I own several dance aerobics DVDs and this is one of the best that I've tried so far - only topped by Madonna Grime's African Beat-Latin Heat DVD. Few dance DVDs strike that balance between being dancy enough to be original & fun, and being easy to follow.
This is as close as it gets to a perfect balance. Marie Forleo is a fantastic instructor, and goes through fast moves at half tempo a few times before letting it fly at full speed. That being said, full speed isn't breakneck speed; you are still able to actually DO the moves without compromising form.
Here's what you get:
5MIN WARMUP - Marie takes you through about a 5min warmup that incorporates toe taps and step-touches - your basic aerobics stuff to get you started, and then with a few stretches to follow. Its not incredibly innovative stuff, but hey, its the warmup. It does its job, and thats all you can ask.
ISOLATIONS - Now this is a good idea for those who are inexperienced with dance aerobics. This short segment guides you on correct form when performing the moves, and is a must-do for those who are new to this sort of thing, and in particular, those who are inflexible in the hips.
15MIN AFRO-LATIN DANCE SEGMENT - This is my favourite segment on the DVD. Marie goes through the majority of the moves at half tempo first - some of them are basic enough to learn at full tempo. There is some pretty quick footwork in a salsa move that she teaches at the beginning of the combination, though with a few times practice you should have it down. What struck me the most about this segment was that halfway through it the music suddenly picked up and was cleverly synched with the combination. The first half is very much a 'getting-your-heart-rate-up-and-learning-the- moves' segment and the music at this point is fairly stock-standard stuff. At the halfway point the music suddenly resembles that of a Brazilan Carnival, and it is at THIS point where you really start to get into the groove of the workout and find yourself having a blast.
15MIN REGGAE-FUNK DANCE SEGMENT - I wasn't too sure what to expect with this segment, since for me, Reggae Music hasalways made me want to go and lie down on a beach somewhere, rather than get on up and boogie. The choreography in this segment is innovative and funky, but the music is exactly as Reggae music is - laid back. The choreography does get your heart rate up and the moves are fun, but it doesn't draw you in like the Afro-Latin segment does.
5MIN COOLDOWN - Just like the warmup, this bit does its job. Marie goes through a few simple, non-dance inspired, low impact moves to lower your heart rate. Her stretches are not comprehensive, but they're not bad.
There are a few extras on the disc; particularly a segment presented by Chris Freytag on 'The Do's and Don'ts of Exercise'. Rather than the Do's and Don'ts of 'Exercise', this is specifically of 'Toning', and she demonstrates what poor technique looks like and what you should be doing instead.
For those of you who have attempted the other Prevention Dance DVD with Jennifer Galardi, you can relax. This DVD is nowhere near as fast paced as that one is. That DVD is a Prevention Express DVD, where the segments are only 10 minutes long - designed for a 'pop-in-and-dash-out-the-door' lifestyle. This DVD lengthens the segments a bit so that there is proper guidance on what to do, so you won't be left feeling as disheartened from trying to follow Marie's moves.
Is this an intense calorie burning, body blasting blitz?
By no means.