The Method: Dance to Fitness

Jennifer Kries, Lisa Wheeler
Year Released: 1997

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Total Body Workouts

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Iím reviewing this workout after having done one portion numerous times and the others a handful of times since acquiring this about two years ago.

General workout breakdown: This workout has three distinct sections.
ďBody Rhythms,Ē led by Jennifer Kries includes 22 minutes of dance moves (from ballet, modern, and more) as an extended sort of warm-up, 8 minutes of dance aerobics, and 5 minutes of cool down and stretching for a total of 35 minutes.
ďBody Lines,Ē led by Lisa Wheeler, has 6 minutes of a dance-inspired warm-up and 15 minutes of aerobics inspired by jazz dance.
ďCool Down,Ē led by Lisa Wheeler, is a 12 minutes yoga-inspired cool down and stretch, thus bringing Lisaís section to a total of 33 minutes.

Level: Iíd recommend this to an experienced beginner (namely someone with dance experience whoís about to make the transition from beginner to intermediate level exercise) to a (lower) intermediate. This is a strange workout in that those beyond high beginner-low intermediate level of cardiovascular fitness wonít get see their heart rate go up much, yet the moves are too complex and quick for those completely new to exercise. As a mid/high intermediate exerciser, these routines pretty much are only useful to me as warm ups or very lazy days.
There isnít much in the way of jumps, although there are some pivots. Iíd rate this fairly low impact.
The choreography is fairly complex. You may have difficulty figuring out Jenniferís leg moves because she wears a long filmy skirt. These routines will take you a couple of times to get down completely: Jenniferís because you will not be able to look at the TV a lot and Lisaís because it will take a few times to pick up the choreography.
You donít have to be a dancer, but dance experience is sure helpful.

Class: Jenniferís class has 5 women and 2 men; Lisaís class has 4 women and 2 men. All are professional dancers.

Music / Set / Other Production Notes: The music involves live drumming. The interior set is fairly dark, with columns draped with bright swags. The picture and sound quality are OK. Some of the camera angles are not helpful, cutting away to the musicians or focusing on the dancersí faces instead of their feet.

Equipment Needed: sneakers, jazz, or ballet shoes, although I often do this barefoot.

Comments: You will need a lot of space for these workouts. You should be able to take two fairly large steps forward and back and three fairly large steps to each side. Jenniferís aerobic segment takes more room than Lisaís; I could just barely squeeze the latter within my 6í by 8í space if I do a lot of the moves diagonally.

DVD Notes: The DVD allows you to select the introduction, Jenniferís workout, Lisaís workout, or Lisaís yoga cool-down.

Conclusion: Iíve kept this just for Lisaís dance routine, which is shorter and slightly more intense than those featured on her The Method: Dynamic Cardio video. Iíve only done Jenniferís class two or three times, as I much prefer Lisaís dance routine and instruction and my DVD freezes in the midst of a hamstring stretch (which I can deal with by fast forwarding through that section if I catch it just before it freezes. Actually, Iíve had trouble with a couple of Method DVDs, but I donít know what that means). And Lisaís yoga stretch is nice, but I have many other yoga and stretch workouts that Iíd rather use. Iím now considering getting rid of this to make space for the new Marcus Irwin.
Oh, howís this for marketing? From the back cover: ďAchieve the body lines, strength, and flexibility of a dancer without years of training.Ē I donít think that will happen with just this workout, unless youíre genetically blessed in those departments already.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer and Lisa both are low key and cue well, although I personally prefer Lisaís instruction over Jenniferís. They are instructing their class rather than the viewer; in other words, they donít mirror cue. Both use dance terms liberally without much explanation of their meaning.



This video has very upbeat tribal drum music that is played live in the background as you workout.

Jennifer starts off with some warm up moves into more dancy type choreography. She is barefeet as well as all the other dancers so this is NOT high impact at all. It's like being in a dance class. It was fun to do this workout. Jennifer then does some plies for the cool down and other stretches. This is not your traditional step or hi/lo class. It is very different. Jennifer is wearing a belly dancing type skirt.

Lisa does a short warmup and then does some really fun fun dance moves. I thought this section was more fun then Jennifer's section. Lisa teaches the moves very slow so you get the moves down and then she speeds it up. They are wearing black dance shoes so they do higher impact moves. NOt too tough though. For example a cross in front chassay and then cross to the other side of the room and chassay. A lot of hip moves too. Then it goes into a nice stretch with really soft jazzy music. Lisa does some wonderful stretches. Sometimes I just do this section after a long tough step workout because it is so relaxing. It is more athletic stretches but there is some yoga too.

This is the best Method tape in my opinion. It is all cardio with no toning.

Instructor Comments:
Jennifer does a great job on cueing the modern dance section. She teaches the moves slow and then speeds it up. She is having fun and smiling as she dances.

Lisa Wheeler is more serious as she teaches but then starts to warm up in the end. She does a good job on the cueing. She isn't as good as Jennifer but the moves she teaches are funner to do then Jennifers section. She does a very nice relaxing stretch at the end which I love.

Mandy Lee


While this wasn't a "bad" tape, it went into the exchange bin right after the first use. The main reason is that, while kind of fun, it just isn't aerobically challenging enough for me (27 years old, intermediate exerciser.) I wish they had not attempted to split the tape into two workouts (even though, once again, Parade Videos wins the award for most false information on the box, because it claims this is *3* workouts and says the tape lasts 90 minutes.) The first segment is 22 minutes of warm-up and isolations, only 8 minutes of aerobics, and 5 minutes of cooldown (this is from the Collage catalog and I think it's accurate).The second segment has a 6 minute warm-up, 15 minutes of aerobics, and a 12 minute cool down that includes some yoga poses. If I were planning to keep this tape, I would eliminate the cool down and warm up between the two sections and do the aerobic portions straight through---but I really hate having to mess with my vcr during a workout. Another problem I had was that Jennifer wears a long skirt during the dace portion of the first segment, which makes it difficult to see what her feet are doing. Likewise, the camera shots don't linger on the legs and feet long enough for my taste. The cuing and form pointers were adequate for me, but I think a beginner would have a really hard time. And this is definitely not a tape for folks who don't like dancy videos (but I guess that's in the title, eh?)

Anyway, I would give this one an A- for concept, a B+ for effort, but a B- in execution.

Renee D


The first section is with Jennifer and she does the warm up, stretching and balance/ballet moves. A very good section to get your body loosened up and feeling taller.

She does a lot of plie's inbetween moves so your lower body is working the whole time. She does side kicks and front kicks like done in ballet and it requires balance and strength. Once you've done this section it will become much easier the second time around.

The second section is with Lisa Wheeler, from Fit tv, and she has a warm up, does a dance routine using modern and jazz moves. I've done this twice and it's a lot easier and even more fun than the first time because it's more familiar. The movements are graceful and flowing from one to the other and the routine is short but fun to do, grapevines, v step, a lot of familiar moves with some flavor put into it.

The third section is with Lisa Wheeler and it is a very good yoga cooldown. She does about 10 minutes of yoga moves.

Like I said, I've done this tape twice and thoroughly enjoyed it and it keeps getting better the more I know the moves.

The whole tape is about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Dawn Henson


After all, dancing is something coming out from oneself. Different people will have different styles and feeling to a move. I love this tape because it enables you the space for creativity and self expression while giving you the proper framework to follow. I always use this tape as a cool-down and stretching after an one-hour jogging. It complements any hard workout. Of course intermediate exercisers may find the tape not intense enough for beating up the heart rates. I have done this tape for a year I feel loving it more. I will grade it an A.

Instructor Comments:
Excellent cueing with style and character.

Mandy WONG