2008, $2.99, at Goodwill on San Fernando in Glendale
First Impression: As the DVD case says, “NBC’s Dancing with the Stars continues to dazzle audiences as well as trim waistlines with the power of dance.”
Second Impression: Can someone please hire me to write exercise DVD copy? Please?
Normally I begin by telling you I clicked on the introduction and… there’s no introduction! I mean, I know the instructors are Cheryl and Maksim from Dancing with the Stars because I don’t live under a rock, but they don’t even take the time to say hello:
We start with the Merengue. Fun fact: I was on the Trivial Pursuit game show and won! At the end you have the option to bet your money double-or-nothing on one last question. I opted not to, and I’m glad, because the question was, “On what Caribbean island was the Merengue invented?” You know it’s a trick question! The Merengue was invented in the Dominican Republic, but they asked for the island. The Dominican Republic takes up half the island of Hispaniola (the other half being Haiti.) But the answer on the show was Dominican Republic, so the true correct answer would have been wrong anyway! I’m glad I knew when to walk away, as counseled by the sage wisdom of Kenny Rogers.
Cheryl doesn’t mention any of that. Instead, she shows us a few steps and then moves around the backup dancers to point out form. The dancers don’t have names.
“See her?” Cheryl asks us, in an ambivalent tone that does not reveal her true opinion. “See her?”
I’m guessing one of the “hers” is a Marilyn Monroe impersonator on the side:
Next is the Cha-Cha, taught by Maksim. While the girl dancers get pretty costumes to wear, the boys are in skintight ninja outfits. This one looks really unhappy about that:
“I can’t see you, but I think you’re doing fine,” Maksim tells me. Little does he know I’m taking frequent breaks to write snarky comments.
Of the Samba, Cheryl declares, “it will get your heart rate up and your body weight down.” Thank goodness, because apparently someone in my house sat down to eat some Chocolate Fudge Brownie Non Dairy Frozen Dessert, and expertly polished off the whole pint, and I’m pretty sure you could guess that somebody was me. Bring on the cardio, because mama’s full of sugar!
Cheryl teaches us a move called the Shimmy Whisk. This is fun! Even this guy is smiling!
Maksim teaches us the Mambo, “The King of all Latin Dances.” It features some spot turns that make me a little nauseated. “You’re almost a Mambo expert at this point,” Maksim assures me.