Swedish Dance Aerobic & StepFredrik Sjoberg
Year Released: 2007
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics
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I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once.
General workout breakdown: This DVD contains one hi/lo or floor aerobics workout (just under 38 min.) and one step aerobics workout (46 min.), for 84 minutes of creative choreography.
Note that neither segment has a warm-up or cool-down, nor is there a general warm-up or cool-down for the video.
Each segment has six blocks of choreography. In the step portion you do combos 1-3 together after learning them, then throw them away for combos 4-6; in the floor portion you learn all combos separately, then do 1-3 together and then just 4-6 together.
Fredrik’s style definitely has a dance influence to it, especially on the floor (think Patrick Goudeau, Christiane Reiter, Marc-Oliver Kluike, etc., more than even Christi Taylor, for example). His choreography isn’t that complicated for an Evolution instructor, but as always expect pivots and spins.
Level: I’d recommend this to at least intermediate exercisers comfortable with moderately complex step and hi/lo choreography.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced in cardio, although I’m more of an intermediate plus when it comes to step, since I haven’t had mine that long and am still working my way through more complex step aerobics workouts. I pick choreography up pretty quickly if it’s broken down and cued well. I felt very confident with the choreography after just one run through (again, be aware I think I’m better than average at picking up – although probably not exactly executing – choreography). I found this moderate in intensity for me, with the step portion stronger than the floor one (I often find that to be true, however, perhaps because I’m still relatively new to step workouts whereas I’ve been doing floor routines for a while).
Class: 2 people join Fredrik in each portion: 2 women in the floor, 1 woman and 1 man in the step.
Music: a mix of instrumentals and (remade) vocals that’s better than average. Much better, really. Recognizable songs include “Let the Sunshine in,” “Take My Breath Away,” “Gloria,” and “Crazy in Love.”
Set: the kind of bare bones warehouse setting of the past few Evolution filmings, with screens and TV monitors with the spinning E along the back wall and red for the floor or green for the step lights highlighting the back wall.
Production: clear picture and sound, with Fredrik’s voice audible over the music and the music not too quiet. The camera angles are mostly helpful, although as with any Evolution production expect some oblique angles and some close-ups. You can see camera equipment and other stuff off to the side in one angle, but given the sort of unpolished-looking set it’s not as off-putting.
Equipment: sneakers (I used my split sole dance sneakers for the hi/lo portion; a cheap alternative is a piece of slick tape over the toebox of an old pair of crosstrainers) plus a step (Fredrik and company use a step with 2 - yes, 2 - sets of risers – not sure I’ve seen that on an Evolution video before).
Space Requirements: You need enough space all around your step to move comfortably with both feet on the floor, plus a little extra behind your step. For the floor portion you’ll do best if you have a fair amount of space, enough to take several big steps in each direction (front, back, side).
DVD Notes: One side of this disc is in PAL format, the other in NTSC (Region 1, i.e. US and Canada).
The main menu options are Play All, Dance Workout, Step Workotu, Bonus Features (Behind the Scenes, Bloopers & More, Bonus Blocks, which here are Christiane Reiter’s Reit House Moves and Tom Woll’s Street Dance, Fredrik Interview, and Evolution DVD Previews), Evolution Montage, and Fredrik’s Info. The step and dance aerobic portions are chaptered by block of choreography, with the final run throughs also chaptered separately.
Comments: Although Fredrik never really says so, this may be primarily intended for instructors to get ideas for classes, although it’s easy enough to follow along as an at home exerciser who doesn’t intend to teach. There’s enough breakdown and run throughs of each combo to learn them, although Fredrik’s short on the TIFTing (and I don’t think he ever does as many run throughs as he says he will). Of course, one big drawback to using this as a workout is the lack of warm-up and cool-down, so you’ll have to add your own or use these as add-ons. Fredrik, who is indeed from Sweden, teaches entirely in English, a language with which he seems very comfortable. He cues well, although don’t expect him always to break down verbally what he’s doing during the “watch me” segments, when he demonstrates the next layer as you stick with the version you’ve just learned, or during repeat run throughs. He mirror cues, too. He has a sense of humor and definitely appears to be having fun, although he never loses sight of his role as a teacher.