What do you get when you cross two left feet, a medium sized lounge and a home workout DVD? Katie Scott finds out
Let’s get one thing straight – dancing is not my strong suit. Although I successfully attended dance lessons as a youngster, puberty messed up my moves and left me with two left feet and wiggle that gets braver with wine. My lack of co-ordination has also transposed into dance fitness scenarios, making me awkward and self-conscious in group exercise situations, such as Zumba and Clubbercise, which often just leave me feeling cold. Sorry guys, but it’s just not my thing.
However, after talking to SOSA Dance Fitness founder Katy Barrow, I was induced to try her brand new home workout DVD, where I could practice classic dance steps from popular Latin and salsa styles in the comfort – and seclusion – of my own front room.
First things first, what is SOSA Dance Fitness? It’s a low impact, cardio based dance workout, specifically geared towards women who want to try professional Latin, ballroom and salsa styles but who don’t have a dance partner to whizz around the floor with. Katy herself used to be a choreographer and is traditionally trained, so needless to say, she knows her stuff when it comes to both composing routines as well as strutting her stuff on the dance floor. Put simply, she has the moves.
I consider myself rather au fait when it comes to home workout DVDs as I have quite a stash, so I was looking forward to seeing how SOSA’s would compare. Firstly, I liked the structure of the content. There are nine dance tracks included, all set to singalong tunes such as Uptown Funk and Candyman, with a warm up and cool down track at the beginning and end. The DVD takes about an hour end to end, however you could do just a couple of the tracks if you had less time available, so you can tailor it to your wants and needs, which is super handy.
The way the tracks are presented is useful too. Each section starts with Katy explaining the dance style that is going to be used. Then, she talks you through each of the steps used in the routine, demonstrating them slowly and clearly for you to copy at home. Once you’ve had this practice, the music is then turned on and you speed up the tempo, delivering the routine in its normal pace.
By presenting SOSA in this way, I think Katy has made the workout really accessible. I would feel like a right nugget performing voltas across a dance studio, or cha cha cha-ing in group exercise, however in the safety of my lounge, I could work up a sweat and my confidence in private, practising the moves to my heart’s content and not fearing about getting anything wrong. I also liked the fact that all of the routines are based in professional dance, rather than dance fitness adaptations. I feel like I am learning a new skill as well as burning calories, as Katy teaches you different dance steps and their names, explaining what routines they are traditionally used in and also how to link moves or what arm movements work best with which steps. I also found this a mental workout, as I concentrated on how speeding up the routine between the practise and then putting the steps to music!
Katy herself is incredibly likeable, down to earth and presents the sessions with an infectious energy and enthusiasm that helps to sweep you along whether you know what your feet are doing or not. I really enjoyed this full body, cardio-centric workout DVD and although I may not be wondering into the realms of dance fitness any time soon, I certainly think I’ll be waltzing around my living room again in the near future!