Monthly Archives: August 2015

VICTORIA JOHNSON: CARDIO DANCE JAM

CardioDanceJam

2005, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: It looks like she’s joyfully leaping away from an explosion. I want to do that!

Second Impression: It says it has easy to learn, fun choreography. We’ll see…

The DVD case says this was released in 2005, but it was seemingly produced much earlier and transferred from a VHS format. The faded title card, “Technofunk Jamm,” is a magic portal to a long-forgotten era of analog technology.

I am transported back to a time when white Reeboks with scrunchy socks were hot, and stretching meant bouncing. One of the backup dancers is styled like the “Addicted to Love” video girls, with gelled-back short hair. Another wears a leotard with a Madonna-chic white bustier and thong layered on top.

They keep cutting to the blonde backup dancer with deep red matte lipstick, who sparkle-smiles like a dance team captain at regionals. She’s fascinating because I have never seen such a graceless, dangerous demonstration of aerobics. Her dance moves are executed with the reckless abandon of Phoebe Buffay going for a jog in Central Park.

Victoria Johnson, with her wide-apart eyes and soft waves of hair, is the fitness industry’s answer to Oprah Winfrey. She dispenses generic, if heartfelt, life advice as she leads us through a series of warmup lunges. “If you believe it, you can achieve it! You gotta really believe it deep, in here!” (points to sternum). “You gotta have a roadmap to get to your destination!”

Towards the end of the dance routine, she messes up and goes the wrong way, while her dancers all do the routine as planned. There’s a big “Whoa!” and a big laugh and then Victoria Johnson flips that right around and says that “There are no mistakes, there’s just opportunities to be special.” Well played, Victoria Johnson.

And the dance routine is actually easy enough for me to follow! What helps is that she stays on the basic step for a long time, so I can really study it, before adding on the flair. My one quibble is that there’s part of the choreography that is not symmetrical, so my left butt cheek got worked out in a way that my right one did not. I suppose if I walk around with uneven butt cheeks, it will be my opportunity to be special.

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