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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dance Studio...a la Bedroom: My Dancin Tools

I've thought long and hard about what tools I have access to; both in terms of weight loss and really learning how to dance. As I've been leading to via Internal Dialogue and Dance Studio...a la Bedroom: part 1, I intend to lose weight via dance! Do I expect to be admitted into Julliard within the year? No, not really. Alas all I want is to lose weight, be more expressive with my body and who knows- maybe one day I'll actually feel comfortable shaking my groove thang with friends at the club! Granted the club isn't high on my totem pole of priorities, the point is I want to actually feel comfortable with my body.

My Learning to Dance Weight Loss workouts

Hip Hop Abs
Anybody who's a fan of Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper knows that you can't spot reduce body fat. BUT! The perk about Shaun T's Hip Hop Abs is that it's mostly cardio with a LOT of core work to build up core strength. That is pretty much what I'm using it for. I've never tried these particular workouts, but they look fun!

New York City Ballet Workouts 1 and 2
Now we get down to the nitty gritty. I must be honest, I've actually owned these two workouts for years now and have never actually done them. I've been wanting to. I've pulled them out of my DVD collection multiple times, even popped them into the DVD player to get the feel of what they're like. But I've never actually done the moves. I think it's because I'm intimidated by them. I want to be at their level so badly, but I know I'm so far from it that I discourage myself and the DVDs end up back on the shelf. Well NO MORE!
These two workouts are some of the best you can get in DVD form without going to a ballet class. They display the positions, the movements and the stretches with music while also giving you a workout to get that dancers body. Of all these tools, I'm most excited to start this program.

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution
I've done phase 1 of this system before, and it is a good system. The only issue I personally had is based on my body's abilities. Because of that, the workouts do get repetitive. That's not a rip on the program as much as I'm 300+ lbs and have had 2 knee surgeries on my right knee....of course now that's the better knee! The further you get into Body Revolution the more jump training there is (also known as High Intensity Interval Training). That means you work harder and you get better results...if you don't injure yourself first that is lol. Obviously if you make sure your technique is correct, the chance of injury is very low, but with my weight and knees I don't want to push it.
On Jillian's podcast, she's instructed people to keep up with phase 1 until you've built the strength to move on. Which is cool and makes sense, but brings me back to the repetitive problem. As I'll be combining this with the dance programs, that shouldn't be an issue anymore.

Yoga Booty Ballet
I've also had this system for a few years, and I have tried it. It's tough! Obviously that's a good thing, but damn. I was lighter at the time I tried it, too and damn! I'm not sure if my muscles have forgiven me yet... My guess would be because of the dumbbell weights. The NYC Ballet DVDs don't use weights, but YBB does and daaaamn. For those that don't know, Yoga Booty Ballet uses different disciplines in one workout. Total Toning Basics for instance is a full body workout that alternates weight training, Yoga and Ballet in kind of a circuit training style. Advanced Fat Burning goes even crazier into that vein. Then it has it's own "Hip Hop Abs" DVD (not related to Shaun T's workouts, except they're produced by BeachBody) and Cardio Cabaret as the fat burning cardio part of the program. Damn.

Slim Series Cool it Off!
Ahhhh I love this DVD. It's my favorite workout DVD ever...ever! I've tried Cool it Off Express! and it's only half as good as the original. The first 5 minutes is very light warm up followed by 50 minutes of relaxing stretches combining light Yoga and stabilizing exercises. Despite it being a light workout, it's still very easy to get a sweat. No equipment is needed except a chair for an outer thigh exercise. I always feel happy and relaxed afterwards too, and I don't care what workout I'm doing, this DVD can go with it too.

Ballet for Dummies
You can snicker if you want, but this book, written by award-winning conductor Scott Speck and Prima Ballerina Evelyn Cisneros of the San Francisco Ballet is to me the epic for my ballet beginnerness! It talks about everything from clothes to wear, positions, centering yourself, barre work, French translations, choreography, The Art of Ballet Mime, etc, etc... I'm sure there are other good books out there that break down Ballet, but for an American novice, this is the one I'm going with.

Now, the reason I'm not going to any regular dance class are for reasons I've already mentioned: I'm 300+ lbs, I hate doing group exercise classes because of the cow feeling and of course I have no money. The resources I have, I've collected slowly over the last five years or so, and I figure I might as well use them.
I do see a light at the end of the tunnel, though, starting Fall Term I'll be getting financial aid to go back to school! When I finish my Associates Degree I'm transferring to my local University that has beginner ballet classes. By that time I'm hoping I'll have lost over 100 lbs.

Do you have any suggestions for books or dance workouts that you really like? Let me know! 

Side Note: I use the amazon.com images because they're royalty free and they look spiffy. Whether you want to actually buy the products I'm using is completely up to you.

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