Fuse Dance: Cardio Melt

Tracey Mallett
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Circuit Training (cardio and weights)

Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer

Show oldest reviews first

Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I found the marketing for this DVD disingenuous because claims that it contains two 30 minute workouts. That is one of the things that drew me to this DVD. However, the reality is that the main menu offers access to the two segments of the DVD, Interval Fat Burn and Total Toned Body, but they are just that - segments - rather than complete workouts. This is because when you choose the individual segments, Interval Fat Burn contains the warm-up, but no cool down, and Total Toned Body does not have a warm-up, but contains the cool down. Consequently, they just chopped up the one workout and didn't do a very good job of it. When a DVD producer is going to claim there are multiple workouts on a DVD, the warm up and cool down should also be offered on the menu as separate options along with the segments.

Additionally, the marketing claims that there are two 30-minute workouts when in reality there is one 30-minute workout and one 23-minute workout. For someone like me who tries to get in a minimum of 30 minutes every day, this is a significant difference. Of course, I was already annoyed when I did the Total Toned Body becuase there had been no warm up and I was realizing that is really wasn't a complete workout. The fact that I was more interested in Total Toned Body and started with it, probably led to a more negative reaction than if I had just played the workout from the beginning.

The first segment, Interval Fat Burn, is a segment that alternates dance combinations with intervals of more toning type moves. It did feel like an interval workout to me as my heart rate went up and down depending on what she was doing at the moment. I thought that the combinations were okay. Then, she spent the last 10 minutes of this segment putting all the combinations together. And, that was fun - time seemed to fly through this section.

Some of the moves can hurt your knees, if they are wonky. It was easy enough though to modify and just go less deep in lunges or not do the twisty move as enthusiastically.

The second segment, Total Toned Body, uses light weights while doing movements that include both the upper and lower body. The segments contain different toning moves and each segment includes cardio moves. This segment felt like a circuit workout to me.

There are three background exercisers and one of them is designated as the modifier, even though she wasn't very good at modifying. She did the obvious things like leaving out impact when there were jumps or hops, but she didn't give alternatives to moves that torque the knees. At times, it was like she forgot she was supposed to be modifying until Tracey would point out that people could follow her modifications.

Overall, I thought the workout was okay, but it isn't one I feel like I will want to do in the future. For people who really enjoy these light dancey, fusiony workouts, this workout is probably a pretty good one.

Laura S.


This DVD contains two 30 minute workouts: Interval Fat Burn and Total Toned Body. You have the option to play all or select an individual segment. Just note that if you choose to do one segment at a time, Interval Fat Burn contains a brief warm-up but no cool down and Total Toned Body does not have a warm-up but contains the cool down. Tracy is in a bright set with three background exercisers. There is one modifier named Erica. You do not need shoes for this workout; both segments are done barefoot.

Interval Fat Burn is a 30 minute workout that fuses dance moves with toning. You do not need any equipment. There are 4 segments that contain different dance combinations and toning moves. At the end of the fourth segment (around the 20 minute mark), you take it from the top and do all four segments in a row. It truly felt like an interval workout as my heart rate remained steady state during the dance combinations and toning, but then increased to a higher intensity when Tracy introduced the "interval" move at the end of each segment. Once the new segment begins, you are back to dance combinations and your heart rate is able to slow down a bit again until the next interval. I liked how it worked the core throughout with lots of salsa like twisting motions while dancing, as well as planks on the floor with knee rotations where you bring the knees in towards the opposite elbow. There were various moves that were lower body focused that really worked the legs as well including lunges and plies and some ballet inspired leg lifts. I really liked this workout. I thought the dance moves were a lot of fun and the toning moves gave my muscles a nice light burn.

Total Toned Body is a toning workout using light weights and multi-limbed movements (the upper & lower body are always engaged) that get the heart rate up. You need a pair of light hand weights (2-3lbs, or maybe even 5lbs if you're advanced) and a mat. There are 4 segments that contain different toning combinations and each segment concludes with low-impact cardio (such as v-steps, fast feet, squats) before moving on to the next. Some of the toning moves include tricep kickbacks, reverse flies while balancing on one leg, front punches, figure eights with the arms while in plie position, etc. The fourth segment is done on a mat and works your abs/obliques with side planks, oblique twists while in a seated position and crunches with legs straight up in the air. This toning segment lasts around 23 minutes and the remainder of the workout is the cool down. I enjoyed this one and felt my muscles engaged, though not overly challenged.

Overall I liked this workout. I think it would be good for a light day, which we all need from time to time! If you're a beginner or someone just looking for an easier workout that engages the muscles and heart, then this would fit the bill. It's actually a breath of fresh air in this age of hard core, super high intensity workouts.

Instructor Comments:
Tracey is sweet and encouraging. She really focuses on having fun and just moving.



I recently purchased both Fuse Dance DVDs and Cardio Melt is my favorite right now. I love how Tracey has combined fun dancey exercises with higher-intensity athletic moves for a seamless cardio workout that is unlike anything else I own, and how she has combined twists and dancey moves with upper body moves for a very fun interval strength workout.
This workout has a "have fun" vibe throughout. The cardio intervals build upon a base move, sometimes starting at a slower pace and moving up to tempo, other times adding twists or arm moves. Each interval is ended with a higher intensity blast. All the intervals are strung together in the final 10 minute segment. For people who have weak wrists or don't like to go down to the floor, there is a deep lunge-plank twist interval, but I foud it to be doable because I don't have to hold the plank for very long. Wonky knees may not like the quick pace of the lunges in the first interval, but you can easily just do the mambo move she starts out with or lunge less deeply.

The sculpt workout is unique. No move is repeated too many times, but Tracey still gets a good burn going by working one or two upper body muscles or muscle groups with several exercises before moving on to the next set. The addition of twists and dancey moves help keep the heartrate up and work more muscles at once. I think it's comparable to her Quickblast Calorie Blast, but with a dancier twist, more variety of moves, and the moves flow into the next seamlessly. Each circuit ends with a short cardio interval.
This workout ends on the floor, where Tracey fries your obliques with pulsing side planks, side plank hold while raising one dumbell, and pikes. The modifier does all these exercises with one knee on the mat and down on her elbow. Even on my elbow it is a killer oblique workout! The upper and lower abs don't get that much work in comparison. This workout has some twist that may be tricky for people working out on carpet or with iffy knees, but I've done it without the twists and it was still well worth it.

The stretch at the end is really good and well deserved!

The only caveat I have with these two workouts is the lack of separate warm-up and cool-down chapters. The first workout begins with a warm-up and the second one ends with a cool-down, meaning you have to add your own warm-up or cool-down if you can't do the whole thing.

I rate this workout a solid intermediate. There is not enough instruction for a beginner.

Instructor Comments:
I really like Tracey in this workout. She focuses on having fun and working hard, not on getting rid of cellulite or flab, which is refreshing. Her smile is contagious, and her cuing is easy to follow.



Tracey combines elements of dance, ballet, and athletic work in both workouts on this dvd. She works out with 3 b/g exercisers in a nice open studio. You will light dumbbells for Total Toned Body and modifications are shown in that workout. Both workouts are performed barefoot.

Interval Fat Burn: (28 min) In this cardio fusion workout Tracey performs circuits of exercises separated by higher intensity intervals. Exercises include: mambo & samba cha cha, pliet pulses & hops, hip shifts, heel taps, ride the horse, booty slap, and lunge & chest pops.

Total Toned Body: (24 min) This is a standing & floor toning routine that utilizes light weights. Exercises include: jab & knee pulls, squat & breast stroke, skater & floor touch, side plank hip drops & snakes, and step touch & tri press. Tracey does a great job of adding big arm movements to amp up the intensity a bit.

I rate this a high beginner workout that is suitable for most all exercisers. I found it to be a very unique fusion of several different genres that Tracey puts together seamlessly. A warmup & cooldown are also included & I felt a nice emphasis on the core. She is an excellent and encouraging instructor and you can tell she is really having a good time in these workouts. I received this dvd to review.