Dance Off the Inches: Latin Cardio Party

Erin Naim
Year Released: 2012

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

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NOTE: I received a free review copy of this DVD from the distributor.

This is a Latin-inspired cardio dance video featuring instructor Emily Naim. Naim co-choreographed the the routines with fellow instructor Jennifer Galardi, and if you are familiar with Galardi's other videos (e.g., 10 Minute Solution: Fat Blasting Dance Mix), you may recognize her influence here.

The Main Menu for this workout offers the following options: Play - Chapters - Step Guide. The Step Guide is a 19.5 minute tutorial featuring Naim alone breaking down ten of the dance steps that are used during the workout. For each, the name of the step appears on screen, followed by Naim showing how that step is performed. Next, she begins breaking the move down at a slow pace, first teaching the foot pattern, then adding the arm movement, and eventually, performing the entire sequence together at tempo. The moves taught in the Step Guide are as follows: 1) Samba (leg back with hip up), 2) Tribal (side squat move), 3)Hey! (knee up and over), 4) Paddle (off beat heal raise), 5) Cumbia (semi-circle leg), 6) Slinky (side step), 7) Push It (knee drop with arm push), 8) Pump It (knee drop with arm pump), 9) Stomp (stomp foot), and 10) Shake (side step with chest pump). Naim does a nice job of explaining the moves, which involve moderately complex choreography (she ups the choreography slightly during the workout itself, adding some twists and turns).

The Chapters of the workout include Warm-Up, Samba, Cumbia, Raggaeton, and Cool Down (there are no actual breaks--i.e., each chapter flows right into the next without stopping). Naim is joined for the workout by two background exercisers, Melissa and Mimi (billed in the credits as Kamillah). They are working out in a bright studio, and I was interested to note that they are on a flat carpet, which is unusual for a dance routine. For each of the dance segments, Naim introduces the move, practices it a few time, and then adds on, building a short routine of about four moves which she then runs through several times; she does not go back to these moves once she moves on to the next segment. I have broken down each section in greater detail below.

WARM UP (5 minutes)
Naim starts with step-touches, adding in various arm movements such as bicep curls, tricep presses, and chest presses. She also performs grape vines, shoulder rolls, rib cage isolations, and foot taps to the side and front.

SAMBA (10 minutes)
This segment starts with a SLOW v-step forward and back, gradually developing into a move that Naim calls "flyaways" (one slow, two fast). This move is followed by three steps from the Step Guide, the Samba, Tribal, and the Hey (all moving backward--you will need a lot of room!), and then a shake forward to repeat the entire sequence.

CUMBIA (11.5 minutes)
This section starts with the paddle, adding a turn (which Naim calls a hip circle). Next comes the Cumbia, Slinky, and then to finish, a Push It/Pump It combination move.

RAGGAETON (11 minutes)
Naim begins this final segment with the Stomp, adding direction and a rotation to this move. This is followed by the shake, again adding a turn, and then she concludes with a "brush it off" move.

COOL DOWN (4.5 minutes)
Naim starts the cool-down with hip rocks and hip sways. She moves into deep breaths with plies and standing cat/cow stretches. Next comes a series a lower body stretches, including the inner thigh, hip flexors, hamstrings, quads, and outer hip. Naim finishes with a brief neck stretch and wrist rolls.

Overall, this is a nicely done dance routine (about 42 minutes long total) that I would recommend for experienced beginners to low intermediates. Although there is some complexity to the cardio moves, the included Step Guide should help most viewers, especially those with prior experience with more complicated choreography. My one caveat is that with repeated viewings, this routine might begin to feel somewhat repetitive, but I think that is a risk with most dance cardio videos. Otherwise, I would particularly recommend this DVD to those who enjoy the Dance Off the Inches series.

Instructor Comments:
This was my first experience with Emily Naim. She did a nice job overall, providing good mirrored cuing. She definitely reminded me a lot of Jennifer Galardi and in fact used some of her exact same phrasing at times (e.g. "this is your last piece of choreography").

Beth C (aka toaster)


Heather leads each of these five 10 minute segments in an open room. You wont need any equipment for this workout. The first segment is standing core done hip hop style and the remaining four are cardio hip hop.

Hip Hop 101: this is a fun core focused routine. Exercises include: hip shifts, hip tilts, isolations, hip rolls, & standing crunches. After you learn the moves you add some hip hop flair & string them together into a routine.

House Party: This routine is comprised of leg swings, slice arms, pony, and body rolls. A fun active dance combo.

Signature Moves: Moves include: girly walk, hop pump, cowgirl, teaser walk, & sassy step. After learning the moves you string them together into a fun dance routine.

Hip Hop Jam: Exercises include: body rolls, skater steps, march around, & hip brushes. Learn the exercises & then put it together in a fun dance combo.

Street Style: Heather teaches you: hip shifts, swipe & duck, body rolls, elbow pull, wide march & chest & booty pops and then puts them together into a routine. This was a fun & active routine.

I found this workout to be beginner in terms of intensity and intermediate in terms of choreography. Heatherís cuing is good so I actually had no problems picking up the choreo and I have virtually no dancing skills. Each segment is very different and I LOVE that the 1st is standing core. This one is a keeper for me- something fun & different than my norm. I received this dvd to review.