Year Released: 1992
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
Balletcise teaches dance movements to shape the lower body. While each move is only done a few times, you constantly use the same muscles so you will feel it. IN the Beg video, each move has a "class" beforehand, so you learn the form, then you do it and move on to the next step. In the ADV., the instruction is removed so you go from step to the next with only a brief pause (she also adds several moves to the end which are more advanced versions of the beginning exercises). You will get a balance workout in this, even if you hold a barre or chair. There is piano music in the background, and the set looks like a dance studio. The video is shot straight on, so there aren't any confusing or distracting cuts. Its not fancy but it is clear to watch. She dances with four students, all of whom act as if they'd rather be getting their hemmoroids checked. But Marguerite is lovely and instructs very well. There are some hops and small jumps in a couple of the final sections. They are brief but if you are avoiding all high impact, these are a speedy fast forward. There is also port de bra and ab work. The advanced video then continues with more advanced versions of these exercises. This isn't a fancy video but the exercises are well taught and progress in a logical manner. Marguerite explains them very well and demos the moves quite clearly. Most people will probably outgrow these videos, but they make nice add-ons to other workouts, or will prepare you quite well for the Ballet Workout videos or for classes.
Marguerite is very graceful and elegant, and moves beautifully. She also very clearly explains the steps and demos them before doing a work-along. She seems reserved but friendly.
This workout consisted of classical ballet moves taught by a former member of the Royal Ballet. Prima Ballerina Marguerite Porter is everything you imagine a trained classical dancer looks like - willowy, poised, and ever so graceful. If she were an animal, she would be a gazelle (I would be a buffalo). I am restricted to low impact workouts, and although this is not billed as such, there is only one move towards the end of the workout that requires jumping.
First and foremost, this is not a fast-paced workout. I don't believe this workout would get your heart in its training zone, it's more of a study in movement, requiring precise leg motions and body alignment. It is labeled as a beginners workout and I thought all the moves were do-able the first time. I do think you'll have to do them about hundred times before you even approach looking like her. Although the legs and arms are doing the primary motions, her neck and hands are also lilting in a coordinated fashion with the music. She gives lots of form pointers throughout, which slows the workout even more. You do definitely feel a nice burn in the legs by the time the workout is finished. So, I think there is some leg toning going on.
All the exercises are demonstrated once slowly in front of a barre and then done at an accelerated tempo using a chair for support. There is no "soundtrack" per se, but a piano plays classic "ballet tunes" during the exercises - you do get the feeling that you're in a "real" ballet class. The first couple of exercises were only done on one side of the body, but after the second or third one, the remaining exercises were done on both sides. She also messed up by describing things on the right, when it's your left. But the exercises are demonstrated slowly enough that you can mentally correct for the right-left switch.
I enjoyed doing this workout and really felt it in my legs by the end. It's definitely a change of pace for me, and while I'm in low impact mode, it will be in my rotation. I'd give it an B+.
She was incredibly graceful. She gave lots of form pointers and was encouraging.