Monday, January 10, 2011

Review-- The New York City Ballet Workout II

This is a review of the second workout DVD created by the New York City Ballet. Immediately, the second DVD proves better than the first. I can run this DVD on my computer without any issues. The intro is also much better, less trippy, and interviews the "ballet master" instead of the actress.

The menu is much more organized; no more exercises out of order. Plus, there's an added glossary for those new to ballet. The glossary is a list of ballet moves, each featuring a thirty-second clip and demonstrating the correct form for the chosen movement. Also added are some special features. These are "Special Exercise Programme" (this is where you create your own order for the workout from selected segments), "Quick Fix Target Practices" (additional exercises to hit target areas of your body), making of the video, and clips with the dancers speaking about dance. Also the music, again, can be changed to with or without narration, and there's a choice between contemporary and classical music. I still prefer the classical music, but the contemporary's not too bad.
 Immediately I noticed that the title cards before each exercise looked much more professionally animated. Before, they sort of looked like they were made on Windows Movie Maker or something. I didn't really mind since it wasn't a significant part of the workout, but it definitely shined up the edges in the second DVD.  I also noticed that most of the dancers from the first one have returned (I think there's one new male dancer), which is awesome since I really liked them before.

The intro also explains to mirror the dancers, but then sometimes, especially during the abdominal workout, it has you mimic the dancers instead of mirroring them again. Why the inconsistency? Oh well, it's really not that big of a deal since they've stated to mirror the dancers, and that's exactly what I do.

The into also explains the proper alignment for a neutral pelvis and bracing before beginning the exercises. Though there are still some errors in regards to narration, the narration no longer sounds like a Discovery channel documentary.
Talented dancers still lead us during the exercise.

The workout has some differences but follows a similar pattern. There's warm ups, then some brief floor work, quick floor stretches, abs, and then some floor ballet moves. I do have to say that I felt a better cardio from this DVD, though I prefer the ab workout form the first DVD. Still, both have a decent workout that has strong ballet roots.

Also, they improved the camera transition between instructors. This comes into play during abdominals. The camera will fade smoothly between male and female instructors.
The shoes are highlighted with light for the most part.
I enjoyed this effect. It was subtle, but nice. Also, they improved the location of the ab workout. The light comes from above, no longer from an angle. This highlights the feet a lot better than the first one. Though they still sometimes blend in, there's always just enough light to tell if they are pointing their foot or not.

 This DVD is much better than the first one. The sets are better, the narration is better, the workout still gets me pumped and keeps to its ballet roots. I really enjoy this DVD. The workout is about fifty minutes long again, just right for starting my day. I loved how they introduced us to bracing our abs and reminded us to do so throughout the exercise.

Workout: 9/10
Instructor: 9/10
Setting: 9/10
Camera: 9/10
Level: Beginner - Advance
Is it actually ballet? Yes!
Overall: 9/10

I love this DVD much better than the first. If you tried this DVD and still didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't recommend buying the first one at all. 

Click here to read my review for the New York City Ballet Workout I

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