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So You Think You Can Dance – Get Fit DVDs

Most of the fun of watching So You Think You Can Dance is just wishing you could dance like that. They make it look so easy and so fun. We revel in discussing what they did wrong and could have done better, but deep down we know we couldn’t even come close. This is what they’re counting on as they release the So You Think You Can Dance Get Fit fitness videos. We can have fun and think we’re doing really good … until we look in the mirror.

There are two Get Fit videos, Cardio Funk and Tone and Grove.To show us how much fun it is to get fit, six of our favorite So You Think You Can Dance dancers are hosting the videos to teach us how it’s done. This includes season two runner-up Travis Wall and finalist Dmitry Chaplin, season three finalist Lauren Gottlieb, and season four runner-up Stephen “Twitch” Boss, and finalists Katee Shean and Courtney Galiano.

Before I explain my experience with the videos let me preface it with my own personal fitness level. I do consider myself fit, but know I could be more so. I’ve been working out regularly for the past twenty years. I’ve done a lot of different things from high impact aerobics to running to martial arts to pilates over the years. I’ve done home videos and classes and devised my own workouts. Yet, I’m also 45, which comes with its own set of challenges. Working out now isn’t quite as easy as it was in my 20s, and being fit doesn’t do anything to help coordination.

Each of the two videos consists of a really quick intro discussing the overall goal, followed by a warmup involving all six of the dancers. The warmup was pretty basic for the most part. Whether you are watching the toning video or the cardio video, you have three different choices of dance styles with a different dancer leading each one, as well as another dance with involves all the moves from the three different dance styles learned. This is followed by a cooldown, and finally interviews of the dancers and even Nigel Lythgoe talking about the importance of dancing for fitness.

For the individual dance workouts, each one is broken down by that particular dance style’s host, as you learn it piece by piece, then after you put it all together, two more dancers come in and the speed is picked up just a little. Then the rest of the dancers are added in, and it’s sped up again, and again. Yet, throughout, the dance hosts keeps encouraging that the beauty of video is that if you don’t have it down just yet, you can always repeat a particular section of it before moving on.

In Cardio Funk, Travis is teaching contemporary, Courtney disco, and Lauren hip hop. the moves weren’t that difficult, although it definitely doesn’t loook like what you see on So You Think You Can Dance. I didn’t even want to look in the mirror, as I know it was uncoordinated, yet I was having a lot of fun. The dancers encourage the fun, and some of the dancers lead you to have more fun than others. Let me tell you, too, that by that last time it’s sped up, you’re tired, but it’s a good tired. It’s definitely a good cardio, and even then you’re still doing a little toning.

For Tone and Groove, Twitch is teaching hip hop, Katee jazz, and Dmitry the cha cha. The problem with the last one of course is that there’s a big tendency to just watch Dmitry and not work out. Even the other dancers admit the don’t move their hips the way he does. Twitch says it was such a workout for him learning to do it with Dmitry, that he’s put the hips into his own nightly workout. These dances live up to their name, they tone and groove. Although, it’s still more heavy on the cardio than the toning, yet I could feel it in my muscles.

If there was one complaint in these videos it would be the music. It’s horrible electronic music that doesn’t sound too much like any of the styles. It’s certainly not the pop songs that they use on the show. It’s just music that they can speed up and slow down. It does not inspire you to want to move. And the song they have for the cool down sounds like it’s from a porno. I was waiting for the pizza dude to join in.

I had a lot of fun with these videos, and I’ll be working them into my workouts. I won’t be doing only these, and will keep up with my other workouts, but it’ll be a nice change of pace when I’m looking for a fun workout. I don’t think I’ll be doing the hip hop on the dance floor at the wedding I’m going to in a couple of weeks, but maybe just maybe a few of the moves will sneak in anyway.

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Freelance entertainment and tech writer, editor