Attitude Ballet & Pilates FusionBernadette Giorgi
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Pilates/Core Strength
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I have tried some of instructor Bernadette Giorgi's Pilates DVDs, so I thought I might enjoy this one as well, especially given that I enjoy both Pilates and ballet workouts. This DVD is subtitled as being for "over 50" fitness--I'm 47, so I figured that I was close enough. Giorgi leads a group of four background exercisers who do appear to be in their late 40s or 50s. These women are fit and performed the routines well enough, but I found them to be oddly unsmiling and somewhat mechanical in performance during the workouts. I was also thrown a bit by the setting, which is a large, airy space with ersatz barn doors to one side that I've seen in other fitness videos, usually cardio-type ones; this type of studio just did not seem to fit with the more relaxed vibe of this barre and Pilates routines presented here.
The Main Menu of this DVD offers the following options: Introduction (a brief overview by Giorgi) - Form Pointers - Workout 1 - Workout 2 - Premixes - Credits. In the Form Pointers segment (10.5 minutes), Giorgi uses one of the background exercisers to demonstrate some of the main moves used in the routines, including 1st position, 2nd position, 4th position, 5th position, and tendu. I have described each of the additional segments in greater detail below.
This workout is approximately 40 minutes long. It starts with a warm-up (about 3 minutes), which consists of simple pliés and side stretches. Centre barre is next. These are traditional ballet moves, although an actual ballet barre is not used. Rather, Giorgi takes you through sets of pliés and relevés, working from the various ballet positions. In-between every set, Giorgi cued two grand pliés as a "rest"--these began to feel somewhat tedious. However, I enjoyed the balance work, which included developés to each side and combination moves. The next section was weighted work, or centre ball. Giorgi and friends use a weighted ball, sometimes in one hand, sometimes in both hands. Although I actually have a small 4-pound medicine ball, I found it easier to use my 2-pound "s-shaped" weights, as I could use these in either one or both hands depending on the exercise. There is about 20 minutes of Pilates matwork, and then a brief stretch concludes the workout.
The second routine is very similar to the first, starting with almost the same warm-up. The centre barre segment is a bit more intense here, although again, Giorgi includes the two grand pliés between sets, which slows down the workout. She performs full pliés with cat stretches in-between as well as developés with kicks forward, a nice move requiring balance. The center barre work is fairly short (5 minutes) and includes compound moves such as lift front with lunge, triceps push rear, side pliés with high bicep curl, and alternating side balance (no weights). There was a similar Pilates matwork segment (again about 20 minutes), and the short stretch including just a few moves such as Mermaid, a twist, and a heel stretch, bringing the tool workout time in at about 37 minutes.
As noted above, this DVD has several premixes. These combine various segments of the two main workouts as follows:
ATTITUDE BARRE, 37:40 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Centre Barre Work, Stretch
ATTITUDE BALL, 24:10 minutes
warm-up, Workouts 1 & 2, Center Ball Work, Stretch
ATTITUDE MAT, 31:00 minutes
warm-up, workout 1 & 2 mat work, stretch
ATTITUDE ADVANCED, 68:00 minutes
warm-up, workouts 1 & 2 all sections and stretch
Overall, I did like these routines. There are several things that make this DVD worthwhile, including the variety of ballet moves and the premixes. However, it could have been better--although Giorgi is a good instructor, she does not mirror cue here, and her background exercisers are unenthusiastic at best. Furthermore, while this workout is gentle, it is also extremely low energy--it would have been nice if Giorgi had taken things up a notch. So, I would recommend this DVD, but with some reservations as noted.
I find Bernadette to be generally pleasant and easy to follow. Mirror cuing isn't a big deal for matwork, but it's more of an issue for standing ballet work, and so it was a disappointment that she did not use it here. Also, as noted above, I thought she moved a bit too slowly in these workouts--instead of feeling gentle, the overall effect felt low-energy.
This dvd offers two 40ish minute ballet & pilates fusion workouts. Bernadette works out with 5 background exercisers in a studio w/ hardwood floors. The dvd is chaptered very well w/in each workout and offers various premixes. a small weighted ball is optional for these workouts.
Bernadette does a fantastic job of creating a unique fusion of standing ballet & pilates with pilates mat work. I love the addition of the weighted ball to amp up the work. This workout is graceful and flows fantastically. Really hits the core & offers some nice balance challenges.
Workout One: (40 min) Starts with a flowing standing ballet series with plenty of pliets and pliet variations that include lots of good upper body movements as well. You then move into a standing series utilizing the ball and she adds in upper body strength work allowing your heartrate to raise. Exercises include: pliet and bicep curl, pliet & shoulder raise, static lunges & tricep extensions, etc. You then move to the mat for focused pilates core work with and without the ball.
Workout Two: (38 min) You begin with a standing ballet series that includes a nice pliet series and lots of standing pilates leg work such as leg circles and heel taps. You then begin the standing ball section where you will perform dips, glute lifts and lots of good balance work. You conclude this workout with pilates mat work to hit your core. You use the ball in many of pilates inspired floor exercises such as pilates bike, leg drops, crunching leg extensions, etc.
I rate this an intermediate workout that is really suitable for most all fitness levels. Bernadette offers wonderful form pointers & her cuing is excellent. These workouts really flow well and will definitely hit your muscles in a new way. Invigorating workout that leaves you well worked and without leaving you wanting to cry. Tons of time options- great in part, in whole, or added on to other workouts! I received this dvd to review.
Beautifully produced by Greg Twombly/CIA Productions with soft instrumental music. Bernadette's cast are all over age 50 and fit (and look wonderful).
Two Ballet & Pilates fused sessions are included. (each workout is approximately 34-35 minutes long and is individually chaptered as well) Bernadette was wise to include several premixes which allow the participant to choose what they want to focus on for the day or if time restraints are an issue, they can select a shorter session. (the premixes average from 24 minutes to 68 minutes in length)
Workout 1 and Workout 2 are set up in the following chapters:
*Centre with Ball
Premixes are well thought out and written so you'll know what is included:
*Attitude Barre: 37:40 minutes
warmup, workout 1 & 2 Centre Barre work and stretch
*Attitude Ball: 24:10 minutes
warmup, workout 1 & 2 Centre with Ball work and stretch
*Attitude Mat: 31:00 minutes
warmup, workout 1 & 2 mat work, stretch
*Attitude Advanced: 68:00 min.
warmup, workouts 1 & 2 all sections and stretch
These sessions provide a straight forward approach to each discipline. Nothing fancy, you'll just get precise and easy to understand descriptions of proper alignment and positioning. (for further instruction, check out Form Pointers. Here, Bernadette takes you through the basics of some of the ballet & pilate moves. She guides while someone else demonstrates.)
The centre barre work is fluid and rhythmic. You'll perform classic ballet moves that have been modified for at home use. (you'll feel a burn in your lower body with these gentle but effective moves) For a total body effect, Bernadette has included centre work with a 2lb weighted ball. These moves remain just as graceful but you'll sculpt the arms without bulk. Here you'll perform such classic moves like bicep curls and tricep extensions, however Bernadette often adds a lower body toning element. (say including a lunge or plie move) The mat work has lots of variety. You'll work your entire core region, including transverse abdominals and obliques. To increase intensity, the 2lb weighted ball will be included in several exercises. Each workout has different exercises and/or sequences so you won't get bored. The workout will conclude with a well deserved relaxing stretch.
Advertised as an "older, mid-life" workout, anyone can benefit from this unique program. It has plenty to offer and with the Form Pointers, even a true beginner can follow along.
Bernadette provides great form tips throughout each session. Her verbal cues are precise and easy to follow. (she doesn't cue too early or late)
Check out her website at www.justbmethod.com where you can read about the cast members and how this workout has helped them.
I ordered Attitude Ballet & Pilates from the instructor's web site, justbmethod.com on Fri., Aug 17 and received it in the mail Wed., Aug 22. It was $19.99 for the DVD, there was no shipping charge and I was able to pay by paypal. According to info on the site and on the DVD, part of the proceeds get donated to breast cancer organizations. The DVD is very well chaptered. The main menu is broken down into an introduction, form pointers, workout 1, workout 2, premixes and credits. Workout 1 is chaptered by an intro, warm up, centre barre, centre with ball, mat work, and a stretch and is 40 minutes long. Workout 2 is chaptered by an intro, warm up, centre barre, centre with ball, mat work, and a stretch and is 38 minutes long. There are four premixes: Attitude Barre - 37.40 minutes, Attitude Ball - 24.10 minutes, Attitude Mat - 31 minutes, and Attitude Advanced - 68 minutes. I previewed the form pointers from the main menu, where she names various ballet & pilates positions while one of the women demonstrates them - this is good for anyone like me who doesn't know much about ballet or pilates. I don't think there was any music during the form pointers. She recommends doing workout 1 3x per week for 12 weeks, then moving on to workout 2. Next I previewed workout 1. The background music was soft and calming and Bernadette's voice was pleasant and well modulated. The lighting was good and the workout space appeared clean and visually appealing. The exercisers consisted of Bernadette and five other women who seemed to be regular people, not fitness models. Everyone was dressed in pink & black. The first part of the workout consisted of standing ballet work, I think she said you could use a chair or a bar if you wanted, but no one was demonstrating this. Next they moved to standing work using a 2 lb weighted ball. She mentioned that you can use no weight or a dumbbell if you don't have a ball; she recommended not going over 5 lbs no matter what you use. During this part they did plies, squats with bicep curls, lunges with tricep work and some balancing moves which she referred to as a yoga & pilates warrior move. Next came pilates mat work - some moves used the ball and some did not. After that was finished, there was a brief stretch. In between each section of the workout, little motivational sayings popped up for just a second. I haven't had a chance to look at workout 2 yet. I assume the premixes are made up of parts of workouts 1 & 2, but I haven't looked at them yet either. I've never tried a ballet workout before and my pilates experience has been pretty limited, so I can't really make comparisons between this and any similar workouts. I will say that, on preview, there was nothing that annoyed me and the ball work actually held my interest, so I think I will get use out of this. There was a note in the package that said she will be going into production for two new workouts in January.
In glancing at the back of the DVD cover, I noticed that the person credited with the cover art appears to be the same person who posted the August 18 review of this workout on the VF Reviews page.
I personally have no connection to anyone involved with this workout.