who has been working out for a bit or who has previous exercise experience but isn’t up for an advanced workout yet) through mid-intermediates. This series is great for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time and wants to get it all in, for someone who’s stuck or bored and wants something different to refind their spark, for someone returning to exercise after a break (baby, illness, etc.), etc. I enjoyed using this after an illness, when I wanted something fun to get me back into exercising. I usually work out at the intermediate / advanced level, but after illnesses I appreciate workouts that are more at the beginner / intermediate level, and this one left me sweating! It’s definitely one of those “you get out of it what you put into it” workouts.

Class: 7 women and 1 man, introduced as real students from their studio, join Teigh and Gillian, who instruct live.

Music: Ravi drums live, with some instrumental accompaniment playing in the background.

Set: bright interior studio with a wood floor, brick wall, and various exercise equipment (mats, barre, Swiss balls, etc.) scattered around.

Production: clear picture and sound. The camera angles are usually helpful, with nothing too funny or distracting.

Equipment: nothing, really. I did this once with shoes and once barefoot on my puzzle mats.

Space Requirements: You should be able to take a couple of steps to each side as well as forwards and backwards. Make sure you have room for flailing arms!

DVD Notes: Fortunately you can skip through the couple of intro chapters. The workout is divided into chapters, with the opening in two chapters and the ending abs segment in its own chapter, leaving a couple for the cardio. Several Beachbody commercials run immediately after the program.
My copy came with YBB Live: Hip Hop Abs on a separate DVD in the same case; this program is also available by itself.

Comments: Warning: you may find your fear of dancing and inhibitions about looking silly while working out fly out the window (even if the blinds are down and curtains drawn lest anyone see you strike the Coquettish Kitty pose)! This workout is definitely about having fun and just happening to get a good workout in at the same time. That said, above I noted that this was good for someone who wanted to do a little bit of everything. If, like me, you prefer to focus on one thing at a time, you may not find yourself reaching for this often.
This is primarily a low impact workout (i.e. your feet aren’t usually both leaving the floor at the same time), although there are a few little jumps and twisty moves. If you have sensitive knees, make sure you unload your knee before turning or twisting it, and feel free to take out the pivots to stay front while the others turn to the side or around in a circle.

Instructor comments: The two instructors switch off. Both are about equally strong with cueing, so this works well. Teigh and Gillian are definitely having a good time. Yeah, they’re kind of goofy, perhaps even a little over the top in some spots, but for someone like me who’s not exactly prime material for So You Think You Can Dance that helps me feel more comfortable about making a fool of myself. Gillian and Teigh could spend more time explaining what moves are, but if you’re primarily a visual learner (i.e. you learn best by watching someone else) you’ll be just fine. Also, because they don’t stop to break down moves down the pace – and thus your heartrate – never slows down. A couple of times they trip up on mirror cueing, but otherwise they’re fairly easy to follow.

KathAL79

February 25, 2008 (written fall 2007 & Jan. 2008)



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