Moving to Mozart

Ann Smith
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Athletic Stretch , Total Body Workouts

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What a disappointment! My search for a decent exercise or stretching video set to classical music continues because I certainly did not find what I was looking for here.

I don’t even know where to begin with this two tape set. They are so bad, that they rank right up there with some of the worse I have seen. Not that the music is bad- just the way the routines are presented and done. Will you get an idea of what I am talking about if I tell you that in the first tape the instructor (and I use the term loosely) spends almost 17 minutes lecturing you about what you are going to do and only 10.5 minutes actually having you do anything?? And that’s just for starters!

Ms. Smith certainly has amazing flexibility for a woman who looks like she is close to 70 (she says her mother is 100) but she seems more in love with her own voice then anything else. The first volume is supposed to be for “relaxation, alignment, breathing, flexibility and muscle strength” but none of those issues are really addressed except for some alignment demonstrations and faint references to flexibility. The first section is a two minute lecture about how dancers live longer and in good health and that because they actually exercise from the inside out. (I think she was talking about breathing patterns here, but I am not really sure) She does not tell anything about “how” they do this. She also makes the statement that they live longer because they exercise to classical music- HUH?? Guess we should all throw away our exercise tapes with jazz, pop, or rock- cause it’s not the right type of music.

She moves on to what is supposed to be seated exercises with her daughter and 4 year old granddaughter. The "lecture before anything starts" continues and goes on for 6 minutes and 50 seconds. She sort of goes through the positions of the seat exercises, but doing each one very sketchily- so you couldn’t really follow even if you wanted to make this part of the workout. She implies that these stretches will help you lose weight (“working off the extra on your derriere”), and says things like “listen to the clarinet because the sound transfers to your torso making it easier to do”. This seems to go on forever!

Finally you are supposed to do the seated exercises. You have had no warm-up, but these include bouncing forward and down while sitting with your legs in a vee. She talks, but does not really cue well- just says things like “don’t worry if you can’t get down as far as me”. But actually these is more cuing in this very short (2 minutes and 45 seconds) section then in the rest of the tape. The section was too short and at this point I am too frustrated to enjoy the music.

The second section of the first tape is supposed to be standing exercises. This is where I see red! Now Ms. Smith is alone and it’s time for another lecture/demo! EIGHT MINUTES AND 40 SECONDS WORTH! She says weird things like “there is a difference between muscle hurt and bone hurt. Muscle hurt is okay (?!), it just means you have not done anything lately, but bone hurt is not good.” Something like that. Then (ack! I’m so mad!) she says that she does not want anything to interfere with the music in this second section, so she is going to demo ALL OF THE POSITIONS BEFORE YOU DO THEM! This means she goes through very sketchy demos of over 50 positions! AND SHE EXPECTS YOU TO REMEMBER THEM! Most of them are dance related, so I suppose if you had some training it would not be so bad, but I can’t remember that much of a routine. She then does the routine with NO VERBAL CUES AT ALL. Since part of the start is neck rolls and she does different types of bouncing forward bends over and over, there is a lot of time when you are not looking at the screen- so how can you know what comes next?? After all that- the routine only lasts for 7 minutes and 40 seconds. LESS time then the lecture took!!

Volume two is supposed to be about Better Stretching, Strengthening, Proportioning and body style. She comes out wearing pants over her leotard and starts another lecture/demo- this time she is talking about doing basically the same standing “warm-ups” (don’t ask me what the warm-up section is- I have no idea) from the previous tape, but because the music is going to be the male aria from one of Mozarts operas, “the minute you hear the male voice you will find yourself doing a more powerful body line”- Apparently she believes that listening to a male voice will make it more natural to do a “stronger line”, and your will have a more “masculine and stronger looking body image”. Double Ack!! - then the whole section was only 2 minutes and 30 sections. Apparently the pants were being worn to symbolize her masculine side.

That was it- I could not continue. Even though the next section was supposed to address my “female” side. Gosh, I wonder what other delights I missed!

I have never returned tapes before, but these are going back. The music was Mozart, but not that well performed and the rest was just terrible!

Instructor Comments:
Please, don't get me started on this lady. She's probably a great teacher in a class room setting, but in an exercist tape- she is awfull. Too much talking, not enough doing!