Sunday, 12 May 2013

Coleen Nolan – Disco Burn

Coleen Nolan's Disco Burn DVD Cover
“Are you IN THE MOOD for fat-burning?” asks the blurb at the front of the DVD box. Because Coleen was one of the Nolans, see? Who had a hit with “I’m IN THE MOOD for dancing”. Do you see what they did there? How they have cleverly linked the two things together?

But “Wait a minute” I hear you say in that plaintive – yet melodic – way you probably have, “Surely ‘fat-burning’ and ‘dancing’ aren’t the same things at all?” Oh, ho ho ho, you crazy foolish reader. I laugh in your ill-informed face.

Because if there is one thing Coleen Nolan has taught me (and I haven’t done the maths but ‘one’ does seem a plausible total number of things Coleen Nolan has taught me) it’s that fat burning and dancing like you are out with your mates at the discotheque are, in fact, totally the same thing!

Coleen says in her introduction that the workout is “like a night out with your friends when you’ve hit the dancefloor. Only without the sore feet because we’ll be wearing our trainers.”

There are a plethora of funky dance moves here to be sure but there are also times when Coleen is doing lunges, weight-lifting  and those leg-bendy exercises while holding onto the back of a chair. She must get some very strange looks at Flares.

Coleen is joined by Mikey Smith, an adorably chirpy fitness trainer who is both teeny-tiny and incredibly well-muscled. He looks like a Masters of The Universe action figure.
Masters of the Universe action figure
Like this fellow but without the fetching hat.

There are seven sections – including aerobics, toning, and core exercises which include some awesomely named moves such as the ‘Jiggly Squat’, the ‘Funky Squat’ and the ‘Travolta’.  But really this DVD is ALL about the music.

There is a fantastic collection of old-timey disco hits. It’s basically all the songs wedding DJs play to try to encourage people onto the dancefloor. There’s Kool & the Gang’s ‘Celebration’, Gloria Gaynor’s ‘ I Will Survive’, Donna Summer’s ‘Hot Stuff’ and of course the Nolan’s ‘I’m In the Mood for Dancing’. Because there would have been protests in the street had that one been left off. There are 15 proper songs in their proper original versions. It makes you wonder why so many other workout DVDs are so utterly appalling in this regard.

Child playing toy keyboard
How Celebrity Workout DVD soundtracks are normally put together.
The song quality take a bit of a nosedive towards the end of the DVD which turns out to be because there are three Nolan’s songs which are not “I’m In the Mood for Dancing” and are therefore completely unrecognisable.

To be fair, you can’t expect the whole soundtrack to be of this quality:
 There is almost TOO MUCH cool here

The decision was clearly made to spend the budget on the music rights rather than set dressing. No jaunts off to Miami for Coleen. This was without question the right decision but it does leave us with a set that’s eerily stark in its minimalism.

There is no furniture, no floor, no walls. Just an expanse of whiteness and Coleen’s name in massive red letters.

Coleen Nolan Disco Burn
Have you seen that bit in the Twilight Zone Movie with the kid who can control everything with the power of his brain? After wreaking badness, he uses his power to make everything disappear entirely and his teacher and he are left standing alone in the middle of nothingness. Coleen’s workout DVD is a bit like this. It looks like she has whisked Mikey away somewhere where he can spend the rest of eternity with her, her big red name and a selection of awesome dance tunes.

Twilight Zone The Movie
Right, it's just us now. Let's do some disco aerobics.
Worst Bit
Quite a few of the moves seemed to involve clicking your fingers as you did them. Now, I can’t click my fingers. Never been able to. I’ve managed to move on with my live and scratch together some kind of existence despite this disability. I was worried here that my lack of finger-clicking ability meant that I wasn’t doing this workout as fully as I might have been. My index fingers haven’t felt the burn.

Weirdest Bit
The second aerobic section is titled “Disco Aerobic Inferno” and while The Trammps’ ‘Disco Inferno’ is one of the songs on the soundtrack, bizarrely it features in a completely different section. What on earth was going on in the planning meetings for this DVD? Did they even have a spreadsheet?
Business Meeting with flipchart
See, Coleen. This is what professionalism looks like.

Difficulty Level
There was a lot of skipping about and dainty footwork which I couldn't really get the hang of. I would be laughed off any 70s disco dancefloor. Even if I wasn't doing sit-ups at the time.

Would I do this workout again?
 I think so. There’s a lot to be said for leaping about to groovy  70s disco hits. Coleen followed up this DVD with one entitled “Let’s get Physical” which includes an 80s soundtrack. Logically the next one should have a 1990s theme – perhaps a Grunge Workout with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Nirvana on the soundtrack. You could do cool down stretches to “Rape Me”.

I think she should return to the 1970s though and have a funk themed one. Call it “Are you IN THE MOOD to get funky?” and incorporate all the following dance moves.


  1. Oh man this sounds great! Although i think i may get enough of a workout just laughing at your review! :)

  2. I've just laughed myself into a six pack!