First Impression: “Think of it as yoga with a triple-espresso twist…

Second Impression: …or a double-chai high.”

I’ve always loved Bollywood style dancing and was excited to find this DVD. The workout is introduced by the stunning Hemalayaa, who occasionally will refer to herself in the third person. She tells us this workout will help “To let go of stress and let your ya-yas out.” She does playfully warn us that “these moves are addictive, so don’t blame Hemalayaa!”

She and her impossibly attractive backup dancers are dressed in sparkly sporty fashions: all yoga on the bottom, all sequins and bright colors on top. The fabric on the ladies’ tops looks itchy and not breathable, but that doesn’t matter. They are fabulous and having a great time! I want to wear a belt with jingly tassels too!

The choreography features lots of shoulder bouncing, crossed feet, and sassy facial expressions. We learn a Pitcher Step, a forward-and-back rotation while lifting up the bent knee and keeping the foot flexed. Next we’re jumping in a circle with our leg and arm up! Wow, this workout is bouncy. Hemalayaa read my mind, because we pause for a stretch break. This is how all fitness sessions should go!

Next, we learn a move where we jump and land with our feet crossed. I have to modify this one, because this exact same move in Urban Heat hurt my achilles tendons.

My favorite is the Grape-Squashing Move. This may be what you imagine when you think of Bollywood Dance. It’s a kick to the side with an up and down hip movement, accented by tilting folded arms.

Another classic is what Hemalayaa calls the Light Bulb Action: walking forward at a tilt, with an alternating twist in the wrist. It really does look like screwing in a light bulb.  Hemalayaa encourages us to put on a cheesy smile with this move, so I do!

While giving instructions in the voice-over, Hemalayaa will often laugh. This is such a joyful dance vocabulary, it’s no wonder.  Dear Santa, I want to find more delightful exercise DVDs like this one.

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