2003, $3.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: What does this remind me of?

Second Impression: I know! It’s the stripper version of the “We Can Do It” poster!

This is the first DVD in Carmen Electra’s five-DVD stripper tutorial set, and yes, I’m reviewing them out of order. Because Rosie the Riveter taught me that I can do it!

There are three routines on this DVD. Each routine has a teaching track and then a performance track with music. I have to say, Carmen Electra excels at breaking down moves into counts of eight and explaining them. If she had stayed on her original career path as a theme park dancer and then moved into teaching/choreographing, she would have been very successful. But being famous is nice, too.

Carmen and her backup dancers are costumed in pastel shades of yellow, pink, and lavender, and as they demonstrate how to hip-bump and body-roll, they look, for all the world, like a trio of sexy Marshmallow Peeps. They wear Chuck Taylors, knee socks, and pigtails. Carmen has an adorable gold charm shaped like a roller skate around her neck. All this gives the aerobic striptease routine kind of a pre-teen feel, which I find questionable. But I think your Uncle Lou, who hugs everyone for way too long, is pretty much on board with it.

At one point in the third routine, Carmen instructs us to plant our feet wide and stick a finger in our mouths. She assures us that if we commit, the finger in the mouth move is “very effective.” However, my informal, unscientific poll of gentlemen demonstrates that they are not persuaded in any particular way by observing a lady’s finger placed coyly in her mouth.

Things get difficult when you’re supposed to get down on the floor, slide down so you’re propped up on your elbows, stick your legs straight up into the air, and then wave them around. It hurts my elbows and the bony part of my low back when they come in contact with my hardwood floor. Now, I know a real stripper would do this routine six times a night on a sticky, splintery stage that reeks of beer and lowered expectations. So I should probably stop complaining and be thankful that none of the dollar bills in my wallet have ever been tucked inside my waistband.

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