CIA 9901: Step, Low and ToneAndre Houle
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics
I have done the step section and the low-impact section once, and I really have positive things to say about both. The step section already rates up there with CIA 9701 as my favorite step workout. There is nothing killer about it, but it is fun and well put together. Andre is incredibly easy to follow, and he has a great sense of rhythm. His choreography matches the music (which sounds Caribbean in parts) perfectly. It is dancy in terms of the "joy of movement," but not hard to do. I think that the perfection of Andre's cuing disguises how creative his choreography is. He has some power moves (jump-ups, lunges), but it was mostly low-impact step work. If you are looking for Cathe-style power stepping, you will not find it here. If you thought 9701 was boring, you will probably be bored by this as well. I absolutely thought it was wonderful, although I may go to an 8" step to up the intensity a bit. Even on a 6" step, I worked up a good sweat, and the time flew by. This one will become a personal favorite of mine.
The low-impact portion has convinced me that it is impossible to make a high-intensity low impact floor tape when you have limited space. This tape is solidly intermediate level for me, and my heart rate stayed at about 65%. If you have more room than I do, you could probably take the intensity up a notch. That said, I think that this is an excellent intermediate floor tape, and is better than even Donna-Mite in fun-factor. Andre makes it easy to follow his relatively complex steps, and he puts together his choreography very well with his music.
I did not do the toning section, but this tape is worth the money for the step and low-impact portions. I will pre-order anything else with Andre in it in the future. He is a gem.
I really, really liked him. He was encouraging, but not obnoxious, and really seemed to enjoy his job. He would be easy to face in the wee hours of the morning.