Step, Layers & LinksPetra Kolber
Year Released: 2001
Categories: Step Aerobics
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So far this is my favorite Petra Kolber video out of the three or so I've tried. It's a solid intermediate intensity, intermediate complexity step workout lasting about 30 minutes sans warmup and cooldown.
Petra works out alone in what looks like a sort-of gazebo--three walls adorned with colorful abstract paintings and what looks like the night air with flowers peeking between the wall corners. I thought it was pretty. The music is sort of instrumental jazz; I believe some of it is the same as in Cathe's Pure STrength series as well as some Sara's City videos.
Petra's layers include turning a basic into a turnstep into a backward L-step atop the step, or a mambo on the floor into a mambo over the step. Another mambo turns into a "chug" off the sides of the step. All the moves are basic but she combines them into almost intricate patterns. I was surprised to find myself doing what turned out to be a rather complex pattern as a final product. There are definitely some trickier transitions that caused me to rewind a few times, like where you do a backward L-step on the step then immediately do a mambo on the step, then off the step. She's more complex than Gay Gasper or Andre Houle but not quite as much as Seasun Zeiger or Patrick.
Charming instructor with a cute accent and demeanor ("Fantastic!" "Perfect!") She's a good cuer who gives you a demo of a new move and lets you learn it, but doesn't draw it out.
This video would be a great introduction to more moderately complex choreography. It is Petra alone (no background exercisers). The music is Dynamix music that has been heard before, but you can hear it very clearly, along with Petra's instructors clearly. I think this video would be perfect for people who don't like learning a lot of complex choreo, but want something more challenging that just basic stepping. I would think that the video would also be a great learning tool for those who want to increase and/or improve their choreo skills, since Petra is so motivating and encouraging. This would also be a great step video for people who like to step on an 8" or a 10" platform.
For fans of Cathe, Christi, Andre, G Force, there are no really "new" or innovative moves here, and that is why I traded it after a few uses. But 4 years ago, when I didn't do a lot of complex step tapes, this would have been a perfect intro to move up to more complex stepping instructors. I am very glad that Petra has found a way to continue to make videos - she is a great instructor and I hope she makes more. I would love to see her make a CIA video with Greg that was more complex and more for advanced exercisers.
Petra is an incredibly warm and encouraging instructor. She has a great demeanor and seems very caring. She looks awesome, as always and I hope she continues to make more videos!
I was really turned off the first time I did this video because the back cover talks about "creative choreography," "innovative combinations," and "latest and greatest step choreography." I was expecting something unique, but this is stuff that Christi, Franny, Andre, Marcus, Kari, etc., have been doing for a few years now. After my initial disappointment, I've decided that this is a pretty good tape after all. No, it's not cutting-edge as the promoters would lead you to believe, but it is fun and has good intensity. The choreography ranges from intermediate to advanced, and so does the intensity. Petra teaches the combos very well, and when you put them together, the choreography becomes advanced (and fun). It's 45 minutes including the warm-up and cool-down; perfect for doing at 4 a.m.! The step speed is a little slower than what we've become used to (she follows the Reebok guidelines), but it fits well with this choreography. In other words, you don't feel like you're going to slow. Grade A-.