Kirstie Alley and her partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy compete during the celebrity dance competition "Dancing with the Stars."
Adam Taylor, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Celebrities dance off the weight
- Article by: STEPHANIE CARY
- Torrance (Calif.) Daily Breeze
- May 18, 2012 - 10:23 AM
What do Kirstie Alley, Marie Osmond and Kelly Osbourne have in common?
The trio credit ABC's hit show "Dancing With the Stars" for kick-starting their incredible weight-loss journeys.
Celebrity after celebrity say they saw their bodies transform while appearing on the reality competition series.
And it's not just women. This season's Jaleel White is attributing his body transformation to the hard work he put in with his partner, Kym Johnson.
"I think he's lost about 12 pounds, or something like that," Johnson says. "I think it's more transforming his body really. He didn't have to lose weight or anything but he has definitely lost weight."
Though the pair were eliminated from the competition May 1, the audience can dance alongside Johnson with her newly released workout DVD "Dancing With the Stars: Cardio Dance for Weight Loss."
Johnson and fellow "Dancing With the Stars" pro Mark Ballas have put together dance routines in various styles to help the public accomplish the same weight-loss results as the show's participants.
It's the newest DVD in a series from the dance franchise that includes "Dance with Julianne: Cardio Ballroom" featuring Julianne Hough and "Latin Cardio Dance" featuring Cheryl Burke and Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
"I think everybody watches the show and sees all the celebrities transform their bodies and we just wanted to be able to have that for everybody at home to do," Johnson says. "And you're learning new dance moves at the same time you're getting in shape."
The new DVD features a warm-up that introduces the signature moves used throughout the workout.
There are three routines with dance styles including the samba, salsa and swing.
While dance in general is good for the entire body, the samba is especially good for your core, thighs and glutes; and swing -- which combines the jitterbug, Lindy Hop and the jive -- is a great leg workout.
"I think dance targets the whole body and you don't realize you're working out because you're focusing too much on learning the steps, so I think that's why it's such a good workout. And you're targeting your legs and really toning your whole body," Johnson says.
"Probably the jive is the most high-intensity dance of all of them just because you're really watching your legs and getting a really good heart rate because it's so fast, and there's a lot of twisting involved, which is really good for the midsection."
The moves taught can be seen on "Dancing With the Stars" every Monday night, but no partner is needed to complete the DVD.
And if anyone can teach the moves, it's Johnson.
The Australia native has won the coveted "DWTS" mirror ball trophy three times -- first in the Australian version and then in America's Season 9 with partner Donny Osmond and again in Season 12 with Hines Ward.
She began dancing at age 3 when she took classes for ballet, jazz and tap but didn't begin learning ballroom dance until she was 13.
Johnson said "Dancing With the Stars" has helped make dancing -- ballroom dancing in particular -- more popular.
"We are now seeing a lot of guys dancing and I think that's due to all the football players that come on the show and make it cool," she says. "It's definitely made ballroom dancing kind of cool again."
Johnson's fit body is not just due to dancing though. She says having a healthy diet and portion control are important as well, and though she doesn't have much time to do anything else while the show is airing, during her off time she enjoys Pilates and hiking.
Johnson has done three other DVDs for the franchise including "Cardio Dance," "Dance Off the Pounds" and "Dance Body Tone."
She says "Cardio Dance for Weight Loss" is different because there are new dance routines and they start out at a slower pace and work their way up to an advanced routine that includes the jive.
Johnson recommends people take it at their own pace, pausing and rewinding if they get lost, and work their way up to the more advanced routine.
But most of all, she said, she wants people to have fun while they do it.
"I've given it to a lot of my friends and they love it. They feel like they're actually dancing and getting a great workout at the same time but it's not tedious or boring like running on a treadmill," Johnson says.
"It's just really fun and you'll get a great workout. And you'll learn some fun dances at the same time."
And as for who may win the "Dancing With the Stars" title at the end of this season, she's not willing to place a bet on anyone.
"This season, especially, the dancing is amazing, so I think anyone that's left in the competition has a chance of taking the mirror ball trophy," Johnson says. "It's going to be a really close competition in that final."
© 2013 Star Tribune