CIA 9901: Step, Low and ToneAndre Houle
Year Released: 1999
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics
I agree with Pilar's review completely. This is a great tape.
The step routine is a lot of fun. I think the choreography is pretty complex, but you don't realize it until you are done because it is taught so well. Although some may say it is intermediate in intensity, I would say it is low advanced. It felt similar in intensity to a lot of CIA step workouts, but not as intense as Cathe. The second time around this workout was definitely more intense, because I knew what I was doing and could put some power into the moves, and give it my "all".
I love the low-impact workout, although I may not do it that much since it really is intermediate in intensity, and I am really trying to increase my fitness level. However, it will be the first tape I reach for when I am sick or tired but still want to work out (like today after being sick and not working out for a week.) The workout consists of 4 combos. The first 2 are more athletic, and the last 2 are more dancy. I think of this workout as "9001-lite". For some reason the choreography (the second half anyways) reminds me of 9001's hi/lo, but it is much, much easier to learn. It all goes really well with the music and I just feel like smiling the whole time I am doing it. NOTE: you do need space for this workout, and there are lot of pivots and shuffling, so it might not be too much fun on carpet.
Other points about the tape: 1) The step and low-impact workouts are self-contained, each have their own warm-ups, cool-downs and stretching, although the stretching at end of both workouts is minimal. 2) Both workouts are structured so that you put combos 1 & 2 together after learning the 2nd combo, then 3 & 4 together after learning 4th combo, and THEN you put the whole thing together, so you don't get sick of taking it from the top, but you get the fun of putting it all together. (However, I would have liked it if he put them together 2 times at the end.) 3) The workouts are a bit shorter than I would have liked. (The step workout is 50 min in total, the low is 38 min.)
Overall, I am really happy with this tape.
This was my first Andre video, and now I am a huge fan. His cueing and teaching of the moves were terrific. Also, I think he is really cute - not necessarily his looks, more the way he encourages and seems like he is having a lot of fun.