Dancer Body WorkoutTama Talarico
Year Released: 1997
Categories: Step Aerobics
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Dancer Body Workout is an combined step and strength workout inspired by the movements and techniques you might experience in a dance class. I would say it's most appropriate for intermediate to advanced exercisers, preferably with some stepping experience.
The cardio routine includes many steps you might find in a jazz or ballet dance class--pas de bourees, turns, lots of unusual jazzy arm patterns, cross-ball-changes , etc. Tama has translated as many of these moves as she could into a step workout, which adds more intensity than you might get doing the same moves on the floor. In some of the patterns you travel both on and off the step. I had fun with this workout--it's not as challenging aerobically as my Cathe tapes, but it reminded me of the jazz dance classes of my adolescence (one of the few places I didn't feel physically awkward back then!). Those who like dance-inspired moves should check this one out--it really has a different feel from most other workouts on the market.
This video is a Greg Twombly production, so those familiar with the CIA (Creative Instructors Aerobics) series will recognize the set and probably the Dynamix soundtrack, as well. As is typical of Greg's productions, the set isn't fancy, but the camera work is straightforward and easy to follow, and the lighting is good. I would also say this workout is comparable to many CIA videos in the complexity of its choreography--it might take a couple of run-throughs to master the footwork, but it's not extraordinarily difficult.
After the cardio portion of the workout Tama moves on to dance-inspired toning work. This section includes arabesques, leg hops, balances, plies, and other moves designed to develop core strength and body awareness. For some moves, you use the step bench standing on end for support (instead of using a barre as a dancer would). This technique works pretty well. For part of the toning section, you remove your shoes in order to be able to do such standard dance moves as plies, tendus, and releves. The stretch at the end of the workout is clearly ballet-inspired, though it incorporates the step.
Tama is a friendly and encouraging instructor who obviously enjoys this style of workout. She has a good rapport with the other participants.
This video is available from Collage and from Tama's company at (800) 585-6349.