Saturday, 8 January 2011

Strictly Diary: Week 1

Me ready for my first dose of Strictly Fit!
So the first full week of 2011 is nearly over, how has everybody's been so far? Mine has definitely been full of ups and downs, I have a feeling this is going to continue for a while yet, but luckily my New Year's Resolutions are still on track ... boom!

One of my resolutions, as mentioned in my last blog, is to start dancing again, and to kick start this I have been doing the Strictly Come Dancing: Strictly Fit DVD. OK, I admit, I have only done it once this week but I have no plans tonight and a whole day tomorrow to make up for it!

I had a sneak peek and tryout of the DVD before New Years (just so I knew what I was getting myself into) and I was very excited about getting this resolution underway - and I still am! I have noticed one slight problem with the DVD, but you'll find out about that a bit further down ...

As I mentioned, the DVD starts with a Warm-Up which stretches you, gets you moving and ready for the workout ahead, and is very easy to do! I loved doing this as it reminded me of the warm-ups we used to do when I danced years ago.

After this, the first section is the Paso Doble which is definitely my favourite so far. The dance is taught by Artem (Kara Tointon's partner in this year's Strictly) and he is a very good teacher. He teaches the steps slowly; footwork first and then he adds the arms, repeating each one several times until the steps are performed at double time. I could really feel my stomach, legs and arms working whilst doing this and I felt I kept up with the routine quite well considering it was my first proper attempt, although there was a step in the middle section and towards the end that left me slightly confused - I'm sure I'll pick it up next time!

Next up is Ola (who was teamed with Paul Daniels in the 2010 series) with the Cha-Cha-Cha. This is definitely faster paced, and unfortunately Ola does not take as much time to explain her movements like Artem does, which left me feeling a bit behind in some parts. This section introduces spins, some of which were very quick, so this dance definitely felt like more of a challenge - which is exactly what you need in an exercise video. Once you get into the spirit of things, and it is very easy to once you get your arms flying about, you can see why it is a very sexy, girly dance.

The Jive section is taught by all three professionals (Natalie is the third - she was teamed with Scott Maslen this year - lucky her!) First up is Natalie, then Ola followed by Artem. They each take turns to teach a section, which do seem very different at first but at the end of the routine it all comes together very well. My personal favourite was Artem (again!) as I found his Kick section fun and very easy - I just hope my neighbours didn't mind the banging?! There was one step, the 'toe - heel - swivel' as taught by Ola, that is very fast but again with practice it will all come together, I don't think the stitch I had helped!

The final routine is the Samba which again is very girly and fun - once you get the hang of the timing you definitely feel like you'll be able to let go and enjoy it. Natalie teaches this section and she definitely has the figure to keep you motivated! For me this is the hardest dance, particularly towards the end when there are lots of spins, turns and heel-toe steps!

Unfortunately, she also makes a whopping mistake! She teaches the first section which contains Cha-Cha Rolls, moves onto the second which was when I noticed that she repeats the move - at first I didn't think too much about it and assumed it was deliberate - but after learning the third section and putting the whole dance together, the Cha-Cha Rolls change - where did they go? I carried out the rest of the DVD anyway and rewound it afterwards to make sure I wasn't having another one of my blonde moments - and I wasn't! It's not a big deal, it doesn't affect the workout and the new move is not difficult to pick up yourself, it just put a slight downer on the workout for me. Once the Samba is over, it's time for the Cool Down; it definitely does its job of stretching you out and making you feel relaxed.

Overall I enjoyed doing this DVD, it doesn't feel like a workout but you can definitely feel it working your muscles, particularly if you put your all into it! I think it is going to be a great way for me to get back into dancing, and I am already looking for local dance classes to attend so I can show off my new moves!



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