Video Fitness

Step Sensation

Andre Houle

This tape is from Sara's City Workout, and will be one of the few Sara's tapes that will be on my video shelf for a long time. I'm often turned off by the production quality of Sara's tapes, and the quality in this one isn't any better. However, the choreography is so much fun, I don't care. If you liked Andre's CIA step tape (I think it was 9901?), you'll like this. The choreography is advanced, but do-able and not overly dancy. Andre breaks down the routines extremely well, and he keeps things moving (he doesn't over-teach). The music is rather bland, but not bad -- but the same music is played over and over, which is rather odd. The one irritation I found with this workout is Andre likes to turn around and face away from you so you can see the moves from behind. He's continually back-and-forth, back-and-forth. People like us who are used to doing exercise videos will most likely hate this. We're used to mirroring the instructor. People in a gym might not be, but those aren't the people likely to buy workout videos anyway. This was a major turn-off for me the first time I did the video, but now after three times through, it's just more of an annoyance than anything. Besides, his cueing and teaching are good enough that I don't have to look at him if I don't want to. Grade A.

Annie S.

Obviously the precursor to Andre's Advanced Step, Step Sensation is nonetheless a worthy tape in its own right. You will recognize many of these moves -- the four knees up, over and around to a kick, the tap around the world etc -- from Advanced Step as Andre takes you through six combinations, but they are put together differently enough so that you won't feel like it's the same tape. The music is unremarkable (no "Don't Call Me Baby") but the routine is top-notch. The six combinations flow very smoothly but there is no excessive TIFTing. At the end, Andre takes them from the top twice, once regular and then split. I could have done them a third time because they're so much fun. The choreography is complex, but if you can do Advanced Step, you'll have no trouble with this. There are some fun moves including a pendulum hop-hop to a pivot, stomps and lots of shuffling.
I have few complaints about this tape. There's a little glitch where Andre says you're going to TIFT combos 1-5 after you get some water but when you come back, and you think you're done but then he introduces a sixth combo instead. That's something that would only be annoying the first time you do the tape. The music and the set, yuck. A shame, really, because in the hands of another producer, this would have easily been another Advanced Cardio. The intensity is just about the same; my hr averaged 135 during the 45 minutes of cardio. Priced at $10, this is a bargain and one of the few true Sara's City keepers.

Instructor comments: A delight, as always. Andre even teachers Japanese in this video.

Donna Kahwaty

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