Video Fitness

Yes Stepmother Dear IV with Beth Canno-Shields

Yes, Stepmother Dear IV features Beth and 3 participants (2 men and 1 woman). The setting is a club, with the instructor and participants facing a mirror (so the viewer sees both their fronts and backs). The step is placed in a vertical position as opposed to horizontal (the *usual* step position).

Because this is a training video, there is no warmup or floorwork, just straight stepping. Beth teaches a series of moves in the beginning (including mambo straddles, reverse hooks, revolving door moves,slingshots, double attitudes, reverse shooters, etc ) and then takes all the moves learned and puts them together in a series of patterns. They are definitely challenging when all put together and lots of fun. She repeats the patterns enough that the participant catches on. I would rank this video to be advanced in choreography and also a great workout (once you get the moves down!) I think people doing this video will feel quite a sense of accomplishment when completing!

Beth makes the workout enjoyable and it's refreshing to see a video where the instructor and participants aren't *perfect* (ie: they mess up sometimes!) The entire video runs 50 minutes. The music is standard aerobic music...not real loud, but loud enough to hear the beat. It features a comination of top-40, hip-hop and some salsa thrown in for added spice!! Excellent video!

Instructor comments: Beth Canno-Shields is a very straight-forward, calm instructor (ie: no "whooping"), which I appreciate. Her cueing is excellent and she breaks down the moves well. She uses both verbal and directional cues (using her fingers or hands to point). Because this video is a "homemade" video, the sound quality sometimes makes it a little difficult to hear what she says. However, she does the moves often enough that it is pretty easy to catch on. She has a great rapport with the participants in her video and they appear to be having a lot of fun.


Despite the corny title, this is a blast. It has approximately 45 minutes of cardio, with a cooldown/stretch afterward, for a total of about 50-55 minutes. The warmup consists of doing the steps you'll be doing in the routine, and it is aerobic as well, so I included that in the 45 minutes.

The first thing I should mention is this is not a high-class production. The sound quality is not the greatest; in fact, at the very beginning, for a couple of minutes or so, you might have a hard time understanding what she's saying. It does get better, but it's not your typical store-bought video. The picture quality is not the best either. I'd call it a step below the CIA quality. If these things bother you, then don't get this tape. However, I find it so much fun that I can easily overlook those things.

The class is vertical step, so you have your step pointed toward the TV. Beth and the other class participants are facing away from you. She starts off in the warmup, as I mentioned, by going over the steps that will appear in the routine. There are "normal" things, like hamstring repeaters, mambos, etc., and then there are some really cool things I've never seen before. You'll learn a reverse hook, slingshot, reverse shooter, and other fun things. I won't attempt to describe them, because they probably wouldn't make sense anyway.

When you're actually doing the routine, she incorporates variations on the steps. There are 4 or 5 different "sub-routines" that use all the steps you've learned, with a twist here and there. Some parts make me feel like I'm flying. I especially like the reverse hook and reverse shooter. After you've learned the sub-routines, she takes it from the top twice. The first time, she does it as you would expect, routine #1 on left side, routine #1 on right side, etc. The second time, she weaves the routines, so you do #1 on the left, #2 on the left, etc., then you go back through doing it all on the right.

I really enjoy this tape, but it is advanced and might not be for everyone. I give it an A.

Instructor comments: Beth is great. I love her personality, her routine, her cueing, and her creativity. She also seems like a "normal," down-to-earth person you could have fun with.

Annie S.

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