This one has grown on me. The first time I did it, all I could think about was how different the set/quality were compared to Christiís other workouts. The picture is not as clear; the camera angle is funky; and something about the music doesnít grab me like previous productions (but the music IS good). All this colored my attitude toward the workout, and I was disappointed. Had it been a lesser instructor, Iím sure I would have given up right there, but Christi is my #1, so I did the workout two more times (on different days, of course). Each time, Iíve liked it better. But still . . . there is something I havenít quite put my finger on that makes me not enjoy this as much as Christiís other work. I donít understand it yet, because the choreography is good, and she teaches it well Ė although I was a little surprised at the number of times she repeats a combo the first time through. She doesnít TIFT a lot, in fact, she TIFTs just the perfect number of times for me; however, when sheís initially teaching a combo, she repeats it a lot. It wasnít too much, but it was nearing borderline-too-much. That was a surprise, but didnít make me like the choreography any less. The music is good, with lots of recognizable songs (such as Louie, Louie). But there is still something thatís keeping me from raving about this, and I havenít figured it out. In any case, Iím keeping this and will definitely keep doing it. But Iím giving this one a B+ instead of my usual A+. Most of this ranking has to do with the production quality, but part of it is the elusive ďfun factorĒ as well.
I have every Christi Taylor workout except this one and its companion, Funktional Fitness. I received this one, previewed it, and immediately got rid of it. It seems the rumors that she has given up complex choreography are true. The new production company she used for this workout also seems to have some issues to work through.
The set is a large room with a wooden floor and a drum set at the back. The camera is set up in what almost seems like another room, many feet away from Christi. She doesnít seem to be looking at the camera, or doesnít know which camera to look at. I could hardly see her face. That REALLY bothered me. The other exercisers may as well have been in another workout, they were so far away.
Everyone does the workout on the step platform, without any risers. For this reason, it could be a good workout for someone who wants to try out Christiís step. However, the distance between her and the camera might be discouraging for someone who hasnít tried her other workouts. Her personality doesnít come across very well, nor do her cues.
The DVD is chaptered into warm up, two step sections, cool down, and a move master. I watched a bit of both step sections, and they looked so boring I didnít even want to WATCH more, let alone try the workout. I have Christiís other workouts because I enjoy the music and the smooth, dancy choreography. This one didnít even look fun. Maybe if I had given it another chance I would have learned otherwise, but the fact that the camera was so far away made me not even want to try.
While I love Christi's personality in her other workouts, I can't specifically comment on her presence in this one, since I previewed just bits of it, then decided to trade it.
I have four of Christiís step workouts. I enjoy her signing the cues, choice of music, arm patterns, and creativity. Her workouts make me feel graceful and happy. I love how Christi can keep each workout different. On this one she strays away from her formula of: first part- horizontal step, second part- vertical step. In this workout the step stays parallel to the TV. The DVD includes a Bonus Burn where Christi runs thru all of the combinations non stop.
That said I did trade away my copy of Stepsational. The workout itself was fine. It grew on me the more I did it. I got a good workout from it and I enjoyed the music and the choreography. I just couldnít get over the production values. I would have been fine with a fuzzy picture, background exercisers that made mistakes more often than normal, and the Ďtopí camera angles. What I couldnít get used to were the shadows. The lighting on this set is a bit odd and creates lots of shadows. The Ďdancingí shadows were really distracting and made it hard to see details (since the picture is already fuzzy). In addition the shadows made the set look darker than it really was. I decided to let this one go since Christi will make many more videos that I am sure to love.