Kari Anderson
Year Released: 2005

Categories: Total Body Workouts

I’m reviewing this workout after previewing it once and doing it twice.
The video is subtitled “Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer’s Body.”

General workout breakdown: See Pratima, Kathy, and Krista’s reviews.

Level: I’d recommend this to exercisers at the beginner / intermediate through intermediate / advanced stages. Several of the moves would be overwhelming to beginners, especially since few modifications are suggested. That said, truly advanced exercises may find this video a “light day” workout, but most intermediates to intermediates+ will find this appropriately challenging.

Class: six brunette women join Kari, who instructs live. The women appear to have come from Kari’s live classes rather than being professional dancers or fitness models.

Music: pleasant instrumental music, much of it with a beat. It’s lively when you’re moving quickly, quieter when you’re winding down. I’ve heard some of it before on Karen Voight, Jari Love, Shape, and Trainer’s Edge productions.

Set: somewhat dim vast interior space with grid pattern along back wall that’s light with yellowish lights.

Production: Good quality picture (not super crisp, but it’s very clear) and sound (not echo-y like Push). Kari’s voice is loud and clear over the music, but not too loud.

Equipment: Mat (or equivalent). All exercisers are barefoot.

Space Requirements: You’ll need to be able to move your limbs around in all directions while standing, on all fours, and lying down.

DVD Notes: The menu (on the original DVD, at least, which has the striped borders and Kari in a white outfit) allows you to choose the separately chaptered introduction, the full routine, the standing work, the floor work, or the cool-down.

Comments: Kari has a special gift for creating innovative workouts that are challenging yet refreshing.
If any beginner/intermediate through intermediate/advanced thinks unweighted lower body work is too “easy” or incapable of improving strength, I challenge them to try this video. I felt the burn for sure after both times I did it, if for no other reason than the routine contains a number of exercises I don’t normally do.
I’m a little disappointed that the “cool-down” had core work almost up to the end. I find it hard to wind down while doing planks…
As with most fusion workouts, this is challenging to work into rotations. It could certainly provide good contrast with more standard weights videos, however.

Reach vs. Angles, Lines & Curves 2: I did both just the other week and was surprised by how different these two really are, despite both being dance- and yoga-inspired fusion workouts of almost identical lengths. For starters, Reach has more lower body strength work; less abs, back, and upper body work; and fewer exercises devoted exclusively to flexibility. Angles, Lines & Curves drops many of the conventional ballet exercises after the warm-up in favor of flowing dance-inspired moves, but Reach keeps up the ballet theme, alternating with more traditional “athletic” exercises. Additionally, the yoga pedigree is more subtle in Reach; there’s even less that’s overtly inspired by Pilates or related disciplines. The moves are better coordinated with the music in ALCII, but Kari’s sense of rhythm and awareness of the music in Reach is still flawless.

Instructor Comments:
As always, Kari is the epitome of graceful movement. She makes it look so easy…and yet so doable. I love her calm demeanor and gently encouraging presence. She’s so comfortable in front of the camera and teaching, with her casual yet still professional persona. She doesn’t always spend a lot of time going over form, so beginners may not get sufficient form instruction and pointers. That said, the good news is that she’s not constantly talking, and her mirror cueing is good, even great.