Soul SweatChantal Pierrat
Year Released: 2006
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
Video Fitness reviews may not be copied, quoted, or posted elsewhere without the permission of the reviewer
I wanted to try this workout because I am into low impact, laid back workouts these days. I had a really bad fitness year last year and I'm coming back.
I really, really wanted to like this workout, but the vibe just wasn't for me. I am someone who regularly says, "Tell me the rules and I'll follow them." Once I know what I'm doing with something, I have no problem breaking the rules and taking chances, but only when it's from a comfortable place. I am not a dancer and need someone to tell me what to do. In this workout, she says to feel the freedom in your body and to express yourself while I'm just trying to figure out the moves.
For someone who doesn't have these hang ups, this could be an excellent workout, because it's really well done. She has a tutorial that goes through the moves, so that you can learn them. It's clear and helpful. It didn't help me because in putting it together I just felt uncomfortable, but for many it would be enough. The workout is sort of organized free expression based on the moves she shows you. In the workout, she is backed up by multiple background exercisers, all of whom have a different style and different moves. There's no need for a modifier because she gives different options and the range is demonstrated by the various people doing the workout. The music is well suited to the workout.
For someone into free expression based on specific moves, this is a great workout. For those who just want someone to tell them what to do and how to move, maybe not so much.
She is calm and encouraging and just seems to embody the moves.
First I want to say, this is a workout like no other I have tried. Although you could classify it as floor aerobics, it's really not. This is a low impact dance workout. It is a blend of african, latin, and modern dance. The music is techno world beat, very earthy and rhythmic. This workout is amazing! The freedom of self expression and free flowing dance makes this more than an aerobic workout; it's an art form. You feel so free while working out.
Although no formal dance training is required, Chantal runs through all the steps that will be performed during the workout. The tutorial session at the beginning is very thorough, and you can run through it a few times before going to the actual workout. She is so sweet and calm while explaining, and a little shy acting while remaining professional. I think the word to explain it is humble. Love that! The workout is broken into two parts: the Deep Sweat, which is 45 minutes, and the 30 minute Quick Sweat workout. The Quick Sweat is just a quicker version of the Deep Sweat though; they are not two completely different workouts.
The setting is simple: hardwood floors, willowy dancers, and a semi dark set. Not too dark, kind of like jazzy dark. Cool.
During the routine, Chantal walks you through the dance steps, even though everyone does a little something different with their arm movements. In between sequences, you do about a minute of your own thing, which is wonderful and different for me. If you are a little inhibited, this workout easily helps you transition beyond that. There is instruction, but you also get a little free flowing dance on your own.
I broke a light sweat with this routine and my heart rate got in the lower 50-60% range, I think. I feel the way I do after I've done a good walk with some hills. This is great to use on a day that you want a good workout, but not too much. If one exaggerates the arm movements and "takes flight" at the right parts, you can get a decent sweat with this workout. You can burn some calories without feeling like you had to go "all out".
At the end of the workout, there is a yoga type stretch at the end that is really relaxing.
This workout is great for those who want to feel free and sensual. For a preview visit here:
PROS: This routine is wonderful and different. I like that she has a tutorial but still walks you through the routine. I appreciate the free flowing dance segments in the middle of each segment. I get some instruction throughout, yet I am also free to do my own thing. Nicely set up. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the music. Chantal is very encouraging and likeable. She does speak a little about the spirits all around you, but it's not intimidating or overly religious. More meditative than intrusive.
CONS: not long enough. I wish the routine were an hour. Also, the Deep Sweat and Quick Sweat routines should be two different routines, not just a quicker version of the same one. I would also like for Chantal to mirror cue. She does a poor job of that.
Overall Rating: A
Chantal is awesome. I am still trying to find a dance DVD that I love as much as this that has all the right combos - dance, set, music, free form expression. NIA is a little too much freeform, even though this is supposed to be based a bit on that.
It's pretty rare when I take the time to write a review. It usually happens when I'm wowed by a workout.
Chantal Pierrat has picked up where Debbie and Carlos Rosas left off a few years ago and has created a modern day NIA workout that any NIA lover would love. This workout is absolutely beautiful in every way.
With a crisp picture, vivid colors, and a beautiful setting, the production quality is excellent. The soundtrack is considered world-groove, and it's the best soundtrack that I have heard in awhile. I LOVED every single track in this workout.
This DVD is broken down into:
Deep Sweat-46 minutes
Quick Sweat-30 minutes
The workout is broken into segments and each segment has its own song and routine. There are 9 songs in this workout:
Maneesh de Moor
Ustad Sultan Khan
5-Back to Dreamtime
One at Last
7-Re-Awakening the Spirits
Chantal teaches each movement from its core and she gradually adds layers to connect with your dynamic flow of energy, natural sensuality, and abandoned self-expression. We are encouraged to improvise and between each song all of the exercisers remain in constant movement, each one moving their body differently.
As each routine is built upon, the moves become more dynamic and more powerful. Chantal and all of the background exercisers are in amazing shape and I thoroughly enjoyed sitting and watching this DVD. I can't imagine anyone feeling that there is too much TIFTT.
Quick Sweat is not a new workout. Chantal has taken segments 2,3,5,7 & 8 and created this shorter workout. It flows beautifully.
The stretch is a very thorough routine that is approx. 17 minutes long. It incorporates stretches and yoga.
Chantal has NIA white belt certification. She has done an excellent job creating a modern NIA workout.
Chantal is beautiful to watch. She is fit and her body flows so beautifully.