Earlier this year I took up dancing again after a long break.
This proved far more successful than I could ever have anticipated.
I think that a major reason why it worked so well was because, during the years when I wasn't getting to classes, I was doing drills at home. My usual approach is, instead of working through a DVD from start to finish in one session, I repeat a step or sequence over and over again until I've done it 128 times (often spread over several sessions). I didn't do it with enough regularity because I assumed I would never dance in public again. Now, I wish I'd done it more.
Some background: the dance I do is loud, house-shaking percussive dance. I have a day job and a long commute, so not only do I have to be extremely selective about what outside classes I go to, but the only good time to do my workout is between 6 and 7 in the morning or after 9 at night. Therefore, I can only practice my speciality on weekends. Fortunately, there is way more of a fusion mentality now than there was 10 years ago when I was last taking classes, so virtually any other form of dance I do will directly contribute.
Part of the problem is that it's hard to combine technique with cardio. The DVDs I've found have tended to be de facto one or the other (Cardio Barre is fun and all, but doesn't exactly contain a whole lot of ballet). Or else they're oriented towards toning anyway, like the Rachel Brice bellydance series (which would be an example of one of the most useful DVDs I've come across). Like everyone else, I really need a good cardio thrashing at least three times a week, or for half an hour a day. But I really really want to enhance my technique as much as possible... more than.
Disclaimer: I'm starry-eyed because I just finished a project with professionals who were unfamiliar with our speciality, so the choreography was dumbed-down to enable them to learn it fast, and the students were coached-up to hold our own amidst the professionals. Great things were achieved by all. I know I won't, on this planet, ever be a match for them, especially not on one lousy hour a day in my room, but I want to keep pushing myself, especially if there are any further projects in the future.