Socacize Exhilarating Caribbean Workout

Ayanna Lee-Rivears
Year Released: 2008

Categories: Abs/Core , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Lower Body Strength , Upper Body Strength

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Socacize is a 45 minute workout that includes about 20 minutes of hi/low aerobics, dance based upper and lower body strengthening, core strengthening and stretches set to Calypso, Soca, Zouk and Reggae music or drumming. The movements are based on Caribbean dance movements and include a lot of hip movements!

Here is a little about my background: I consider myself to be intermediate to sometimes lower advanced in regards to aerobic fitness. I very much enjoy a good dance workout especially if the moves are actual dance movements as opposed to some filler movements found in typical aerobic dance workouts. I have taken classes in a number of dance styles.

The workout begins with a “Chutney Bachannal Warm-up” which was a low impact dance warm-up that had me in my cardio zone before it finished. It used music that is described as a blend of Indian, Calypso and Soca rhythms. I have previous experience with a couple types of Indian dance and “Bellydance” and noticed similar movements to these styles are included. The instructor, Ayanna Lee-Rivears, does not break the movements down so it is a watch and follow along type of workout. She does cue well, she just does not explain the technique or movements in detail. This section includes a little “TIFTING” (Take it from the top—where you repeat movement sequences) but I did not find it bothersome or excessive. In fact, I wish there was even more TIFTing as the moves and sequences are quick.

The next section is the “Cardio Soca Jam” which is a dance based high and low impact aerobic workout. My heart was in my aerobic zone the entire time and the time flew by. The first two sections take about 20 minutes. There are some hops in this section but it would be easy to modify to be all low-impact if desired. This section is similar in intensity to the Zumba classes I have attended.

Next is “Wine and Tone” where you do creative upper and body toning to soca music. This section may be a good starting point for people who are unsure about the hip movements as the pace is slower and the movements explained more. This section ends with floor abdominal work that still includes wining and has challenging moves I have not seen before in other core workouts. The workout ends with “Groovy Stretch” which is a sometimes challenging but effective stretching workout.

What I liked:
*The music, environment and dancers all contributed to a fun, positive vibe.
*The entire workout felt like dancing to me even the strengthening sections.
*The workout flows well and uses the entire body.
*A list of the songs used is included.
*The dvd is well chaptered so you can choose to do only specific sections of the workout.
*There are many challenging and unusual exercises that feel very effective included in this workout that make it interesting.
*I thought this workout is fun!

What I didn’t like:
*Sometimes the camera angles were not helpful, for example a couple times when a new move was introduced the camera was focused on the upper body of a participant when it would have been more helpful to see a full body shot including the feet.
*There is a weird edit cut in the warm-up section where you do a combination on one side, start the next side and the video fades and then you are on another combination.
*I wish the cardio section were a little longer though my heart rate still is in the cardio range for part of the “Wine and Tone” section.
*I don't care for the claim that the workout can burn up to 1000 calories. According to the estimate on my heart rate monitor I was nowhere close to that even though I did get a good, sweaty workout. The may be someone who can burn 1000 calories but given that the cardio section is only about 20 minutes such a person would be rare.

In conclusion I found Socacize to be an exhilarating and fun but effective workout.

Instructor Comments:
Ayanna Lee-Rivears dances well and cues well. She seems very positive and cheerful without seeming overly perky. I look forward to seeing more from this instructor!