2012, $2.99, at Goodwill Superstore on San Fernando

First Impression: She twirled so fast, her other sleeve came off.

Second Impression: Always a gentleman, he’s helping her look for it.

These are dance routines inspired by the latest in the Step Up series, in which, a variety of disputes and social ills are solved with a series of dance battles.

The instructors, Bryan and Micki, are hot, ripped, and too cool for words.

They are also friendly and encouraging, so they’re basically the most popular counselors in camp, that everyone insisted was “like, their best friend.”

They teach us four routines in front of an amazing painting of a hilltop view, flanked by shipping containers:

Let’s start with Hip-Hop Jam. The first thing I notice about their teaching technique is that they don’t say “left” or “right” very often, keeping it simple for the directionally challenged like myself. 

The second thing I like is that they call out the knicknames for things as they teach the routine, because that is how non-dancers remember steps! Such as, “scoop, scoop… surprise! Then hula it down.”  You can really picture the moves, right?

Next up is Latin Hip-Hop Fusion. This routine, with Bryan as the solo instructor, is fun and easy to follow. 

I wish they gave the dance crew different outfits for each routine. Wait… are they wearing their own clothes? Maybe this is how they dress all the time? So much artfully layered indifference. Such glamourflage.

I want to refer back to a previous review I wrote about bias within the fitness industry, and how the darkest-skinned cast members are often placed in the back row. With this video, I was so happy to see not only a diverse cast, but that their positions are rotated so everyone gets their moment to shine:

We move on to Latin Groove, with Micki teaching. She’s in a slipdress but still wears her big ol’ stompy boots. The 90’s are back, and I’m not mad at it!

Wait, hold up. They’re supposed to be in Miami and this guy’s in a puffy down vest?

The final sequence is Hip-Hop, with both instructors. The choreography is heavy on the arm pumps, with a move called “The Muscleman.”

My favorite thing about this DVD, by far, is when Micki shows us some footwork, then realizes that she’s taught it to us wrong. She shrugs, saying, “I’m going to rewind that and teach you again,” and we relearn it, no problem.

They could have cut out her little flub, but they left it in the final edit. What a lesson. Admitting your mistake, fixing it, and moving on only makes you look cooler.

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