Usher’s greatest hits were the soundtrack to my 20th birthday parties. Nothing got me on the dance floor faster than hearing the opening beats of “Yeah!” or “DJ Got Me Fallin’ in Love” – and I can still sing every word of Confessions Part 1 and 2.
So when I found out that Usher would be making an appearance in Peloton’s latest season of Dance Cardio workouts, I was intrigued. Cardio dance has always been one of my go-to workouts, and I’d heard so many rave reviews about everything the Peloton app has to offer. Seeing the lineup of star choreographers (including Cody Rigsby from Dancing with The Stars) finally convinced me to pull the trigger and see what else this new season had to offer.
How much does the Peloton app cost?
Access to the Peloton app is just $12.99 per month – and right now new members can hang in there a two-month free trial. Not only does this membership provide access to Season 2 of Dance Cardio, it unlocks the entire Peloton class library, including live workouts. After trying many online workout platforms during the pandemic, this value blows all the others out of the water.
If you want to experience the full range of workouts offered on the platform, you might want to consider investing in some workout gear (especially if you’re a cyclist or runner). But the beauty of Dance Cardio is that the workout requires no equipment, just enough room to move around.
Navigate Dance Cardio on the Peloton App
I may finally be reaching the age where technology moves faster than I’m able to keep up, but finding Dance Cardio among all the options on Peloton’s app took me a while.
After some research, I found Dance Cardio Season 2 under the “collections” tab in the navigation bar. Classes are labeled and can be filtered by experience level (beginner, intermediate, and advanced), as well as instructor. When you select a class, the app gives you the option to add it to your stack so you can easily return to it when you want to pick it up again. Each workout has a description and displays the songs that will be played during the workout (so you can choose your class based on what you want to hear). Each class is also rated by other Peloton users in terms of favorability and difficulty, so you know what you’re getting into.
What to expect in Peloton’s Dance Cardio Season 2 classes
Each Season 2 dance cardio class is 20 minutes long with a few 10-minute warm-ups sprinkled throughout the season. In each class, Peloton choreographers take to the stage in extremely cute workout outfits and beckon you into the dance routine to come. Cardio Dance workouts begin with a brief warm-up that consists of deep breathing, stretching, and moving your body to the beat. If you’re looking for an extended warm-up, you’ll want to pair the 20-minute classes with the 10-minute options available. Otherwise, the five-minute version offered at the top of full courses still does the trick.
Each class then moves on to the teaching portion, where you learn a series of dance moves that are slowly strung together into sequences (these will eventually turn into a full dance routine). Intermediate and advanced classes move faster in teaching these moves, so if you lack practice or want to work your way up, beginner classes are the right move (see what I did there ?).
After you have learned all the movements and performed the sequence several times during training, you will put everything “from the top” together, about 2-3 times. The workout ends with a brief cool-down of leg and arm stretches, as well as deep breathing.
My Experience Trying Peloton’s Dance Cardio Workout
As someone with a dance background who takes dance cardio classes quite regularly (and as an OG Usher fan), nothing was going to dissuade me from starting with the class where Usher makes an appearance — not even the intermediate experience label.
Once practice began, I was thrilled to learn that the choreography we were to learn included signature moves from Usher’s iconic music videos, as well as his Las Vegas residency. The two-minute warm-up for Usher’s “You Make Me Wanna” liberated my whole body, with isolations (head turns, shoulder and hip rolls, etc.) to make sure every part of my body was ready to embody Usher’s fluid movements.
Then we moved on to Usher’s “Good Kisser”, where we learned a signature Usher move (a shoulder and body dip), paired with rolling motions and my personal favorite move, “bye haters “, which was a low, forward reverse, with correlated hand movements that signaled “goodbye”.
Even though the movements were repeated, they were difficult to master at first. I found myself pausing and rewinding some footage to make sure I made Usher proud.
We moved on to “U Don’t Have to Call”, then “Caught Up”, and by then I felt pretty caught up in the movements. The longer the classes continued, the more dynamic the movements became – the dance moves that involved jumping squats and dips were hard on my lower body and left my quadriceps burning. The next song was “Yeah!” followed by “OMG” (feat. Will.i.am), which meant that the moves we had learned over the last two songs were now performed at a faster pace. At this point in training, I was dripping with sweat. Then, with two minutes of class remaining, Usher walked in and I got a second wind.
For the final part of the workout, I was able to perform the dance virtually alongside Usher – making every moment worth learning how to nail this routine. Of course, he couldn’t quite see me performing his signature moves. But the feeling of having made Usher proud in that moment gave me a sense of accomplishment that I have never experienced from any other virtual workout.
As tempted as I was to keep repeating the Usher workout during my trial, I branched out and completed all seven Dance Cardio offerings in Season 2. Even beginner-level classes had me sweating in just 20 minutes. . But the advanced level classes are really where I found myself pushed beyond my comfort zone – the pace is faster, but the movements are also more complex. Even after walking through them several times, I still felt challenged.
What I liked about Peloton’s dance cardio classes
I’m not exaggerating when I say dancing with Usher has been one of the most exciting virtual moments I’ve had during this pandemic. I especially enjoyed it when he suddenly dropped it low and pushed air while giving the camera a smirk (college yelled at me).
If you’re someone who doesn’t have a lot of time or equipment, these 20-minute cardio dance workouts are enough to get your heart rate up and sweating without costing you a lot of time or money.