Sunday, February 27, 2011

Review: BodyAttack 70

I've suddenly realized that review writing is kinda hard!!! Especially when you review different choreography constantly. Eventually all the tracks start running together and your mind starts to spin! With that said, I've gotten some positive comments on my reviewing so I'll keep plugging away! Next up: BodyAttack 70.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the content below is my own personal opinion of the release. I welcome all feedback and acknowledge that everyone has personal tastes!

It's been almost 4 months since I've done this release in it's entirety. With that said, I remember most of the tracks pretty clearly and will try to give some thoughtful ideas about how I felt while teaching them.

In a word: Fun. Where BodyAttack 71 is a techno club, 70 is a little lighter, a little more "boogie" if you will. It's by no means BodyJam, but it definitely has a bit of a flair to it. When I attended the Q3 quarterly with Lisa, she mentioned that she intentionally had a bit of fun in celebration of this being the 70th release, and that most of the "fun" moments will not be typical of the new 3D Attack format (especially track 9 which we'll get to). In addition, the sports theme of the release is basketball, and they did a great job of integrating it throughout the class. The thing I probably love most about 70 is that you know they had fun doing it, and it really came across at the quarterly and on the DVD. Let's take a look at the track list:

  1. Feels Like A Prayer 2010 - So much fun!!! I love the energy of the song. It's fun, it's energetic, it's cheeky. Most people know and love Madonna... what's not to like? There's some innovation in this track where the "walk-it-up" moves from corner to corner. The choreography blocks build in the 3rd round where all the combinations get put together. It's well organized and a great way to start off the class.
  2. Bad Romance - I was really excited when I saw the track list for this release. I love me some Lady GaGa. However, honestly... I don't like this remix. I like the song, I like the choreography... I just don't like this particular remix of the song. For one thing, a lot of the original song plays off the rhythm, and this remix totally zaps that. The song sounds a bit too choppy to me. The innovation here is a modification of the step curl. You step one foot to the side, one foot to the front, put the back foot back down, and step the other foot back.... confusing enough? Basically one foot stays stationary, and the other alternates between stepping forward, and back into set. It's a fun modification and I like the creativity Lisa is utilizing.
  3. Me Against The Music - I guess I'm in the minority with this one as far as music is concerned... I really liked it! Granted, I've not heard the original song, and the complaints I heard were similar to what I just said about Bad Romance. Apparently this is a bad remix in a lot of people's eyes. In the world that is Chad's review, I liked it. AND... for the first time ever (as near as I can remember), there is NO Superman in this track! I'm not cheering as if that's the best thing ever, but it is absolutely big. In its place, we have a new move called the "Bow-Tie-Run". You run forward to one corner, run straight back, run to the other corner, and then back again. Eventually, this progresses where you "run and reach" to one corner, shuffle back, "run and reach" to the other, then jack back. I have to admit I was sad not to see Lisa do a Superman in person at the quarterly, but we had fun with this one! It's actually one of my favorite Aerobic tracks, and I love how different it is from "the formula".
  4. Music Is Moving - A basketball track with a jumping square pattern. I think the basketball theme was applied brilliantly here, although it's not my favorite song in the world. I personally think the track would've worked better had the plyo lunges been touch downs or single jumps instead. (*NOTE: I've now seen BodyAttack 72, and it includes plyo lunges. We haven't had a plyo track without lunges since 64... it's time!)
  5. Feel It - A fantastic track for working on core stability. You do a "jumping" plank if you will. Basically, you're in a plank, and then you jump your feet in, then back out, then walk them side to side. The song is a bit intense, but there's a lot of room to play on lyrics and I feel like it's appropriate considering the choreography.
  6. Take On Me - FUN!!! The first time we launched this at my club, I was so excited that I got assigned this track. What's awesome is everyone knows the song, but nobody knows what it is until about 20 seconds in when the main riff starts, and then they all cheer big. Plenty of opportunities for audience participation here! In the choreography notes Lisa says she'd been wanting to use this song for a long time. I'm really glad they did. Simple moves, fun and interactive... definitely a favorite of mine.
  7. Stamp On The Ground - The basketball theme continues! I was so happy when I heard the song... the prior few agility tracks hadn't been my favorite... but I loved this one! Moves that help you be quick on your feet, some step-pass drill moves, and some opportunities for side to side "defense" with the arms up. When we were at the quarterly, Lisa said to me "I wouldn't want to go up against you!" in reference to my 6'5-6'6 height! It was funny! I like this one!
  8. Battlefield - This was a case of me hating the song when I first heard it, and by the time we launched, it was one of my favorites! I think the choreography goes really well with the song, and you do shuffling in it which isn't typical of an Interval track. I think what I love so much about it is the building of the energy with each 4X8 count. It gets higher and higher until you explode into the run and reach. Plus, I just love shouting "I never meant to start a war!"
  9. Proud Mary - I can appreciate this for what it is. It was Lisa's way of saying "Happy 70, BodyAttack!" She takes a classic 70s song and makes a really fun, flamboyant, jiggy track 9. I actually think the track is really challenging... the rounds are long and there are plenty of jacks. However, it's not my favorite. It's a bit too happy for a track 9... I'm more of a Nowhere Fast kinda guy... where the song is a race, not a dance festival. Just my opinion. Lots of people like this, and I still teach it. It's just not my personal favorite. :)
  10. On And On - Since Down from 69 is arguably my favorite track 10, I was expecting to be really disappointed. Surprisingly, I really liked it! I think this is a case of BodyStep making a cameo in BodyAttack. As long as there's not a step involved, I have no problem with that (for those of you who don't know... I have size 14 shoes and am a klutz... as such, BodyStep is a medical hazard for me.) There are some step-jumps, which are actually fun and very challenging. I liked the choreography a lot... cool looking moves that you want to do correctly just because they look cool!
  11. Holiday - Another one where I hated the song at first, but it grew on me over time. There's a side plank-ab crunch move, and then you do butterfly crunches at the end. I have to say... 32 pulses at the end where you just want to rip the stereo and throw it through a window. But... that means the track is doing its job!
  12. State Of Mind - I must say Les Mills does an amazing job when it covers a song. They get really close to the original... capturing most of the same feel. As you know, I like a cooldown to deliver a particular message or feeling, and this isn't exactly it. With that said, it's not bad. Plenty of people love this song, so it's another chance to appeal to the top 40ers in the room.

Overall... this release does a really good job of integrating the basketball theme throughout the class. All of the innovations incorporated are moves you would drill as a basketball coach. In addition, there are some fun moments that help celebrate 70 releases, and the energy is pretty consistent throughout. It's not my favorite, but it's a good release that I will refer back to. Great job Lisa!

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