This is a 90 minute video. A warm-up, hi/lo, step and funky cool down. The hi/lo is more of an instructional segment. Calvin teaches the routine like a dance class: show a couple of moves, stp and practice a couple of times and then move to the next move. Lots of marching/running in place while the moves are being taught. Next is the step segment. Calvin has a different teaching method here; more like I'm used to seeing from others. He has some really good moves: hop turns, reverse turns, shuffle turns, and something I've never seen before: semi-taps in a half circle(it's too hard to explain, but it's fun and simple to do.) Of course there are mambas and cha-cha-cha's and I would call his style quite dancy. The last section is a funky cool-down; with some really FUNKY clothing- baggy shorts(?)-they almost look like a kilt on Calvin. Along with some funky hats(?)- very close to looking like a street gang. The moves are simple and not so super funky, that even I could do them. I will keep the tape with my collection just for the step workout.
Instructor comments: I love Calvin's personality; he talks to the camera like he's talking with you. He's also very dramatic(that probably why he's a dancer :) His moves are very fluid and graceful, wonderful to watch.
I liked this video a lot more than I thought I would. If you're looking for a video that will keep your heart rate in your target zone throughout, you'd do better to look elsewhere. On the other hand, what Calvin delivers better than anyone is giving you the feeling of rehearsing for a Broadway show.
Calvin as choreographer is funny and inspiring, and I'd love to be able to move like him. The hi/lo really felt as if I was learning a modern dance routine. Took me back to dance class days. It helped that he kept encouraging a class participant named Wendy...I sure snapped to attention when I heard him saying my name! It made me want to work harder.
The step section is a bit more traditional in that there were fewer breaks where your heart rate drops. Calvin's stylized step was fun and interesting, though will take a bit of time to learn.
I've only done this video a couple of times, but just wanted to put in my two cents on this unusual video.
Wendy Niemi Kremer
I'd like start off by saying I consider myself a good dancer, but for some reason I can never get into HI/LOW and so I usually skip it. But this video kept my attention. I didn't say I did it, I just watched but it looked like a lot of fun and something I would try in the future when I had more room. You need space when doing this work out.
The step portion is absolutely divine. He has the most interesting choreography. There were a couple of spots where I had to rewind
. This workout will make you think you are hip and cool once you get the moves down. Loads of fun. Intensity: Intermediate to Advanced. Choreography: Complex but not impossible.
Instructor comments: This guy is too much fun. You can tell he really enjoys what he is doing. He must have a dance background because it shows in his routines.
Natalie M. A. Delemar
Calvin has a love of dance, and it really shows in this video. The workout format is: warm up 8 mins; hi-lo/cardio dance: 35 mins; step: 35 mins; funk & cool down 12 mins. The video is 90 mins total.
I enjoyed the hi-lo section, which is really a dance class. All kinds of arm flourishes and dramatic poses. It really is a lot of fun. He makes you feel like you're in a music video. There's lots of marching in place while he teaches the moves, so in that sense, it's not really a traditional aerobic workout, at least not for those who are advanced exercisers. I do this as a warmup sometimes, but if I want to really "workout" I don't pull this video out.
I tried the step twice, but never really got into it. I think Calvin is much more in his element with floor aerobics than step. He seems to just transpose his floor moves onto the step, and sometimes rhythmically, it doesn't fit. Also, he tries to squeeze fast foot movements into music meters that are too short. Also he made lots of cuing mistakes. There are many many turns and reverse turns, and moves that travel around the bench, but Calvin gives one word cues like "reverse, quick, turn it, cha cha cha; again." That's just not enough cuing, especially when he simply announces a move on the down beat where it starts. Maybe I'm in a grumpy mood now, but I feel like I've wasted a good 45 minute workout session on this video, and I feel really frustrated.
In the cooldown, they exercisers have on ski and snowboard gear, which was a big fashion statement in 1997 and 1998 (at least that's based on my periodic review of Vogue; that makes me a fashion maven, I suppose. *wink*). I think they just want to look hiphop and cool, instead of just wearing the same tired, played out workout gear by Ryka, etc. I kinda like it.
Instructor comments: Calvin is so funny and dramatic. Like NY dance instructor. He's usually at ease throughout the video, except for the beginning. He starts off a little nervous in the intro, and stumbles over some dialogue, but about 15 minutes in, you see the "real" Calvin shining through. He encourages you to groove and have fun, saying stuff like, "Move children." It cracks me up. He also does this butt touch move, and he says something like, "Oh, it's only a little butt touch move, it's ok," as if to say, come on, lighten up! He constantly tells you he wants you to enjoy the movement of dance. He says at one point, "Don't say, 'I can't move like that!' Can't never could. You have to keep trying!!"
I'm told that many of the background exercisers are professional dancers. It's clear that Calvin certaintly is. He could give Janet Jackson a run for her money. He's amazing to watch. I guess you could say he's a cross between hip hop and jazz, but definitely more on the hip hop side.
High marks for enthusiasm and choreography! But Calvin, help us all, and quit doing that quick little stutter step to get on the correct foot just as you start "at the top" of a routine. With aerobics this dancy, we all need to be on the same foot as you all the time or we'll never catch up.