The Firm: Ballroom Aerobics

Tracie Long
Year Released: 1994

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance



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Wow, am I the first to review this video?? Cool :-) Ballroom Aerobics is compiled from the Tortoise and the Hare, and the between-segment segments are done by Tracie Long as well. Here's a general breakdown of the workout:
* warm-up and stretch from Tortoise
* tango (Tortoise)
* waltz (Tortoise)
* charleston (Tortoise)
* 4-limbed aerobics with delt lifts and biceps (Hare)
* cha-cha (Tortoise)
* waltz (Hare)
* tango (Hare)
* pasa doble - I think that's what she called it, and I have no clue what that means but in my head I call it the bullfighter dance. Don't ask.(Hare)
* 4-limbed aerobics with upright rows and triceps (Hare)
* swing (Hare)
* cha-cha and aerobic finale (Hare)
* straddle cha-cha (Tortoise - this is considered a cooldown)
* the very first segment from Tortoise - the stretch she does before going down to do abs
* lat stretches from Tortoise (also in Tough Tape, before the infamous cleavage-building pushups)
* stretch from the Hare/Tough Tape warm-up

Good things about this tape:
* It's fun! Really! Okay, I know the ballroom segments are not popular with most VFers, but I'm just freaky that way. It's a nice light workout to do on a light day, or you can make it more intense by using a higher step and more impact. I do the latter, and work up a pretty good sweat by the time it's over. My favorite segments are the charleston and the swing. Least favorite are the waltzes, but only because I have some sort of problem with the whole 3-count thing.
* The music! It's a nice change from the usual workout-tape/porno-sounding music. I mean, can you really imagine having waltz music in a porno? Hmm. Maybe. Ew, never mind! At any rate, it's still much better and classier than the Firm's usual choice of music (Flatulating tubas, I'm looking at you...)

Bad/annoying/confusing things:
* Like I said, the waltz. And some of the steps take some getting used to. Some segments she cues well, and other segments she doesn't. Then again, how does one explain a "Tango Close"?
* It's only available from FIRMDirect, and has a plain white cover. Also, while they now sell it for only $10, I'm not sure it's worth that since it's a parts tape (Seriously, why must all FIRM tapes be partzed to death??) I got my copy for free using one of their sales.
* Their idea of a cooldown. They use a tango segment as a cooldown and go straight from that to that weird opening stretch from Tortoise. (That segment makes no sense on Tortoise and makes no sense here either.) I just walk around during this segment because that tango wasn't really slow enough to be a cooldown.

* I don't really consider this a bad thing, but it puzzles me still: Towards the end of the tape, Tracie has little sweat stains on her leotard during the between-segment segments. Why?? Did they actually have her do the workout to get them? Or perhaps they used hot lamps or something, like they use at McDonald's to keep the cheeseburgers warm?

Anyways. I do recommend this tape if you like the ballroom segments from Tortoise and Hare, or even if you're unfamiliar with the segments and just like ballroom-type dancing and classical music. But if you get it from FIRMDirect it might be a better idea to get this as your free tape. It's not really what I'd consider a total-body workout. It's more of a cardio tape.

Instructor Comments:
What can I say? She's Tracie Long. She can make a video about needlepoint and it would still kick your butt. She cues well (most of the time) and even tells you what your options are if you want to add more "power". I like when she says "give it some hip". She's always fun to work out with.

Kavitha M.

04/28/2000

I think this video is fun. It's definately not the most difficult Firm video, since only two segments contain weights at all and they are pretty light. The cast all use round 4 inch steps during the ballroom segments, but any step will do. I generally use a 6 inch step and occasionally an 8 in order to make the workout harder. It's definately not an advanced cardio workout. Probably intermediate, which is where I am anyway.

I felt like I had really accomplished something the first time I made it through this video without tripping over my step since I tend to be coordinationally-challenged. Now I can do this on auto-pilot due to good cueing and the cool ballroom music, which is by far my favorite of any music on Firm videos up to this time. Some of the segments are tangos, cha-chas, the Charleston, the Paso Doble (sp?), and the swing.

My only complaint (and this is sort of minor) about this video is that you're moving right along and they throw a waltz into the mix. It takes me half the segment to get used to 3/4 time and then they switch back to something in 4/4. Then they do it again. Isn't one waltz enough? And couldn't they have put it at the end where it wouldn't get in the way?

Instructor Comments:
Tracy cues better than any of the other Firm instructors, which is a very good thing since this video is a bit more complicated than their earlier volumes. She's in fabulous shape and I hope she makes lots more videos.

Karen Nagel

07/12/1998

I have not read any comments about the Ballroom Aerobics tape. Did you know it is available through the FIRM?
It is a compilation of the Hare and Tortoise videos. Tough Tape is all the heavy workout of both the Hare and Tortoise, while Ballroom aerobics is all the dance steps. B.A. has a 32 minute interval of just dance steps. There are two sections where 3-5lbs. weights are used. I thought it would be too easy. But, it is aerobic and those of you who enjoy the dance steps will find it a fun aerobics tape. I break a mild sweat as I workout to it. I usually finish the workout with the Lie Down and Workout aerobics. The Ballroom Aerobics has no ab work or floor work. I believe in working the ab area every time I do a workout. Everything is done standing from beginning warmup to the ending cooldown. If I have a complaint about this video ,it is that toward the end there are about 4 different cooldowns. I think one is sufficient.
I did this workout just today and followed with Lie Down and Workout which is also a compilation of the Tortoise and Hare. I have all of these: Tortoise, Hare, Tough Tape,Ballroom Aerobics, and Lie Down and Workout. But, I think since I purchased the last three all together, I will probably use them instead of the Tortoise and Hare. Everything you need is on the 3 different tapes. The workouts are a little shorter this way and you can alternate Hard and Heavy with Light and Fast.

Instructor Comments:
Tracie is excellent as an instructor. She cues very well. Her physique is very toned and inspiring. I prefer working out to instructors who are very fit. Also I rather like seeing the other fit exercisers in the background. They are motivating as well.

Polly

05/02/1997

I received this video free when the FIRM was offering their latest step boxes that were subsequently never manufactured, but first featured in the Tortoise and the Hare.

I like the ballroom aerobics. But I like to dance and these basic moves are the same in almost any form of dance. I like the music and the workout is excellent when I want to go at a light pace. I enjoyed the Tortoise and the Hare too--especially the ballroom aerobics. I think they are fun and not to strenuous. I can really mentally check out during this tape and feel good because I have worked out. While not one of my favorites, it is by no means one of my least favorites. It is inherently better than some of the garbage offered -- such as Denise Austin, just about any supermodel or celebrity tape or those stupid 29-minute workouts. I use it rather frequently, in fact.

Grade for this Tape: B

Amy Steppe

(no date)