Groov3 by Benjamin Allen DVD Review

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

groov3 dvd

As I've mentioned before, I'm pretty terrible at choreographed dance workouts, but that doesn't mean I don't hold out hope that I can someday master a set of steps. You might say my attempts are a bit like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football - I never give up hope, but I keep failing.

Such was again my experience with Groov3.

Don't get me wrong - I understand that my failures at dance workouts aren't a fair representation of the quality of the workout, just a clear indication that I should stick to interval training.

So with that understanding aside, here's what you need to know about the Groov3 DVD.

The Groov3 DVD

Led by Benjamin Allen, a celebrity choreographer and the developer of the Groov3 dance program, the Groov3 DVD ($17) is based off of the hour-long live dance classes held in studios around Los Angeles (and will soon be headquartered in Allen's new Beat Box Dance Studio).

The DVD includes five segments - three that slowly build the dance's choreography, one that puts the whole dance together at full-speed, and a final cool down segment.

It's important to note that Groov3 and the Groov3 DVD aren't touted specifically as a dance workout; rather, they're positioned as dance classes. While Allen encourages participants to work hard and work up a sweat, the focus is on learning the choreography and getting active while having fun. This is an important differentiation for two reasons: 

  1. They're not claiming you'll burn 900 calories in an hour or lose a certain amount of weight by participating - that, to me, makes the program more credible (I can't stand over-hyped claims!)
  1. The focus is on dance and choreography, not exercise in the strictest sense - in other words, enjoy it for what it is, not what it's not; if you want a tough workout, you might be disappointed, but if you want to experience a fun dance class, you'll enjoy yourself

The DVD Experience

  • Easy-to-learn choreography. Even though I'm not great at choreography, I found the movements introduced throughout the program to be easy to follow and pick up. Because the dance builds on itself, you keep repeating the moves, getting better at them with practice and experience.
  • Engaging instruction. Allen and his backup dancers were positive, fun and easy to like, and they did a great job of demonstrating the choreography. I appreciated that each eight-count was repeated several times at a slow speed before picking up the pace, and I also appreciated that Allen kept reminding me that "what you look like doesn't matter - just do you!" So when I got off beat or missed steps, I made an honest attempt to just keep on dancing.
  • Slower-paced workout. That said, I didn't feel like I got the world's best workout (which remember, isn't something they're claiming, so I can't really hold it against them!). I'm sure this was due in part to my difficulty picking up the steps (I wasn't breaking it down as hard as I could have if I knew the dance), but also because the nature of the class doesn't lend itself to a high-intensity routine. Learning choreography requires slower movements, so while you're staying active throughout Groov3, you're not going at full speed, which means ultimately you're not working as hard as you could during some workouts.

Who It's For

Allen says his DVD and Groov3 classes are geared to three types of people: Those who love to dance, those who want to learn how to dance, and those who are looking to break a sweat and have fun.

I'd say his assessment is pretty accurate.

Former dancers and dancer wanna-bes will appreciate the focus on choreography, and those who just want to have a dance party at home will enjoy the fun elements of the program. I'd even go as far as to say this DVD is positioned perfectly for the person who's looking to get active for the first time in years and doesn't want to head to the gym.

However, I don't think it's for those who want a tough, hard-hitting workout. This isn't a high-intensity exercise program - it's a dance class designed to help people get active and start dancing.

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