Sunday, 13 October 2013

CD:UK – Dance Workout


CD:UK was a television chart show which was presented by, amongst others, Cat Deeley, Holly Willoughby, Myleene Klass, Lauren Laverne and  Ant ‘n’ Dec.

None of these people are in any way featured on, mentioned during or presumably aware of this spin-off Dance Fitness DVD.


Completely unrelated.

The DVD is fronted by Andy Instone and his tiny tribes of “CD:UK Girls” and “CD:UK Boys”. The only link it seems to have the TV programme whose logo is splashed throughout is that it is “set in the CD:UK studio”.

Even assuming that the Producers of CD:UK were aware that they were using it – and that they didn’t just sneak in one Saturday afternoon after filming had stopped – that’s not a very exciting claim to fame.


The real celebrity is behind the dancers.

The credits reveal that it was shot at Riverside Studios which is one of the most frequently employed TV studios in the country. They shoot tons of stuff there. CD:UK isn’t even a big enough deal to get a mention on their website.


With slightly different set-dressing this entire workout could have been just as legitimately marketed as the “Apprentice: You’re Fired – Dance Workout.”

The DVD is split into two dances and there’s a routine and a performance for each one.  The routine is where Andy explains the moves and the performance is where we put it all together.


Andy gives it to us straight.

As Andy says in his introduction: “Many people nowadays spend a lot of time watching TV, playing video games and listening to music”

Woah, Andy, where are you going with this? Surely CD:UK is guilty of encouraging two of those three things you just mentioned?

Luckily our man goes on to say “There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s all good and we all do it” before pointing out that there isn’t a lot of exercise involved in those activities and letting us know that the DVD will enable us to “warm up, learn some fierce dance steps and take part in some fantastic choreographed dances.”


Fierce Dance Moves.

The dancers demonstrate everything in “slow motion” first. Their slow motion just looks like normal speed to me, to be honest. After that everything goes a bit crazy and the routine becomes a blur of gyrating body-popping danciness.


In addition to the routines, there are a handful of uninspiring extras – behind the scenes recordings, that sort of thing. Thankfully no stupid diet plan for once. That’s not all we get though. Oh, no. As it says on the DVD Box – “Find the hidden ‘Easter Egg’ to reveal an exclusive extra feature!”

Dude, seriously? You throw together a dance CD:UK cashing in on a programme which had already stopped broadcasting by the time that this was released and now you expect me to spend my own time looking for an extra hidden somewhere on the DVD? Do you really think I am going to do that?

Well of course, I am. Obviously. I will go to any lengths it seems to give you people the information you need. I had to actually look for it myself, as well. You’d be surprised to learn – as I was by about my eighteenth Google search - that the internet is not crammed full of people asking how to find the CD:UK Dance Workout Easter Egg. Or people providing the solution, for that matter.


Fear not people, the story has a happy ending. Your hero did manage to unlock the hidden secrets of the Dance Workout DVD.

Now I know a great many of you will to discover the magic for yourselves, so anybody who doesn’t want to know the result, for the love of God, look away now!

SPOILER ALERT *** SPOILER ALERT *** SPOILER ALERT

Right, listen carefully. You get to the Easter Egg by going to the main menu, highlighting ‘Pick a Section’ and then clicking the left button. The screen will then flash a message saying “Found Easter Egg!!!!” and your shrivelled little heart will swell with wonder.
The happiest moment of my life so far.

The exclusive extra feature is... wait a minute, actually. Before we get to that, what does the fuck does ‘exclusive’ mean in this context? Exclusive as it only features on this DVD? Much like all the rest of the routines and extras on this DVD then? I suspect there’s a fine line between ‘exclusive’ and ‘shit no-one else cares about’.

Anyway, it’s just the gang looking very sweaty doing one of the dance routines in double time. So that’s that.

*** END OF SPOILERS FOR CRAPPY ARSE FITNESS DVD ***

Best Bit
While the DVD might not have a great deal to recommend by way of fitness instruction, the young people involved are all pretty good dancers. The main presenter, Andy Instone seems a pretty cool guy when you read up on him. He is committed to breaking down any preconceptions boys might have about dancing not being a masculine activity. He runs workshops and community projects and has even taught dancing to young offenders in prisons.

Hey bro, you don’t have to convince me of the manliness of dancing. I’ve seen “You got served.”

Worst Bit
You know what else the television programme CD:UK was famous for apart from Cat Deeley and Ant ‘n’ Dec? Featuring lots of music. It was a chart show which included a rundown of the top 20 so all the music featured was the really popular mainstream stuff. Stuff you would recognise if I came on your car radio. Stuff you’d remember the words to whether you particularly wanted to or not.

The makers of the Dance Workout DVD have decided to honour this fine music tradition by not including any recognisable tunes whatsoever and instead plumping for the sort of cheap-ass commissioned plinky-plonky soundtrack where you don’t have to acknowledge anyone in the end credits.

Although, in this case, it sounds less like someone randomly throwing golf balls at a Casio Keyboard and more like the thumping bass beats you would hear through your ceiling if your upstairs neighbour had his stereo on a bit too loud.

None of these songs featured on the Workout. Guaranteed.

Difficulty Level
“If you get lost or we go too fast just go back to the slow motion part until you’ve nailed it” says Andy. Who then goes on to say “when we do any mad stuff or transformations to liven things up, don’t worry about copying – just do what you can”. I may have decided to interpret most of the DVD as ‘mad stuff’ because it really was very fast, very complicated and very much the sort of thing that is probably best attempted by professional dancers.


Mad stuff. Possibly.

Would I do this Workout Again?
Well Andy seems to want me to. He seems adamant that if I watch  the DVD enough times rewinding to re-watch the instruction-y bits then sooner or later I will get the hang of it.

I can’t share his optimism I’m afraid. Even if followed his advice, it would take years. And I would still be rubbish at the end of it.

I will leave this sort of thing to the kind of super-cool young people who take place in Andy Instone’s Urban Strides dance classes.

3 comments:

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