Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Come on, everybody, LET'S MOUSERCIZE!!!

I had com-plete-ly forgotten about this show until a friend sent me a reminder, via this delectable Retronaut roundup of early '80s fitness LPs. (Thank you, Darren!) I remember seeing the odd occasional promo for the half-hour kids' fitness show on the Disney Channel, but it only aired at an hour that was ungodly for me even at age 7, like 6 a.m. or something. Maybe Disney execs figured the most hyper kids would be awake then? Beats me.

Anyway, I don't think I ever caught more than the last 5 minutes of "Mousercize," but it intrigued me even then. Working out with Mickey Mouse? Would the exercises be mouse-like in any real way? Would they be based on scenes from Disney films? Perhaps some housecleaning-type action like Snow White during "Whistle While You Work"? Or maybe some waltzing like Sleeping Beauty during "Once Upon a Dream"? Or some light parkour a la the opening number in Aladdin? These were the secrets The Disney Channel kept for the 6 a.m. hour, it seemed.

Before we move on, can we just get an Amen for this hostess lady's workoutfit? Because seriously.


So apparently Mickey and Minnie make an appearance during the earliest part of the warm-up, figurehead-like, and then check out when the real work starts. Whatever, they're old. 

The warm-up includes mousey activities like "looking for cheese" and "finding some cheese" and "nibbling on the cheese." The presenter lady (I just Wiki'd her name: It's Kellyn Plasschaert) has a tendency to shout, but maybe some kids like that? I don't think this girl appreciated it:

After the warm-up come the JAMS, the first of which starts off like a rip-off of Toni Basil's "Mickey," which would have been appropriate enough, but I guess early Disney Channel couldn't spring for the rights, so they rehashed it into a Mousercize song. Kellyn takes the kids through moves like the Pony, the Twist and whatever it's called when you act like you're swimming while holding your nose -- all stuff any wee sugar addict would love early in the morning. 

Then, Donald Duck stops by to show all the young ones that, as the song says, "Ducks Dance Too." And how! It's pretty freaking amazing. Apparently, ducks dance something very similar to The Freddie from Troop Beverly Hills. The Freddie! Forgot about that, too.

It all gets sillier and more frantic, almost frighteningly so when Donald lays down a legit quack attack at the height of his number. But hey, no one said getting kids' willies out was easy or soothing.

I do object to this lady tryna get kids to do crunches. Kids do plenty of crunches all by theyselves without realizing it. Try to get them to think about it, and they'll do just like the poor girl in the purple leotard who jerks her neck up with her hands in a most unsafe manner. Don't project your core-strengthening issues onto innocent children, Kellyn!

At the end, we get to see a little skit where Goofy attempts, as he always does, to go swimming. Poor Goofy. Always getting bottom billing and bad jokes. (Towel boy to Goofy: "Goofy, I'm throwin' in the towel.")

I'm so happy to finally get to see an entire episode of "Mousercize." Maybe I'll go totally full circle, don my most '80s-looking leotard and some pigtails and actually, sincerely Mousercize. You can be damn sure I'ma do the Freddie. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Insert Burning Man joke here.

Aren't trance states weird and creepy and awesome? I think so. But that doesn't mean I'm totally sold on this video, "Yoga Trance Dance." I'm not about to tell anyone to not get all free n shit in their dance exercise, but there's something odd about a video that asks you to watch people dance like nobody's watching while you yourself dance like nobody's watching, amirite? Perhaps that's why the audiobook version seems to be a bigger seller. Anyway, blah blah hippies blah blah acid trip blah. Here's a GIF of some fun-loving folks just trying to get their spiritual groove on:

trance dance

They're lovin it! And the music's not, like, offensive, unless you categorically hate worldbeat fusion stuff. Hell, I hate that I just typed "worldbeat fusion stuff," but I also purchased and loved and eventually lost and still sometimes think about this Afro Celt Sound System album. When it works, it works.

So yeah, if this particular tribe doesn't make you wanna be part of their world, that's understandable. But as the exquisite and often terrifying choreographer Pina Bausch illustrated through her entire career, it's that life is a kind of trance state in and of itself, so you may as well tune into your body unfettered by the burden of self-consciousness once in a while. You may be surprised by what comes out. 

(Also, go see the new film about Bausch, called "Pina." It's in 3D, it's astounding, and it'll make you dance with your eyes closed.) Happy weekend!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

"When in doubt, strut it out."

Time to practice more GIFs! And what better way to do so than with my favorite over-the-top gay fairy godmother, Gareth Walker of Ministry of Sound fame.

Let me tell you a bit about Gareth. He appears in only a couple Ministry of Sound* titles, but he's been the choreographer for all or almost all of them. He is a fag hag's dream, or at least that's the persona he smartly adopts for his MOS workouts, which are largely targeted toward the 18-35 club girl set. His early titles, like "Pump It Up Dancemix," are totally ridiculous in their non-functional short skirt insistence on SEXINESS AT ALL TIMES!!! and a lot of the choreography is just a jumble of hair flips, chest pumps and hip wiggles. Sometimes I don't feel interested in playing his game at all, but sometimes it makes me feel fun and free in a delusionoid-pyscho-girl way. Here's a gif (GIF? does it have to be capitalized? i wanna look correct.) to illustrate my feelings on this subject:

Gareth hair flip

"When in doubt, strut it out." This applies to MOS workouts as well as life. Gareth speaks the language of the nubile, glitter-lotioned party girl, and all his choreography is presented through the lens of her holy temple, The Club. Dance moves are based around club rituals, which Gareth illustrates with instructions like these:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Paint the world with love tomorrow

Do you want some live, not-in-person face time with our favorite Bollywood-ish cornball bombshell Hemalayaa? (She was the star of the monumentally important, culturally paramount VERY FIRST World of Sass post, so...) Well I just learned from her Twitter that she'll be teaching an online class tomorrow for Learn It Live.

The class is a "fusion of Vinyasa flow yoga and Bollywood dance." Sounds interesting. If I was able to leave my cage desk during the work day, I'd give it whirl and feel all 21st century and shit. What a crazy world we live in, taking fusion fitness classes over the information superhighway!

 It's $6, starting at 12pm eastern. For more details or to register, go here.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Born to Meme: the Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship

Thank you, fitness gods, for the Crystal Light National Aerobic Championship. So guileless. So earnest. So ridiculously pumped up. Aerobics championship videos are this blog's own private cornucopia. They're a wellspring of content for times (like the past 10 days) when I'm putting my offline life back together post-Mardi Gras and swimming in deadlines for jobs that actually pay me. They're the giving tree of the sassosphere.

The video above has a theatrical opening number set to the championship's dangerously catchy theme song (best heard, with lyrics, here), but make sure to check out the first finalist performance at 6:25. It's body-shockin' electric.

Hey, wanna see Alan Thicke sing a song called "Sweaty and Hot"? Do I even need to ask? Well click here, because the video won't let me embed it!

I don't just use and abuse these videos, though, however plentiful and cheap. I appreciate them so much, they inspired me to finally learn how to make gifs, which is something they -- and you, dear readers -- clearly deserve:

Aerobics Championships, Jeff Vandiver

Jumpin Jack

Big time. GIFs and aerobics videos -- DOYYYY. Could there be a more perfect partnership? Why did it take me so long?! This blog is about to get downright magical, y'all.