2009, free from Lisa D.

This was the other video that my friend Lisa gave me around Christmastime.

First impression: On the DVD cover, Julianne Hough from Dancing with the Stars is wearing a bedazzled white halter top and a belt pretending to be shorts, similar to what Britney Spears wore that time she almost fell over at the 
MTV Awards. I’m glad Britney has gotten it together, because I was really rooting for her.

Second impression: The cover assures me that no partner is needed to “get a lean, toned dancer’s physique doing the Cha Cha, Jive, and Paso Doble.” I was a swing dancer for a few years so I figured I could pick up the steps okay.

I was wrong! There is a 12 minute “Bonus Track: one-on-one personal dance lesson with Julianne” and I did try to learn the steps. Oh, did I try. But when I attempted the 43 minute routine, it was like that unprepared understudy nightmare I used to have. Only this time I’m awake and it’s real aieeee!

Like most people, I can fake-it-till-I-make-it when learning choreography by sneaking peeks at the teacher’s feet. Every time I got lost while doing the Cardio Ballroom workout, and tried to look at Julianne Hough’s feet, the editor would cut from a wide shot to a close up of her tv-friendly torso, taunting, “Do you see how sculpted this blonde lady’s abs are? Well, your abs will never look like this because you are never, ever going to be able to figure out what foot she’s on. Neener.”

I will say that Julianne Hough does helpfully call out “left” and “right.” However, she is facing you, not standing with her back to you. So she means her right, not your right. The natural inclination is to mirror her, but if you listen to her instructions, you’re going the opposite way. It was so confusing and frustrating that I didn’t bother to finish the video. It’s no fun to learn ballroom dancing without a partner, anyway.

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