10 Minute Solution: Fat Blasting Latin Dance Mix

Stella Sandoval
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

Note: I’ve seen this recently in stores as 10 Minute Solution Latin Dance Mix, perhaps to avoid confusion with 10 Minute Solution Fat Blasting Dance Mix (led by Jennifer Galardi).

I’m reviewing this workout after doing all parts twice, once all together and once individually.

General workout breakdown: Acey’s already given a good overview of this workout, so I’ll just provide a few more details and thoughts.
The five segments are called Fat Burning Cha Cha, Salsa Slim Down, Hot Cardio Mix, Tango Toning Twist (the “toning” refers to the fact that she mentions a few more times to engage your abs as you’re dancing; there’s not really any designated standing abs work here), and Merengue Grooves. As Acey said, the titles basically tell you what’s emphasized in each, but the same basic steps reappear throughout the segments, just in different order, in different numbers, with different arms, in different directions, etc. If you don’t think you can handle 50 minutes, let alone 10, of mambo and cha chaing, this might not be for you. Oh, and this is definitely dance as a workout. You might learn a few moves to take to the dance floor, but you’re not really gearing up for a performance or a night out with this one.
Each segment teaches you one routine, taught add-on style, with lots of TIFTing (taking it from the top). Now, I like TIFTing, but even I realize there’s a lot here. That said, I’m OK with it. As someone who struggles with dance, even though normally I love choreography, I find that Stella teaches the right amount of dance moves in each part. My brain is challenged but not overtaxed. So I appreciate the TIFTing, because it means I can work on getting the moves down. Also, because Stella builds up her steps from very basic ones, the run-throughs are easily more intense.
Of course, as with any 10MS each segment stands alone, even though Stella might reuse a particular step, for example. Each segment starts off with some very basic steps, like a march with some hip action, and builds up from there; there is no official warm-up, however, because what you do at the beginning will get incorporated into the routine for that segment. There is no cool-down or stretch at the end of these, which I like because I use them add-on style and will do my own stretch if I do all in a row.
There are a few hops, but you could leave them out. There are also a number of partial pivots, although not a lot of full turns, and a lot of twisting, so be careful if your knees are very sensitive. And, yes, there’s some hip shakin’, but for the most part Stella just says that’s what characterizes Latin dancing, even if she does have a few “let’s see those sexy hips” moments.

Level: I’d recommend this to those at the experienced beginner (meaning I’m not sure this is ideal for someone who’s never worked out before, but if you exercise somewhat regularly you’ll be fine) to intermediate level, preferably with a little dance experience, although you certainly don’t have to be a dancer of any great ability.
I consider myself an int./adv. exerciser, and these are lighter segments for me. I use this as warm-ups, add-ons, or on a lighter day, and I’m perfectly happy to have on hand workouts like this that don’t leave me gasping for breath while being interesting to do. Like Acey I found the choreography somewhat challenging in places, at least the first time through, but not overly complex. I normally love complex choreography with hi/lo and step aerobics, but I lack that gene that makes one an amazing dancer, so I struggle with dance choreography, not so much remembering what comes next but figuring out how to make my body do those moves. Also like Acey I find that Stella can convince me that I’m dancing, even if I wouldn’t want any judge from any of the ever-growing number of dance competition reality shoes to see me.

Class: Stella alone. I actually don’t really mind that, because I think if Stella had a bunch of amazing dancers behind her this would be more intimidating to those who aren’t.

Music: upbeat Latin-flavored instrumental. I think Stella’s being very nice when she says a song’s her favorite or is a lot of fun.

Set: bright, neutrally painted interior space with “windows” and exercise toys neatly arranged around the shelves.

Production: clear picture and sound, helpful camera angles. Stella’s voice is definitely louder than the music, which is OK by me.

Equipment: I’d recommend shoes that won’t catch on your workout space’s flooring. (That said, I’ve done at least one segment barefoot.)

Space Requirements: You should be able to take a few steps side to side and front to back. If you have more room, use it, but if you don’t you won’t feel like your style is really being cramped.

DVD Notes: Stella’s introduction can be skipped. As with all of the 10 Minute Solutions, you can play all of the segments in the order they appear, choose one, or create a personalized workout by picking and choosing between the five segments.
I guess it’s worth noting the back cover lists the segments in a slightly different order than they appear in the workout itself if you were to hit play all, but IIRC it’s the last two that are reversed and that’s it.

Comments: I’ll compare this to Petra Kolber’s 10MS Blast off Belly Fat, because I think they’re probably going to appeal to the same crowd, although depending upon your interests you won’t necessarily love one if you love the other. Stella’s is obviously Latin dance-flavored, while Petra’s is more dance aerobics, even if she also does mambo, cha cha, merengue walk, etc. They’re both about the same intensity, although because I feel more comfortable with dance aerobics I feel like I’ve been able to put more oomph into Petra’s sooner. Petra overall has less TIFTing, but she teaches slightly longer combos. Petra’s has an interesting ballet-inspired segment with a little balance challenge, and some of her segments have a hair more intensity than others, but there are three segments where the choreography really runs together in my mind. Stella’s has no such standout, the intensity really stays the same throughout, but even though she uses the same moves over and over her segments didn’t quite blend together as much as those three of Petra’s. I got Petra’s first, and because I liked it so much and started to think, “Hmm, dancing’s not so bad,” I saw Acey’s review for Stella’s and figured that sounded like what I was looking for: dance suitable for those who may or may not have much dancing ability.

If you like Stella’s approach to Latin dance, particularly the more athletic take on Latin dancing, for lack of a better term, you may also like Carlos Aria’s CIA 2802 All Latin Cardio Xplosion (a very family friendly workout, with not one “sexy” uttered, and with a young teenager as one of the background exercisers). Carlos’ is a bit more intense in spots, for what it’s worth, and is a little trickier to break into short segments like this, but that may be a plus if you’re looking for a longer routine.

Instructor Comments:
I agree that Stella brings just the right amount of enthusiasm and makes Latin dance seem approachable and doable. I like that she doesn’t overdo the sexiness, cutesiness, or corniness; she realizes her job is to help you work out with dance. Stella cues well, too, and mirror cues.