Darrin's Dance Grooves, Vol. 2In 2002, the original Darrin’s Dance Grooves sold over 3 million copies, won the Billboard Award for Best Selling Health and Fitness Video and was named “the biggest selling television advertised product in 2002.” With numbers and accolades like that, it was only a matter of time before Darrin graced the public with a second volume. In a summer box office filled with sequels and trilogies, Americans are used to getting a second (or even third) helping of the things they enjoy. On June 12th, fans of Darrin Henson will get a second helping of dance instruction from their favorite “choreographer to the stars”.

Darrin’s Dance Grooves 2 showcases the spirited choreographer’s unique style of fitness/dance. Like most fitness videos, it starts out with a brief warm-up, Darrin reminding viewers to always stretch before doing any exercise, even dancing.  As Darrin slowly walks the viewer through each move, often repeating each step several times and offering words of encouragement, even beginners are able to follow along. But this video is not just for beginners. As the DVD progresses, the dances slowly get more complicated and physically demanding, ensuring that even seasoned dancers will find something useful here.

Darrin’s positive reinforcement and upbeat attitude helps keep viewers from getting down on themselves if they can’t pick the moves up right away. Although Darrin is the leader in this video, he doesn’t let his ego overshadow the rest of the talent here. He’s also brought in two new teams of choreographers: the Spellman Sisters, who lead an all-female dance, and Adesola and Antoine, who lead an all-male dance. Each of their dances is a little bit more difficult than the first one led by Darrin. Darrin even takes the time to let each of the background dancers in his video introduce themselves and say where they’re from. 

Although the DVD case advertises five new dance sequences, there are really only four here. Darrin leads two, and the aforementioned choreographer teams each lead one. At the end Darrin does a bit of a showcase in a segment called Poppin’. If anyone had any question up to this point about Darrin’s abilities, they need only fast forward to the last few minutes of the disc and watch as Darrin blows your mind with impossibly smooth robotic moves. He’s clearly the best in the business, but instead of looking down on the rest of us, he’s glad to share his knowledge. (I’m sure it doesn’t exactly hurt him financially either). The DVD also includes information about getting headshots and making a resume, but there are many better resources for that information, although the tips presented here will set people on the right track if they have no idea where to start. 

Clocking in at just over an hour, Darrin’s Dance Grooves 2 offers enough of a workout for most dancers, and can hopefully teach everyone something they didn’t know, or at least make them feel more confident in their dancing ability. The production value of the video itself is pretty typical of most fitness videos, a big empty studio with several camera angles running at once and edited together later. Here, the format works perfectly in this no-frills dance class. The first volume was clearly a huge success, and by keeping his instructions beginner-friendly while still maintaining a high level of quality and intensity in his routines, Darrin seems destined to repeat his success with this second volume.

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