This video (from Sara's City) had the potential to be fabulous. Done
by another producer, it probably would have been. The step choreography
is advanced and flows very well -- and the best part is, the instructor
is exceptionally good at cueing and teaching. He makes it easy to learn.
I have to admit that when I previewed this, I thought I'd have trouble
with it. But I was delighted to find myself doing most of the steps the
first time through! Sure, I stumbled a bit, but by the second or third
run-through I was fine. There was only one part I didn't quite get, and
I just did the previous variation which worked great. Half of the fun I
was having was due to the sheer delight of feeling like I'd accomplished
something I didn't think I'd be able to do. The routine is really fun
and it "flows" -- there are no awkward breaks or transitions. Now for
the downside. As a Sara's City production, the set is not all that
great. I've seen a lot worse, but I've also seen a lot better. And the
music is really bland. If it had better music, I'll bet this could
become a VF favorite. I was torn between keeping this video and putting
it up for sale on eBay. I really enjoy the choreography, but the music
and production quality make it seem "lesser" somehow. So that, in
conjunction with the fact that I'm on a mission to weed out my 200-plus
video collection, made me decide to let the video go. But I hope to see
Marcos in the future with some better quality production! Grade A for
choreography, C for production.
Instructor comments: Extremely clear cueing and breakdowns. His
personality isn't "Mr. Charisma," but he definitely teaches well!
This is another review I was asked to give from an instructor's
perspective. Before I do that however, can I scream with excitement
that I had a blast with this workout? The video is long, and the step
combinations seemed endless, but they were packed with great
choreography and breakdowns. (I did take a break after combo 4 and
finished up the remaining workout after a bottle of water and a "power
bar" - not because I was drop dead tired, but because my mind was a
whirl with all of the moves he put into the workout!) If you love new
moves, put together in unusual ways that will not leave you wondering
which foot you should be on, then this is the video for you.
Marcos did not use any taps in this terrific step workout. He really
knows how to cue well and break down complex moves so that even
beginning/intermediate students could enjoy this video. Just when you
think the combo is complete, he layers it as Christi Taylor does, with
new variations, reminding the viewer of different levels, if they choose
not to work at the advanced state. His transitions from side to side,
combo to combo and move to move are flawless. As an instructor, I wrote
down the combos and practiced them with my modifications for my groups
of students. I listened to how he cued and learned a few tricks. I
believe instructors will find his method of breaking down very
comprehensive and can learn from his manner.
The production quality is a little better than average for Sara City
videos and it has a "real" (cardboard with nice graphics) cover and not
a plastic case. This is a fun workout, which I believe diehard steppers
should try at some point. I rarely see this on the exchange and wish
more people could try it.
On cardio work, I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser who enjoys with complex choreography at some level. After trying many different cardio workouts with varying complexity, I have found that I enjoy many different workouts, but my absolute favorites are those that many complexity lovers on VF would classify as intermediate because the instructor takes awhile to build combinations and/or explains more than the most complex instructors (like Christi, Patrick, or Andre).
This workout has four combinations and he builds each one and then TIFTs with the combinations that came before it. So, you learn combination #1 and then #2 and TIFT. Then, you add #3 and TIFT and then repeat the process with #4 followed by TIFTing from the top. In each one, he builds the combination on the first side and then teaches it on the other side more quickly. He can string a bunch of moves one after the other and leave me wondering how they are all going to interconnect. Then, he rearranges some stuff, deletes some moves, and leads me to the ďAhaĒ moment when they all just flow from one to the other in a really fun, satisfying way. He is a really good cuer and leads you in the direction you should go and to the foot you should be on. Whenever I chose the wrong foot, I immediately knew it because I was going the wrong direction and I heard him saying the other foot. It rarely happened though.
>From the beginning of the warm up until the beginning of the cool down, the workout lasts 54 minutes. This fills a need I have for long workouts with a good level of intensity, but not so much that I canít last the entire workout. For people who like things to move quickly with a high level of intensity, this workout might not meet their needs.
This is an older Sara City workout, so the production values are not great. The set looks like the corner of a workout room and Marcos does the workout on his own. The music was a little soft and not much to notice anyway Ė instrumental and it kept the beat. I recognized parts of it from other workouts. If those things are important to you, beware. For those that are familiar with it, it is the same set as in his hi/lo workout Aerobics to Go. You need a little bit of space around the step to walk around it or to step off the side of the step, but you donít need much space beyond the step for this workout.
He is a really, really good cuer. I feel like I'm in the room with him leading the workout as we discuss whether I'm with him or not and whether we want to do that section again.
September 16, 2005