This is an hour-long intermediate step tape. As an advanced exerciser, I didn't get much out of it, but I can see where an intermediate person would really like this. The music is funky/dance-type, and Barry is a great instructor. The choreography is somewhat complex, but not nearly as difficult as some of the CIA and G-Force choreography. However, I do have to say that if you're not used to more complicated choreography, there will probably be a few times you get lost with this. Even so, I think you can have a blast with it if it's at the right level for you. Grade A.
Instructor comments: Barry is really good. This was the first time I've ever done a tape with him, and I wish he'd do some more. Very likeable, good cueing, good choreography.
It's really pathetic that it took me almost 7 years to write a review
for this tape. I feel like a tree falling in the woods -- does this
review make a sound since no one in the world (except Annie S., maybe,
who has every tape on God's green earth) has done it or even remembers
it. (And that's a compliment, Annie!)
This tape was the one that really got me on the road to fitness. I
mean, I started out with Gin Miller's Step Reebok, like everyone else in
the world, but Barry's tape was my first "real" step tape, in the sense
that I did not use it to learn how to step. When I bought this tape, I
think it was my first foray into the Collage Video catalogue and the
first time I'd bought a tape to learn learn new choreography and have
fun. And what a choice it was.
This is a solid, intermediate tape, though it can become low-advanced if
you use an 8" step. The moves may seem antiquated now, but they really
are fun if you take into account that the world hadn't seen the likes of
the complexity of Christi Taylor or even high-end Cathe Friedrich at the
time. You do a fairly basic sequence of left/right steps with some
angular cheerleady type arm moves. You also do the cabbage patch
(remember that?!) He then picks up the pace with grapevines around the
step. The tape progresses slowly but surely, and by the time you get to
the 4th section, you're straddling, pivoting, and turning off the end of
your step. The last combo is the most dancy, and it has some quick foot
moves. They will challenge the seasoned veteran. And it's dancy, and
stylized, and smooth. Fun, fun! He has a breakdown section at the end
of the tape, which is such a thoughtful useful concept. Too bad it's
not employed more today.
Barry is a good instructor. He cues well, gives form pointers, and
banters with his background exercisers (who do "whoop" occasionally, by
the way, for those whoop haters). Don't worry that the danciness
overtakes the cardio part of the workout. He doesn't yammer and march
in place while explaining moves. He throws in some "flava" by adding
some dancy embellishments to standard moves, without breaking the tempo,
and even there, he doesn't add a whole lot of "groove," just a little to
make you want more! I don't have 2 Times the Funk, but you can see that
dancy spirit somewhat cabined somewhat in this video, and I really wish
he would've made it a little dancier. He can work it! I love to watch
One teeny negative -- Barry keeps pulling on his shorts throughout the
video, and its obvious that he could use er, a larger (and looser) pair,
if you know what I mean.
After this tape came out, I kept asking "When's Barry going to come out
with a new tape?!" He's a former national aerobics champion with so
much talent! The industry really should take notice and put this man to
work! He's awesome.
Street Jam - Step & Groove
Street Jam came out in 1993, the Cathe "Mega Step Blast", Tim Culwell "Club
Cardio Jam" era. In my opinion it compares quite favorably with those tapes.
Everybody's wearing Moda Prima and the dynamix is blasting. The class
members appear to be Barry's ultra loyal health club coterie. There is,
admittedly, some "whooping" - I would submit its "appropriate whooping!"
Everyone's enjoying themselves. This guy has the right stuff to get a live
class going, and his tape's pretty darn entertaining.
Street Jam is well cued and well conceived. The choreographic complexity
increases as the tape progresses. It has something for everyone, some
turns, some power moves, some off the side of the bench, some hitch kicks,
some salsa flava.
It is a rock solid intermediate tape. The routine is 45 minutes of which
maybe 35 minutes is in target range. Barry added a 15 minute instructional
segment at the end of the tape that carefully breaks down the moves.
An advanced stepper might find portions overly repetitious, there's
probably one too many "take it from the tops" by Y2k1 standards, but these
are comparatively minor flaws.
This is the elusive tape that bridges the gap between beginner choreography
and complex routines.
Barry is quite charming, very handsome and sincere.
Snap it up pronto the next time you see it on the VF exchange or Ebay! Grade A.