Sunday, 9 June 2013

Diversity – Dance Fitness Fusion

Diversity Dance Fitness Fusion DVD Cover
Diversity are a dance troupe fronted by Ashley Banjo whose five million members include Jordan, Sam, Mitchell, Ashton, Ian, Jamie, Matthew, Perri, Warren, Ike, Terry, Rod, Jane, Freddie, Mary, Mungo, Midge, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick, Tich, George and Timmy the Dog.

They won Britain’s Got Talent in 2009 beating Susan Boyle into second place. There was clearly talent to spare that year unlike a few years later when the competition was won by a dancing dog. I saw Ashleigh and Pudsey in pantomime last year, you know. Twice. I sat through a show where the biggest name on the bill was a dog who won a talent show and thought, “Yes I could go through that all over again.”

Ashleigh and Pudsey in Dick Whittington at Woking New Victoria Theatre
It’s like I have no taste or shame whatsoever
This DVD was released in 2010 soon after their win. The guys don’t seem to have slowed down any since then, to be honest. Unlike most of the c-listers reviewed here, Diversity’s website appears to be updated every 30 seconds or so with news of all their cool new activities.

Jordan and Perri's Ultimate Block Party
Like this, for example. This is no common-or-garden block party. It's ultimate.

Diversity don’t muck about when it comes to putting workouts together either. There are loads of sections here. Every dance has an easy and a hard version and an optional tutorial for both versions. You’d be mad if you tried to go ahead with the dances without Ashley’s tutorial though. Unless you just wanted to watch the dances with no intention of participating. Which come to think of it might be the less mad option.
That way you could just appreciate their choreographed coolness without having to worry about tripping over your own feet or putting your back out. Impressively, the fact that the crotch of their trousers are somewhere round their knees doesn’t seem to  hamper their movements any.

Ashleigh Banjo and Diversity
You're not making life easy for yourselves, you know, boys.

Different members of the troupe join in for different bits of the workout. The sections include Funky Fusion, Break Down and Fast and Slow. Each dance has its own t-shirt colour: blue for funky fusion, red for the breakdown, lilac for the tutorials and so on.

Ashley Banjo from Diversity
Ashley Banjo. A man with a t-shirt to match his every mood. 

At the end the workouts there is an extra dance routine called “Three Elements” where they mix up different moves – and t-shirts - from each of the sections

Diversity Dance Fitness Fusion The Three Elements
It’s a riot of colour!
Best Bit
Diversity are great fun to watch. They hurl themselves around like they have evolved to the point where they use a different method of propulsion to normal humans with a  fairly relaxed attitude to the laws of gravity. It’s like looking through a kaleidoscope where the bits inside consist of human bodies and Reebok trainers.

Worst Bit
I’m not sure how well any of this works as actual dance instruction. Ashley rattles through the instructions at break-neck speed while the cameramen seem committed to including the largest possible number of arty swooping shots and the smallest number of full body shots which allow us to see the dancers’ feet. The whole thing seemed baffling to me. But then I did resolutely ignore Ashley’s advice to pause and re-watch any parts I wasn’t sure of. The thing would have taken weeks to get though if I’d done that.

Diversity Dance Fitness Fusion
Bending doesn't really work that way for me. Or balance.

Would I do this Workout again?
Oh man, the Diversity workout is not for me. It’s for cool funky young types who look good in snap-backs and three-quarter-length shorts. The sort of people who should be doing this workout are probably super-fit already. What with all the aggressive skating, freerunning and then shooting some b-ball outside of the school.

Diversity Dance Fitness Fusion
Banjo looks exhausted! What hope is there for mortal folk?

These workouts are just not appropriate for someone who has the same Body fat percentage as a cheese toastie.
Susan Boyle didn’t release a workout DVD, thank goodness. It would have made as much sense as Diversity singing Mull of Kintyre at the Queen’s Jubilee Pageant. Still, if the “I Dreamed a Dream ... of Getting Fit!” workout did exist, I think I would be rather better suited to it than I was this one.

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