Intense Step

Dawn Pappas
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Step Aerobics

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If there is one redeeming quality about this video, it is the music. It is fantastic! I think it is by Musicflex. The set and the production appear to be somewhat low-budget. This in and of itself does not make it a bad video (I have a number of videos that don't have the most exciting set or the best film quality), but along with the other shortcomings of this video it makes me have no desire to do this video again. As has been mentioned, there is no rhyme or reason to the choreography, and very little cueing. I gave this one two chances, but I probably shouldn't have wasted my time. I haven't disliked a video so much for quite awhile. The moves were uninteresting, unsafe (although to be fair, there is an exerciser who shows a low-impact alternative, and she seems to be the only one exercising safely), and thrown together haphazardly. The toning section for the upper body consists of pushups. The lower body is all tablework with a weight behind the knee for some of it. The ab section is uninspired. I'm going to have a difficult time believing magazine ratings of videos from now on, since this one received favorable reviews according to Collage. I'm glad that I got this one from the exchange (I'll admit I was curious about it), because I wouldn't have wanted to pay for it. It's back on the exchange, but if there are no takers I'll probably keep it so that I can have it as an example of a BAD video!

Instructor Comments:
Dawn Pappas is not on my list of favorite instructors. She yells out cues a little too loudly and she whoops too much for a video that isn't even fun to do (I prefer a more effective, subtle approach). Her cueing leaves much to be desired. She looked a bit awkward doing some of the moves in this video.

Kristin Aziz


Major disappointment. I watched this on TV before I did it, and it looked very good. I was wrong. This is a mish-mash of "stuff" with no apparent rhyme or reason to it. I have many videos that are challenging to learn but are fun enough that you are motivated to learn them. Not this one. My personal rule is to do a video 3 times before reviewing it, because I think it takes some time before you can really make a good judgment. I have to confess, I only did this one 2.3 times and then quit in disgust.

There are 2 sections: cardio and toning. The cardio is about 30 minutes. It's a bunch of quickly-changing steps that seem to have no relation whatsoever to one another, and to call anything here a "routine" would be a misnomer.

The toning section is a little better. There are 2 tough sets of pushups, some glute/hamstring work (on your knees) that will make you burn even if you don't use weights, and some abs. The abs are monotonous and ineffective. (Crunch fast 8 times, pulse 8 times, repeat with knees up, repeat with legs up, etc., ad nauseum.) She could have at least thrown in some obliques.

I rate this a D+. It's not as bad as some I've seen (at least your heart rate gets up there), but I don't recommend it unless you like frustration.

Annie S.


I happen to really like this tape and I saw a review of it done in the Sept. issue of FIT magazine and this is what it says about it and I completely agree!!

This rocking video delivers a clever mix of step and floor moves at a consistently brisk yet not frantic pace. Dawn Pappas will get you moving, keep you going and have you coming back for more. She mixes familiar moves like jacks, straddles, hop turns and turn steps with less-expected boxing, skating, and skiing moves. The choreography is more dynamic and less dancy than the average step video. The video is rounded out by light toning at the end including pushups, leg lifts and ab work.

I always get a great workout using this tape and have a fun time too!!



.This is a combination of jumping on, off, on top of, over and around the bench with no apparent patterns or forethought. There are wild floor moves and use of the step. Everything I learned during my instructor certification, Pappas either didn't learn or has forgotten. She goes from very complicated moves with no instruction, to very basic moves -- although I don't think this is an interval workout. I'm not sure what it is, and I don't want to know. It's a mish mash of moves she made up and has her own names for. It hurt me to even watch this video; I have no desire to actually try it. Others may feel differently, and I hope you do so there is some good that comes out of this production - but be very careful.

Joni O