Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Brazilian Dance Workout with Vanessa Isaac|
Actor: Vanessa Isaac
Director: Mike DeGruy
Genres: Special Interests, Exercise & Fitness
The Brazilian Dance Workout By Vanessa is already a classic. Named one of the top 10 DVDs of the year by Fitness Magazine and Women's Health and Fitness, this is a fitness title like no other, it paved the way for the curr... more »
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Actually teaches you Brazilian dance while you work out
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 09/09/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have wanted to learn that tricky Samba step ever since I went to visit cousins in Brazil years ago. I came away with a love of Brazilian music and dance, but I never was able to pick up that samba step--I'm not much of a dancer. Here is a workout tape with something to aim for; not only fitness, but learning those appealing dance routines from Carnival.
The tape begins with a longish warm up; a good idea as Brazilian dance, based on African style moves, requires you use EVERY part of your body. So you, like me, may not have moved some of those parts for quite a while. You shake your arms, roll your head, contract and roll the back and do hip swivels, and plenty of shoulder moves, too. The warm up is possibly a sufficient workout for someone very unfit or elderly, in fact.
The first dance sequence is done at half-tempo--but, here's my problem. The first step is not explained (a cross and back) but the easier back undulation at the end IS given instruction. Sure, some people have trouble undulating their spine, but the footwork also needed a bit of elucidation. Still, you can replay that part of the DVD til you get it--but it's a bit of a nuisance not to have a different camera angle or a talk-through. So plan on stopping and starting the DVD as you learn these steps before you can get a non-stop Samba workout.
This workout is particularly excellent for back flexibility. And on that note, if you do hAVE back problems, you might have difficulties with the upper body parts of this workout so consider your own limitations.
The filming is a bit dull--outdoors in a field with palm trees on a portable parquet dance floor. The usual "one from every kind" dance troupe of elderly, young, thin, plump, dark, light is included to make the viewer feel included. But the camera stays at a boring same distance. I wanted some more close ups and perhaps some alternate camera angles as well.
The music is drums and bells, typical samba rhythm, and very pleasant.
Summary: if you want a fun, dance workout, plan on spending some time learning the moves and then enjoy a very thorough, body-moving dance session."
C. A. Gordon | Indianapolis, IN USA | 08/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"An upbeat, fun, easy-to-follow workout. I ordered this workout instead of the hundreds of others simply because I wanted more of a dance related style, and while this doesn't teach you how to actually dance Brazilian dances, it gives you a great work out, which is what it's supposed to do. Very fun, very energizing. You will sweat and you will feel it, but you'll also have an easier time getting yourself up off the couch to do a second workout. :) One of the best things is that it's relatively low impact. There is some hopping at the end, but it's not extended. Definitely a plus for someone with bad knees and ankles like me. Highly recommended!"
Buyer Beware--this is Fast, Fast, Fast!
Stephanie Rose Bird | Chicago, IL | 01/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is the sort of "break-your-neck-trying" at-home workout to be avoided by the beginner or those not in tiptop shape. "Buyer Beware" because you could seriously hurt your knees or stress your heart trying to keep up with this challenging DVD. This isn't coming from a couch slouch either. I attend regular dance classes and was once a dancer. I wish the workout came in different versions, for beginner, intermediate or advanced. As a dancer I'd say this one is intermediate/advanced. The plus side is that the teacher is engaging and dedicated to her dance form; she just needs to work harder on the teaching part. The live drumming is great! The solos are wonderful--a definite plus, to see so many different styles. I like the fact that there are dancers of various ages, sizes, male and female. I wish those dancers in the workout DVD who are heavier or older were directed to show modifications of the steps so the workout could be useful to various fitness levels, shapes and sizes."
Fun and Inspiring Workout
Amigo Carlos | 10/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I hadn't realized it before, but apparently this lady has put out two different workout tapes and I got lucky and got the better one. This Afro-Brazilian workout has great music with a live band, not just background sound tracks, very intelligent instruction, choreography that is not too difficult for beginners nor too boring for the somewhat more experienced, appealing dancers, and the great Brazilian rhythms and moves which leave you soaked with sweat after an hour. This is just like the great Afro-Brazilian dance classes I used to take in L.A. when I lived there. I've been looking for a video like this for a long time and now I've found it. I hope Vanessa produces some more."