Step By DesignCarole Paradise
Year Released: 2005
Categories: Step Aerobics
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Step workouts are generally quite fun for me. I pick up routines fairly quickly, and donít have too much trouble with complex choreography. Music that fits with the routine is always a plus, and it makes me want to reach for those DVDs again and again. I think this workout is going to be one of my fun favorites, and therefore I will get some good use out of it. The reviews written before mine have done an excellent job of breaking down this workout, but I feel that Carole Paradise really thought it out when she designed this DVD. Each section blends nicely into the next, and even while she is building up in complexity, you never feel like you are having any trouble keeping up. In fact, I didnít even preview this workout before doing it. I jumped right in and I got all of the choreography the first time. I donít know if it is the excellent cueing done my Carole, or if I am just used to step workouts, but I really didnít have to concentrate on memorizing the routine. It just flowed nicely, and I never got tripped up.
The workout is done on 6Ē, but I think that the next time I try it I will go up to an 8Ē step. There are very little high impact moves, and therefore I think it would be easy to raise the height and get a slightly more intense workout.
The music was good, but I have heard most of it in other exercise videos. That didnít bother me though - I just recognized it as I would a favorite song on the radio.
I think Carole did an excellent job with this workout. She is comfortable in front of the camera, and she looks like she is having a great time. Her cueing is outstanding, and I would definitely be interested in other workouts she does in the future.
On cardio work, I am an intermediate to advanced exerciser who enjoys complex choreography
at some level. I also enjoy my "easier" workouts on those mornings I don't feel
like thinking that much. After trying many different cardio workouts with varying
complexity, I have found that I enjoy many different workouts, but my absolute favorites
are those that many complexity lovers on VF would classify as intermediate because
the instructor takes awhile to build combinations and/or explains more than the
most complex instructors. My favorites are instructors like Kari Anderson, Marcus
Irwin, and Donna Read.
After reading about this workout here on VF, I was very interested, but was hesitant given I had never heard of this instructor before. A kind VFer loaned it to me to try. And, it almost immediately went on my "buy" list because I REALLY enjoyed this workout.
Carole leads this workout with two background exerciser. One does easier modifications and the other does the harder version with Carole. It is done in a studio with wood floor and walls. There isn't any decoration. The warm up and cardio step section last 44 minutes.
This workout is comprised of three long combinations that seem to flow really well. In each, she starts at the beginning and continues to add moves and complexity for quite awhile. The choreography is fairly basic, but put together in "different" ways. I tried to think of what workout I have that it reminds me of and came up with Candice Copeland's Step Ahead. They aren't really alike, but have the same feel for me with basic choreography with moves put together in a "different" way. The impact is minimal. I went with the modifier twice to avoid a higher-impact move (first, a jumping jack and second a ski move).
On the negative side, Carole never indicates where to unload the knee. This workout wouldn't be for beginners who don't know about that need. Also, once in awhile, I would be trying to follow the moves and the camera angle would be weird, moving away from them as I was trying to tell what they were doing. Once I knew the workout (like the second time I did it), it probably wouldn't be as annoying, if I noticed at all.
Overall, this was a really fun workout. It fits well with my desire to do longer cardio workouts (minimum 45 minutes) and not wanting to think about what I'm doing some days. I was engaged with this workout from beginning to end. The time went so fast and I really enjoyed it!
She cues really well throughout the workout and has a really engaging manner. I hope she makes more video workouts!
Service: Excellent! I ordered Tues & received my dvd on Friday. You can pay
via paypal. She also included a printed breakdown of the routine in the dvd.
Production: Really good. It seems like Carole spared no expense to make sure this dvd came out great. The routine was filmed in a studio with brick walls and large windows in the background. Seemed nice and airy!
Music: The music was all right, but a little loud (for me). There were a few times I had trouble hearing Carole cue. But, it did not impede me from getting the moves down. The music is typical of a CIA blend.
Me: I am an advanced exerciser and have been stepping for 10+ years. I can catch on to choreography pretty well. Cathe and Christi are my favorites.
Choreography: Not fancy. If you are looking for someone like Christi, or Cathe for that matter, you will not find it in this routine. To me, she almost seemed a cross between Gay Gasper and Charlene Prickett. A little flair like Gay but solid & more athletic like Charlene. You will find a few twists and turns, but not enough to spin your brain!
Carole teaches layered style, so you will learn the more basic move before the advanced version. She breaks down the moves really, really well. I caught all the choreography the first time through. Typically I always get Cathe the first time through but Christi might take a couple times. If you pick up step choreography pretty easy this one will be a breeze.
Carole has a man and woman do the routine with her. The man performs the advanced moves with Carole and the woman performs the basic (and she is very easy to follow if you chose to follow her lead).
She teaches 3 combos in total. After you complete a combo she has you take it all from the top a couple of times through. So, to me, there was not a lot of TIFT. The last time you do the entire routine she splits it so you do one side with all 3 combos before you do the other. I enjoyed this the most.
When I initially previewed the routine (which probably helped tremendously with my catching everything the first time) it seemed somewhat fast paced and a little tricky. After doing it, that turned out not to be the case: the pace was about medium and the moves are broken down so thoroughly that it is not hard to catch onto.
Intensity wise, as shown doing the advanced movements, the workout is probably a solid intermediate. However, the next time I will up the intensity since I will be more familiar with the workout and will know which moves I can add a little propulsion to. I think you can go about anywhere, intensity wise, with this workout.
Overall, I think this will be nice addition to my step workouts as a medium paced and fun styled workout. I think people that have a difficult time with more advanced step choreography will find this workout easier to catch on to.
Great instructor. Very personable. You can tell she has a great time while teaching. I would love to take one of her live classes.
It appears very rustic with brick walls and windows. It is very open and works
well for the workout. The production quality is great. VisionTeleProductions produced
the dvd. The camera work is well done with no funny angles, etc to deter from actually
doing the workout.
Energetic club style music is used and Carole's combo's flow with the beat, making it easier to follow.
This is a non-stop step party!! I did this workout at 4:30am and had no problems following along. Carole's cueing is dead-on so you'll always know what is coming. Her approach is very athletic. This was a low impact but intense workout that keeps your heart rate up throughout the combinations. Carole layers the moves and adds intensity/variation as she moves along. Stepping with her are Paul, who does the more advanced moves, and Cindy, who modifies the entire workout for those individuals who don't want to do the more intense variations.
You'll learn the basic version of Combo 1 in your warmup then do some stretches before going into the workout. Carole does 3 combinations and the breakdowns are well taught. The choreography is advanced but because of her teaching style the combos are easy to learn.
Here is the breakdown of her moves for each combo as she provided to me:
** 1 alternating kick
** 1 full reverse turn
** v-step on floor
** v-step on top
** v-double knee/spin to end
** stomp the floor/stomp the step
** repeaters across the top
** double stomp down home edge/single stomp
** rock & pivot
** long repeater
** walk off end/shuffle to other end/walk off that end/shuffle home
** basic over
** reverse hop rocking horse into a box step home
** charleston kick or ski
** 2 split lunges
** 3-knee walkover rock
** karate knee on front
** hop turn karate home
** step knee to the back/step knee to the front
** 3 hamstring curls on top/exit home
** 3 hamstring curls on top with full turn off end
** 3 alternating side leg lifts at end
** shuffle turn home
Carole brought back the fun in step for me with this workout. I hope she makes more workouts in the future. This workout truly does capture your energy and attention from beginning to end!!
Check out her website at www.stepbydesign.com
Carole's cueing is great and her layering of each combination makes it easier to follow. I enjoyed her personality too!!