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The New York City Ballet Workout, Vol. 2
(Palm Pictures)

What is it?
An hour-long ballet workout for the layperson, meant to create tone, improve posture and enhance flexibility. Narrated by Peter Martins, Master in Chief of the New York City Ballet, and performed by four NYC Ballet Core dancers. There is also a 15-minute cardio ballet routine.
Who is it for?
Intermediate exercisers who appreciate the ballet's style, and the benefits a ballet workout can offer. You should have some dance experience (and if you've ever done ballet, all the better). Although this workout will make you more graceful, it really helps to have a certain amount of grace to start off.
What to expect:
If you liked the first New York City Ballet Workout, you will love Volume 2. If you hated Volume 1, do give this one a chance, since it fills in some of the gaps the first one had. For one thing, it's got a glossary, so if you have no idea what a fondu or a pas de Basque is, you can find out, and watch it being executed. Volume 2 is also more fast-paced than Volume 1, so it's a bit more challenging to do these moves with the correct form - and correct form is essential for these moves to do their job. If you breeze through this workout, then you are either already a ballet dancer or you are not adhering strictly enough to form. Just bracing the abdominals for the whole hour-long workout can be challenging. The toning segments focus mostly on the lower body and abdominals, although your arms and shoulders are kept busy (it isn't easy keeping your arms floating in the air for long periods of time!). There is both standing and floor work, and after the cool down, or reverence, there is a brief dance routine to get your heart rate up. Unless you are already a dancer, you will find the choreography rather difficult to master, but you can always "fake it 'til you make it" to work up a sweat (this is a workout after all, not an audition). Other plusses: if you've got the DVD, you can mix and match the segments, and there is an extra section with target moves for abs, shoulders and back, and thighs and buttocks. There are also two quick documentaries, one about the filming of the workout, and one profiling the four personable ballet dancers. And you can also switch from the classical soundtrack to contemporary music... but why would you want anything but the exquisite classical pieces to go with this ballet workout? The music and moves compliment each other elegantly, which is part of the appeal of this routine.

To Order The New York City Ballet Workout, Vol. 2 on DVD

To Order The New York City Ballet Workout, Vol. 2 on Video

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