Basic Stepping

Leslie Sansone
Year Released: 1990

Categories: Step Aerobics

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This was the video I turned to when I was first starting to exercise and I wanted to learn step. I tried Kathy Smith's Step Workout but it was more complex and too high in intensity for the total beginner I was at that time. If you have been exercising for awhile or pick up on new steps fairly easily (it took me two weeks to learn a grapevine!) and are merely new to stepping, start with Kathy's tape. This tape is best for the TOTAL beginner.

With that caveat, for the total beginner, it's a very good tape. Yes, the costumes are silly, it doesn't matter, honestly, you will outgrow this tape soon enough. This tape breaks down a few of the most basic steps very completely and teaches them very thoroughly. She teaches the basic 'up-up-down-down', alternating knees, and a straddle step, with lots of marches and side-steps in between. I was very uncoordinated when I started stepping, this was the only tape I found that was accessible for me.

Leslie is as always friendly and cheerful. Her cueing isn't always great, but this tape is easy to follow anyway. My biggest problem with it as a beginner was the sound was poor & it made me think you were SUPPOSED to make a loud sound like that when you stepped up on the step - don't, you'll hurt yourself. There could be a few more form pointers & safety tips. If you can get another basic step tape like Kathy's or Buns of Steel 7 that does explain form really well, watch it first, then try stepping with Leslie. Good luck!

Denise Patterson


This video is an easy beginner's introduction to step. The step moves are very basic. As well, there are intervals of walk aerobics (marching, side steps). It's good introduction for any beginners who want to try step, including those who are fairly new to exercising.

However, the set is a garish psychadelic pink pattern and some of the cast are wearing hideous clothes...neon orange, neon hot pink and neon lime green. If your eyeballs can stand the strain, I'd recommend it.

Instructor Comments:
Leslie is always approachable. She is chattier and sweatier than her more recent videos. However, I wish she'd use mirror cuing in this video (as she does in her later videos).

Anne MacL


This is a short step tape made in 1990 that is 30 minutes in all including warm-up and cool-down. Leslie uses her basic walk aerobics moves to encourage people to try stepping, as she puts it. She also says things about how much she didn't think stepping was a good idea until she tried it (go figure!). And she talks frequently about how this is a low impact but high fat burning workout. She does all the talking and occasionally talks to the other excercisers, a basically non-descript group of people. Her cuing is so-so (not nearly as good as in her other walk aerobics videos) and she finds herself on the wrong foot a couple of times. She also will, sometimes, tell you that you will start stepping again and then march for a very long period of time. The set and music are also non-descript.

All that said, though, this is a very good tape for a true beginner to fitness and stepping. I gave a copy of this to a friend who was very very out of shape and expressed an interest in using her new step but said that the tape that had accompanied it had her winded in a few minutes. She told me she had done this whole tape and was tired, but ok. The moves are ultra-basic. I suppose if you were incredibly against dancy moves you could up the step height a lot and make this a basically ok short workout. While itdoes get boring after a bit because it's so repetitive, it served me when I needed it.

Jen Pitoniak


This is a good "starter" for someone just beginning step. The warm-up lasts five minutes, then has 21 minutes of a mixture of walking in place and stepping, followed by a 5 minute cool-down. I would recommend this tape for someone who wants to start an exercise program. Her personality may not suit everyone, but I find her motivating, although this particular tape will become too easy after a few months. My husband also enjoys this tape because the steps are very simple and easy to follow. I keep this tape around for days when I want something easier (and shorter!)

Susan Daiber