Dance to lose weight, not the high score

LOS ANGELES They have the luxury of one-on-one classes with their talented professional partners, but thanks to an exercise /*DVD*/, so can you.

The dancers and their celebrity partners make it look so easy every week on "/*Dancing With the Stars*/". And with the popular show bringing a resurgence of ballroom dancing, a new host of exercise dancing DVDs also arrives.

/*Mel B*/, /*Lisa Rinna*/ and dance pro /*Cheryl Burke*/ all have DVDs on the market. However, dance and fitness expert Tracey Mallett, who choreographed the "/*Dancing With the Stars: Latin Cardio Dance*/" DVD, says there is more to it than meets the eye.

"You have to be able to cue ahead of time. You need to tell the consumer out there what they're going to do next," said Mallett.

Cheryl Burke sought help from exercise instructors and choreographers. A big reason is because what is done in a performance often needs to be toned down for the general public.

Lisa Rinna's show partner Louis Van Amstel, who teaches class in L.A., also choreographed her DVD.

"Dancing is a great way not only to get in shape, but it's a fun way to move and lose those pounds," said Van Amstel.

And the cost of the DVDs won't weigh you down either. The average cost is $15, which is about the cost of one dance lesson.

"People that live in other states, they can buy the DVDs and pretty much get the same experience," said Van Amstel.

There are many DVDs to pick from. Mel B offers a basic fitness video that has no dancing, but the program is solid.

Rinna and Burke take you through ballroom moves like the Jump and Jive and Tango. Although they lack expertise when it comes to cueing, they are visually motivating in the way they move.

Burke's "/*Disco Abs*/" series literally offers a twist. It is dancing to tone up, rather doing traditional exercise.

Another benefit to the DVDs is you don't have to face the judges in the end.

"No one is watching you, no one is criticizing you. And if you make mistakes, that's OK," said Mallett.


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