Given that the New York City Ballet post randomly landed on September 11th I thought it prudent to mention that if anything this is meant to honor those who lost their lives and loved ones that day so many years ago.
I've owned this DVD for a while, and always enjoy doing it. I love how gain an increased sense of your rotation (turn out) and alignment. There is a fluid quality to a lot of the movements that make you feel like you are in a modified ballet class. I was first introduced through conversation a few years ago to the series and I was intrigued but thought it beyond my skillset. However, I think that anyone could pick it up given that they have basic dance or particularly ballet experience. You will be able to work on your strength, core, flexibility, as well as your turn-out. The additional benefit on top of all those listed above is an increase in body-awareness; which is so good for everyone!
The DVD has a caption at the base of the front cover that says "Stretches and Exercises Anyone Can Do for a Strong, Graceful and Sculpted Body." I agree whole-heartedly with this statement. It truly will sculpt your muscles and make you feel like a dancer even if you aren't one! The dancers that demonstrate the entire workout are evidence of this. Their bodies are beautifully sculpted, strong and limber. Everything you need to be functional and more!
All of the exercises are done to classical music (also an option for contemporary music on the main menu!), demonstrated by dancers, and narrated/instructed by Peter Martins.
What's included on this DVD:
- Section 1 -Warm Up One (3 min.): You begin working in parallel and then turnout, using the arms separately and with the movement. I love this warm up! I always feel my stiffness go away by the end of the 3 minutes!
- Section 2-Warm Up Two (1 min. 30 sec.): Two ballerinas take you through a balancé sequence that moves side to side and slightly forwards and backwards. arms are used, and some parallel is employed in addition to the turn-out.
Section 3-Warm Up Three (1 min. 40 sec.): two danseurs (male dancers) take you through a sequence, that is very similar to Warm Up Two.
- Section 5-Abdominals & Leg Darts (4 min.): just like it sounds, you are doing core work involving crunches, and rotating crunches including bicycle crunches. Just the right amount to get you sweating if you aren't already. Demonstrated by one of the men.
- Section 12-Passe (2 min.): a simple exercise to increase balance, as well as precision in the passe movement (lifting one leg to the knee then passing it to the back of the knee before lowering the foot in turned out position.). There are some lovely variations including a plie.
- Section 9-Plies (4 min.): Plies are an essential part of a ballet barre warm up. When bending the knees make sure that your knees are tracking over the toes and not in front of or behind them (this will protect your knees). Also keeping your butt tucked and abdominals lifted will help you engage the correct muscles.
- Section 13-Front Attitude (3 min.): This is a great exercise to work on your attitude devant/derriere (bent leg in front/back). You also work on some basic rond de jambe (circular movements of the leg).
- Section 14-Grand Battement Front (2 min.): The grand battement is a essentially a kick. This is a simple exercise that is great for your propioception and balance. Remember to keep the shoulders down and not to tense up, this will help you keep your alignment and your muscles available to stretch.
- Section 15-Arabesque Raises (1 min. 30 sec.): An arabesque is lifting your leg directly behind you. be sure to keep your pelvis aligned and spine lengthened in order to protect your back (much like back bends in yoga).
Sports Options: This includes options for football, skiing, and racquet sports. I haven't ever used this selection but from what I can tell they have taken the segments of the warm up that are helpful in conditioning for the above listed sports. (This might also be fun for my husband to try the football selection)
Exercises: This selection on the menu takes you to each of the exercises that are used in the workout but listed by section #. If you are familiar with the workout then this would be a great place to go to select the exercises you specifically want to practice. The awesome part about this is that there are exercises that weren't included in the workout that you can add to your workout! I am such a sucker for customizable workouts!
If you are interested in purchasing this DVD see the below link to Amazon.com:
If you are also interested in workout II of the series, I will be reviewing it at a future date, but I also enjoy that one.
Happy Training! à bientôt!