Health

Pussycat Dolls and Cheryl Burke Help You Dance Your Way to Fitness

| by Fit Bottomed Girls

Yesterday we shared an interview with Robin Antin, the mastermind behind the Pussycat Dolls. So today, we thought it’d be fun to share our review of the Pussycat Dolls Workout, along with two other dance-tastic numbers. For being terrible dancers, Jenn and I sure like to review dance workout DVDs. Maybe one day our bodies will catch up with what our hearts are telling us.

Pussycat Dolls Workout

Well, the Pussycat Dolls Workout DVD delivers on one of its promises. I did, in fact, find my inner Pussycat Doll. Granted, she was a tad awkward, tripped a few times, almost hurt her neck from flipping her hair, and had some chafing in her nether region from a burlesque incident with a scarf (really, who has a boa just waiting around?), but she was there in full effect. Gah-rowl. Or, more appropriately, meee-ow.

Led by Robin herself, the instruction is good, you really do get to learn some of the trademark Dolls moves and because the music is all PCD’s, it’s fun stuff that you can sing along with, if you’re one of those people who can do two things at once, which I’m really not. During the last song, “Buttons,” where you put all the moves together, even Nicole Scherzinger makes an appearance, making it feel like you really are one of the PCD gals, just the least coordinated of the bunch.

What the DVD doesn’t deliver on is its promise of being a workout. Yes, you stand up and move around, but none of the dance moves are overly high energy, and I never really broke a sweat. Also, because you spend so much time learning the moves and so little time putting them together, I think that after you did this DVD a few times you’d be done with it and bored. Never a good thing for a DVD collection. Worth trying at least once via Netflix though? Most def!

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FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★
Music: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★

Overall: ★★★

Best for: Those who like to dance and/or need move sexified moves in their lives. Not for those looking for a killer workout.

Disco Abs

After a less than stellar experience with her other dance workout DVD, I have to admit that I wasn’t, er, jazzed to try Cheryl Burke Presents Disco Abs. (Jazz dance? Get it? Har. Har.) But I’m glad I gave it a shot because I ended up LOVING it! It was like a new version of Richard Simmons’ workouts but with less ‘fro and glitter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Regardless, this was a fun and funky disco-music dance-athon featuring hits like “Y.M.C.A.,” “Disco Inferno,” and my all-time 80s guilty pleasure “It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls. That last song alone probably bumped up my rating by a star I love it so much. There are three DVDs in the set, and each features a warm-up, cool down and about a 40-minute dance session. In my mind, 40-ish minutes is about a perfect length—not too long, not too short.

And talk about high energy! This is a non-stop, no frills, dancing workout that is pretty easy to follow and fun. There’s good instruction, but not too much instruction and even though Cheryl talks about burning calories way too much (it’s like her only motivational phrase), it’s so darn fun that you can ignore that. And you sweat while having a blast. That’s why I’m giving it a whopping four-and-a-half stars!

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★★
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Music: ★★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★

Overall: ★★★★1/2

Best for: If you like Jazzercise or Zumba but have hips that move like mine and Erin’s and an affinity for disco tunes, this might be your DVD.

Fame Dance Workout

The Fame Dance Workout is much like other dance DVDs we’ve tried before in that you learn several dance segments before stringing them all together for one fantastic dance finale. In this case, a Fame-tastic finale.

I started out with Kherington’s modern dance segment. Kherington, of So You Think You Can Dance and Fame fame, does a good job of instructing. Even if her repeated “Yeahs?” and shorts adjusting were a tad annoying, her moves are fun and were relatively easy to learn. Nothing too complicated here, although it doesn’t seem overly simple either. There were some fun hip rolls and some “bend and snap” type of moves—both of which were endlessly entertaining to do with the pregnant belly.

Paul’s jazz dance segment was really fun looking. I say “fun looking” because I never really mastered it. I knew I was in trouble when there were two turns within the first 12 counts. And then more turning later on. I got a little too dizzy for my liking; I’m no pro at spotting or whatever pro dancers do to not get disoriented. (Paul even explains spotting later in his segment—this would have been great info at the start!) Kristy’s African segment was my favorite. The moves were more straightforward than the jazz segment and easier to pick up on. More lunge and squat-based moves and less fancy footwork. Sharper, more precise arm positioning, rather than free-form jazz.

It’s a little repetitive to learn all the moves, but also necessary to get the job done. As you learn, the beat speeds up until you add in the music for the full-speed dance. Once you learn the three dance segments, you put together the routine for the Fame finale, which is 15 minutes of reviewing each segment and then putting them all together with music. It’s a very fun finale and will get your heart rate up. The one drawback is that once you learn and master the moves, the usefulness of the DVD dramatically decreases because you’ll probably only want to do the finale dance.

FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Instruction: ★★★1/2
Long-Term Likeability: ★★
Music: ★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★

Overall: ★★★

Best for: Those who love the Fame movies and music and want to try three distinctly different dance styles.

FIT BOTTOMED LINE: IF YOU NEED TO FIND YOUR INNER SEX KITTEN, GO WITH THE PUSSYCAT DOLLS WORKOUT. IF YOU MISS 80S AEROBICS CLASSES, INVEST IN ADDING CHERYL’S DISCO ABS DVD TO YOUR COLLECTION. IF YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF DANCE MOVIES, FAME IS YOUR BEST BET.

Leave us a comment in the next week and you could win one of the Pussycat Dolls Workout or the Fame Dance Workout DVDs! U.S. residents only, please. All winners will be randomly selected and contacted directly by email, so check those in-boxes, ladies! —Jenn & Erin