10 Minute Solution: Dance Off Fat FastLeah Sarago
Year Released: 2008
Categories: Ballet/Barre, Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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Iím reviewing this workout after doing this workout 4 times, 3x doing the segments separately, 1x doing the segments together.
General workout breakdown: PeakFitness has already provided a great overview of this video. Iíll just give some more details and my own thoughts.
The four cardio segments involve fairly simple moves to which Leah often layers on hip shakiní and arm movements to give it the flavor of that particular style. For me the segments decreased in intensity as they play (the order Iíve listed below), although thereís not a lot of intensity to begin with and not much difference in intensity between segments.
Leah generally does each step twice on both sides where relevant or maybe 2-4 times in total if the move is only done on one side. Not all combos are symmetrical; sometimes Leah does a sequence on both the right and left, but sometimes she just does the move on one side. I had read that Leah taught steps at halftime, but she only does that in a few circumstances, and itís more that she speeds up a few steps after teaching them. (And there are some steps I wish sheíd do at double time, especially in the swing dance segment.) Leahís choreography sometimes didnít have as much flow as I would like; some sequences felt more like a series of steps done one after the other rather than a proper dance sequence with moves strung together logically given how the body moves and where the feet and arms ended after the previous move. Thatís not a serious issue, however, since this is doing movement for fitness rather than learning a dance routine for performance.
Here are the individual segments:
- Simple Slim Down
This is the most straightforward segment, more dance aerobics, as PeakFitness noted. And itís probably the least memorable. (Itís not bad, just not exciting.) Iím trying to think of more to say about this segment, but I canít; words like ďniceĒ and ďfineĒ really do sum it up for me.
- Fat Blasting Flashback
This disco-inspired segment was probably my least favorite segment, but I have a feeling thatís mainly because of my personal preferences. The moves are a little too bouncy and jerky for me, and Iím just not into disco, perhaps because I was born the year disco supposedly died.
- Flirty Fat Burner
Leah claims this is more of the sexy dance club segment; having not been in a club in about a decade Iím not able to agree or disagree there. I liked this one quite a lot, in spite of myself. Normally I am wary of ďsexyĒ segments, but perhaps because Leah is dressed in normal athletic clothes and doesnít have background exercisers hamming it up (and Iím at home alone in the basement when I do the moves) I donít feel like this segment was trying too hard. For some reason Leah manages to pack in some moves I personally find fun here, and I think thatís what makes this one a winner for me.
- Cardio Swing Dance
I wanted to like this swing or jive segment more than I did. This may seem like a weird comment after complaining that the disco had too many bouncy, fast moves, but the moves here that were supposed to be bouncy and fast were just too slow. I felt like Leah could have used one, maybe two, more moves here. (That said, I like this segment better than the jive one on the Dance Off the Inches Ballroom, where there was way too much chicken walking for my tastes.)
- Dance Sculpt
As Peakfitness mentioned, this segment is toning rather than strictly cardio, although Leah assures you that youíre still burning calories, etc. I donít have any / havenít done any of Leahís Ballet Body workouts, so I donít know how this segment compares, but Iím guessing this is probably on the more accessible (or perhaps I should say ďeasierĒ) side.
The exercise begins with plies in 1st position, plies moving into 2nd from 1st, ab contractions in 2nd position, and 1st position plies with flat back & arms opening up to side. The next sequence has pliť to coupe (moving into passť), pliť with extension (Leah only does this on the 2nd side), plies and then pulses with one foot in releve, and 2nd position pliť with circle arms. Youíll then rock your hips (side to side, then isolating one side) while holding plies in 2nd before another sequence that has a pliť with leg lift and then extension from 5th, a lunge with flat upper body raises (a kind of single-leg squat), arabesque lifts (and then pulses), and then plies in 2nd with circle arms. Youíll finish with more abs contractions with plies in 2nd before stretching with a scooping motion in lunge and then standing forward bends. Arm movements are carefully coordinated and precisely done, adding a little bit of an upper body element (namely shoulders) to what is predominantly lower body work with some abs.
Level: Iíd recommend this to exercisers around the mid-beginner to beginner / intermediate level who are comfortable with basic dance choreography. Knowledge of basic ballet terms is helpful for the Dance Sculpt segment: you should know pliť, coupe, passť, releve, ronde du jambe, and arabesque as well as 1st, 2nd, and 5th positions. (Nothing a few minutes on Google canít fix if you have no ballet backgroundÖ)
I normally exercise at the intermediate / advanced level but recently have been at a more intermediate level. Like Peakfitness I found that these werenít particularly challenging cardiovascularly; I felt I should be getting more of a sweat out of all of the effort I put into learning and doing the moves. I was able to pick the moves up decently quickly; the second time around I felt like I was just polishing them off. However, I do feel like I pick up choreography quickly, so those who do not may find this takes them several times through to feel comfortable with.
Music: The bland, generic instrumental music changes somewhat to fit each theme.
Set: an open, bright room with lots of ďwindowsĒ and plants and exercise equipment neatly arranged around the sides.
Production: clear picture and sound, with Leahís voice clearly louder than the music, and mostly helpful camera angles.
Equipment: Youíll probably just want supportive shoes, although if youíre a barefoot exerciser you may find this one easy enough to do barefoot.
Space Requirements: For most of these segments I, at 5í9Ē, was able to fit these into an area about 5-6í wide by 4í deep, although for the jive segment I needed the other way around, that is 4í wide by 5-6í deep.
DVD Notes: After the short introduction, you can skip Leahís longer introduction where she talks about the workout as a whole and each segment in particular. As with all of the 10 Minute Solutions, you can play all of the segments in the order they appear, choose one, or create a personalized workout by picking and choosing between the five segments.
Note that this is one of the 10MS DVDs that lists the segments on the back of the cover in a different order than the one in which they play on the DVD if you hit play all. Iíve noted the order in which the segments play in my breakdown above.
Comments: I have two other 10 Minute Solution DVDs with dance cardio segments, Petra Kolberís 10MS Dance Off Belly Fat and Stella Sandovalís 10 MS Fat Blasting Latin Dance Mix. I find those two are ones I can do at a slightly more intense level in terms of cardio, more beg./int. to low intermediate than high beginner to beg./int.
Leahís cuing is decently good, although not overly descriptive. She mirror cues, meaning when she says ďrightĒ she means your right, not hers.
Iíll be picky in noting that Leah has a tendency to utter, ďUh, uh, uhĒ and ďah, ah,Ē to indicate moves. In other words, with the hip pops she might make one of those sounds rather than, say, counting them out or saying the name of the move. She doesnít do it with every set of moves, thankfully, but she does it a few times in each segment. Add that to her cues of sexy hips, stroking your arms, etc., and someone casually walking by could get the wrong idea of what kind of DVD youíve got in your player. Normally I donít care for videos that talk about being sexy and oversell their ability to burn fat and change physical appearance, especially ones that claim to give someone a ďdancerís bodyĒ (having been cut from a ballet school in no small part for having the wrong body type, I object to marketing campaigns based around changing someoneís body into a mythical type that some dancers donít even have!). So this one has made me squirm a little, but Iíve been able to deal with it, perhaps because I only paid less than $5 for it.
Like all 10 Minute Solution workouts, this has 5 10-minute segments, for a total of 50 minutes. The segments are programmable. In this workout, each segment has a different style of dance: basic dance, disco, sexy, ballet/barre, and swing. Leah Sarago instructs alone.
The basic segment has grapevines and other things you'll recognize from aerobics type dance workouts. Disco has basic disco moves like "fever arms" from Saturday Night Fever. "Sexy" is supposed to be sexy dancing on the club dancefloor. Ballet/barre is more slow and controlled toning than dance. Swing includes moves like the Charleston.
I thought it was fun but very beginner. I did the whole 50 minutes and didn't break a sweat. I'm intermediate. I expected at least a light sweat after 50 minutes.
Pleasant, seems to be enjoying the dances, good cueing and instruction. Fun music.