The cover of Darrin Henson's DVD describes him as "choreographer to the stars" for his work with familiar MTV faces like Britney Spears and *N Sync. As I popped in the DVD, I couldn't help thinking "and now he's going to be the choreographer to me!"
For the warm up, Darrin encouraged me through a few arm circles and push-ups. Then, slightly out of breath, I was ready to dance.
When he first started demonstrating Britney's moves from "(You Drive Me) Crazy" I was a little confused, but that's just because he doesn't teach like an aerobics instructor (they say "step left" and then move to your left, to make it easier to follow the moves). When Darrin says "step left" he steps to the audience's right. My brain and my eyes were in complete disagreement, which resulted in some bad dancing until I decided to ignore what he was saying and just follow the moves. Once I had that cleared up I was dancing in minutes. I didn't have it perfect, but I knew with a few repeat viewings I could get it down.
Next up, Darrin and his dancers showed off his MTV award-winning choreography from *N Sync's video "Bye Bye Bye." I'm not a big *N Sync fan, but after learning the dance steps from that video, I had an odd desire for a room that spins.
I was starting to feel like a pro until we got to the Jordan Knight video. When the first clip played, I thought my DVD player was somehow showing it on fast forward. The moves are faster and harder to follow than any of the *N Sync stuff. As someone who loved the New Kids like crazy back in Magic Summer '90, I am glad to see that Jordan can still outdance his boyband competition. Even if it meant I couldn't keep up.
The DVD also includes the tour choreography for *N Sync's "Digital Get Down" and ends with a demonstration of Darrin's special "street moves." One warning for potential buyers -- don't expect to learn every step of every video. Teaching non-dancers all of the moves in three music videos and a tour song would take a lot more than one DVD. Instead, Darrin focuses on one section from each song, but don't worry -- you'll have plenty to show off the next time your friends stop by.
I have watched other videos from choreographers who claim they can help you dance like a pop star, but I liked this one the best. Aside from the rockin' moves, Darrin just seems like a good guy. When you finish a tough move he says "Nice!" as if he knows you finally got it. And in between the dance sections, Darrin describes his style of choreography, urges viewers to work hard on their dreams, and suggests ways up-and-coming choreographers can show off their moves.
Another section of the DVD, probably intended to be self-promotional, takes viewers inside one of Darrin's dance seminars. But from what I could see, this puts you in a crowded room where herds of other wannabe pop stars block your view of Darrin. I think I'll stick with my DVD player. This way, I feel like I'm being personally instructed by Darrin, and that makes me feel more like a pop star than ever! -- Lisa Beebe