When you go dancing at the club, do you really feel like you’re dancing? You know… doing more than just the Left-to-Right Shuffle? My mom used to say that she would work out hard just by dancing at the local clubs when she was younger, and she’s not the only one. Swing… Go-Go… Disco… Love ‘em or hate ‘em, the dance styles of yesteryear made you move and groove, and seemed way more fun than what’s commonly done at nightclubs today.
I’ve been watching a lot of Austin Powers lately, and the 60’s looked like they would have been a hoot to be a part of. Colourful and energetic, how could you NOT have fun? And I personally don’t see a lot of things promoting gyms and heavy, nasty workouts from that era. You all know how I feel about finding things to move your body that you already have to do, or doing something that is so fun to YOU, you don’t even realize how hard you’re working out. If you feel the same way, and are looking for how you can keep fit while imagining you are perfoming “Go, Go, Go Joseph” with Donny Osmond, look no further than the Go-Go Dance Workout.
Dubbed the Italian Stallionette, Brooklyn’s Angie Pontani is the perfect one to lead this phenomenal 30-minute workout and reference guide. Her smile is electric and contagious, and she brings such a lighthearted, sexy feel to the World Dance New York line-up. And doesn’t she make you wonder what Tracy Turnblad from Hairspray would look like all grown up? 😉
The DVD is broken up into six main segments: a Welcome trailer, a Warmup, Cardio Go-Go, the Go-Go Box, a Cooldown, and the Go-Go Encyclopedia.
If you want a chance to practice the moves at a much slower pace, try the Go-Go Encyclopedia first, even though it is technically at the end of the DVD. This is also a helpful section if you want to focus a bit more on technique, and build up your repertoire of actual 60’s moves. You’re not under the pressure of having to keep up with the music in this segment, and it allows you to see the movements more clearly.
When you’re ready to workout, you can start with the Warmup and prep your neck, core, and lower body. Though not as long as other warmups, who can deny how fun it is to pretend you’re a washing machine, or to “stretch out your claws” as you get ready to dance? 😉
Next, you’ll find the Cardio Go-Go segment. This is a routine based on the “DiPinto Twist” by Los Straitjackets, and the dance created for the song. Each Twist and Shimmy makes you realize how wonderful it feels to move your chest and your hips, and you can make the Ponies, Holly Gollies, Pop-and-Shoots, Marionettes, and other moves as intense as you like. Just doing a proper Pony causes your obliques to twist without having to do a single oblique crunch. Now isn’t that awesome? But of course, my favorite moves in this segment are the shakes and shimmies; nothing makes you feel more Felicity Shagwell or Charo when you’re shaking everything you’ve got.
After that, the pace slows down a bit, but picks up right away as you Grapevine from the Freddie to the Ann-Margret in the Go-Go Box. It’s a great way to actually feel like you’re dancing at a club, since it’s not really repetitive compared to most workout routines. You do the West Side Story twice in a row, but that’s it. You’re still working out hard, but you’re transitioning towards the Cooldown in a safe way, and giving Batman a run for his money if you know what I mean.
Lastly, you enter the Cooldown. I like the stretches and movements Angie chose for this piece, and I find they do relieve the tension I’ve built up in my torso and legs throughout the workout. And just like in the Warmup, who doesn’t enjoy hearing the familiar strains of “There She Is: Miss America”? 😉
I’d be lying if I said that Angie’s outfits weren’t one of my favorite parts of this DVD. They’re gorgeous, flirty, and allow for a full range of movement. And fringe is such a magical treat to watch and dance in, isn’t it?
You know how I highlighted Esther Williams’s swimsuit collection back in the day? One of Angie’s outfits IS one! So really, now there is no excuse for any of us not to feel sexy when we work out. Just throw on your favorite swimsuit, and a belt for a pop of colour. Or no belt at all! As long as the suit is supporting your upper half and not digging in uncomfortably, you’re good to go! And the boots… Good gosh, if I could find those same go-go boots, I would be a happy woman. Although I don’t recommend trying these moves in go-go boots unless you are on a stable flat surface (and have the dance skills to not hurt yourself), they certainly give a dazzling workout for the eyes while you dance.
One thing I will say about this DVD is that sometimes you can hear someone calling out the names of the moves from off-camera. This is particularly noticeable during the Go-Go Encyclopedia segment when there is no music to cover it. I have noticed this kind of thing happen with World Dance New York DVDs from earlier years, but I don’t think it really detracts from how fun and informative this DVD is.
To learn more about Angie and see more of her work, please visit www.angiepontani.com. Please note that she is both a pin-up model and a burlesque performer, so viewer discretion is advised if you are not comfortable with this kind of imagery.
For more modern go-go steps that you can use to bring out your inner sex kitten at the nightclub, check out her other DVD, Go-Go Dance with Angie Pontani. Both DVDs are available through Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, and the World Dance New York store. You can also access them digitally through World Dance New York’s instant video streaming service.
Always with love,
The Canuck Pin-up
P.S. Please consult with your doctor before you start any exercise program. Your health is most important, even though I’m sure you will look fabulous doing this workout. 🙂