Step Reebok: Dance Step

Petra Kolber
Year Released: 1995

Categories: Step Aerobics

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There are many other reviews of this video - many of which dislike this video for bad form. I don't have any problems with the form shown on this workout. In fact, Petra reminds you several times to make sure your whole foot is on the step.

I really enjoy this video. It's 28 minutes including the warm-up and cool-down. I'm a high-intermediate/low-advanced exerciser. This workout is great for me following a hard strength workout. It's typically not what I'd choose if I was concentrating on cardio that day. It's not too intense.

I've had this video for several years (3 or 4) and keep on coming back to it. It has somewhat interesting choreography, but nothing too difficult. I enjoy the music and like Petra's emphasis on breath throughout the workout. Additionally, I like the video screen in the background which provides changing views in the background. Overall, this one is an A for me.

Instructor Comments:
Petra is a friendly and supportive instructor. I enjoy working out with her.

Catherine O'Neill


There are such mixed reviews on this tape I wanted to add my $.02. I got this tape and have done it once. I consider myself an intermediate exerciser.

My initial impression of this tape is that it is a good tape for a high-intermediate or advanced exerciser, if you don't have the time (or energy) for a very long workout.

The workout is right around 28 minutes long. It consists of somewhat complex step aerobics. You'll do moves such as the Charleston on the step, cha cha's, that type of thing - dancy, but not in a Christi Taylor way.

The music is very quiet and, in my opinion, didn't fit the workout very well. It was not typical workout music - kind of slow and low-key for almost the first half of the tape.

This tape does not take a lot of floor space - the move that probably takes up the most space is a walk-around-the-step move.

It is almost all low-impact, with a little bit of optional high-impact thrown in.

There are a couple of optional pivots which aren't great to do on carpet.

Overall, I enjoyed this video and will save it for a day when I just don't feel up to a very long workout. It's complex enough to hold your interest for the half hour, and has inventive arm moves which are somewhat difficult the first time through, but give old moves a new flavor.

Instructor Comments:
Pleasant, low-key instructor. Seems to really enjoy her workouts. Cueing could be better though.



Since there is so much disagreement about this tape, I thought I'd put in my 2 cents. I've had this workout for a while, and have enjoyed it, and continue to enjoy it. For those who are looking for 30 minute step workouts, there aren't lots of choices, and I think this is a good one.

For a half hour tape there is quite a bit of interesting choreography. It took me a while to catch on to the arms, but I got a decent workout while learning because I could follow the feet usually. And even now that I have learned the routine, it is still fun, not boring (ok, I don't bore as easily as some).

Petra is quiet, pleasant instructor, and there is no whooping. I never noticed any problems with form before I read the reviews here, and even now I think Petra's form is fine (Kasey is another story).

That's not to say that I don't have some peeves with this video. I notice that there seems to be some problem with the synchronization of the video and the audio. I particularly notice it during the warmup, when it is very noticeable that Petra's voice and lip movements are not in sync. Surprisingly, this doesn't seem to interfere with my ability to stay on the beat.

I also find that at the beginning of the cooldown, it's as if we come to a complete halt. A little bit into the cooldown she starts to use the step some. I just reverse things, and do some light use of the step at the beginning of the cooldown, and move to the floor later in the cooldown.

So, I'd say if you're looking for a moderate intensity, moderate plus complexity, 30 minute step workout; think about this one despite the mixed reviews.

mel VF


In all honesty, I did very little of this video. The music was soft and boring--an automatic turn-off for me. The background screen was continually changing and visually annoying. The EP mode further made this tape ininspiring. There are too many exciting instructors out there, and too many well-produced tapes to bother with this one.



I read the reviews for this after I bought this tape and was a little nervous. But, I watched it once through and then did it. I don't understand how anyone saw Petra as having improper form. I've been stepping for about 8 years and am a Cathe fan. But I've been out of my exercise routine for the past year. I wanted some short, effective workouts to do for the next month or two until I build up to Cathe. This tape is perfect for me. It was well cued and interesting. It was challenging and fun, too. The arms were a little wierd, but I actually liked the "scoop" (during the V-step). Other than that, I just used the normal arms that are pretty standard in step. I recommend this for people who have been stepping for awhile, and need a short, effective workout.



OK--wow, what a mixed bag of reviews on this one! I've been stepping for quite a while--needed something short for days when I just don't have a lot of I bought DANCE STEP. I like it. Petra is easy to follow--decent queing. The arms ARE a little difficult to pick up on--but I got them the third time I did the video. This is a nice, short workout. And as for the complaints re: form...any stepper with a little experience KNOWS good form. So maybe it's worth saying that this is a video for people with a little experience.

Instructor Comments:



I was surprised at all the negativity this tape generated. I just finished it for the 3rd time and I have a GOOD sweat worked up in a fairly short amount of work-out time. The cooresponding arm movements are a bit complicated at first, but after a few times, as with anything, you get it. On non-FIRM days, this is a terrific, short work-out, a definite keeper! Grade-A!

Instructor Comments:
I think Petra is a very able instructor,great cueing and perfectly enchanting personality.Very motivating.I also love watching her back-up exercisers,especially Kassey(sp?)who adds a 'funkiness' to the steps.

Kat R.


I, too, like this video. Maybe because I've been stepping for so long, I just didn't notice bad form - probably wasn't looking too carefully. I had no trouble following the steps and because of its short length I like to combine this workout with Petra's other half-hour video, Sweat Factory, a funky dance video.

Combining the two gives me a great cardio workout, which I usually follow up with a weight training tape. I have enjoyed adding this to my video library, and do think some merit can be found it its production.

The one thing I did agree with from all the other reviews was that KASEY REALLY IS ANNOYING!

Instructor Comments:
I genuinely like Petra Kolber.I thought her calling of the steps was accurate and I enjoyed her enthusiasm.



From the other reviews I've read, it seems that this video was not well received by advanced athletes. As I understand it, this video was part of the versa training collection. It wasn't intended as a stand alone workout. I purchased it and did in fact use it by itself. I worked out faithfully 3-4 times each week, and wound up losing 47 pounds on it, combined with a healthy diet. From my experience, I found it to be a very effective workout, in fact, I still use it!

Instructor Comments:
I had been stepping for about a year before purchasing this video. I thought Petra explained the moves to this routine quite well. It didn't take long to catch on. She was also very good a giving you enough lead time for the next set of moves.

Dawn K.


This video is just "okay." It's a short intermediate-level workout. The whole tape is 28 minutes. I like to do short tapes before strength work, but I prefer the Crunch tapes over Reebok.

Despite the Dance Step title, the only "dance" comes in with the arm movements. There is no dancy footwork, so if you're a dance-hater, this should please you. You can always just do your own arm movements, which is pretty much what I do with this.

I can't work up much passion about this tape one way or the other. I don't hate it, and I don't love it. I rate it a C.

Annie S.


Also, contrary to the other reviews, I like this video. I think form won't be such a bad problem if you are an experienced stepper and are used to correct form. Yes, the moves were confusing, and she didn't take time to explain them, but I like that in a video. After a gazillion times, you get a little tired of hearing an explanation. This just makes it challenging, which I like.I also like the length. I know if you do a 20 minute workout every day, you won't see much improvement physically-but this is an excellent warmup for days that are primarily strength training. I think if anyone of the other reviewers puts this on the video exchange, you should get it. I like it!!!



Well, it appears that Reebok feels they have a star in Petra Kolber. Young, pretty, vivacious, engaging, enchanting, with a terrific body, lots of energy, and an English accent, she was a sure-fire hit in last year's Reebok Winning Body Workout, a strengthening and conditioning tape. This year she pips Gin Miller from the spotlight as the star of a brand new Step Reebok video - Dance Step Reebok. The choreography is fun, if low-intensity. The music starts at 125 BPM for the stepping segment (and I have the stopwatch to prove it). The form and execution is *appalling*. I have been a Step Reebok certification examiner for two years and would not, in good conscience, have been able to give passing scores to any of the three steppers in the video (Kolber included).

Why? Kolber:

  • Form and alignment during the warmup and step training segments. Constant bending forward at hips due to severe, uncontrolled lordosis.
  • Bouncing through heels while stepping.
  • Bouncing throuh knees while stepping.
  • Lack of full knee extension while stepping.
  • Lack of full range of motion in hip joint while stepping.
  • Stepping too far away from the platform.
  • Heels hanging off of the platform.

Female participant:

  • All of the complaints about Kolber, but more severe.
  • Particularly bad bouncing. Right foot heel rarely contacts floor after about 5-10 minutes into the video.
  • Occasional unsupported forward spinal flexion.
  • Uncontrolled whipping of body during "dance" segments (lack of control). [Ed. note: I would be hard-pressed to decide between a "2" (unsatisfactory) and "1" (high injury potential for a participant following this instructor).
  • Stomping on the platform.
  • Uncontrolled arm movements.

Male Participant: (the best of the lot)

  • Lack of full knee extension.
  • Arms lack control.
  • Arms not moved through full range of motion.
  • Occasionally steps too far away from platform.

In addition, the warm-up and cool-down are a scant 4 minutes each, the RPE check is a "talk test" which is not indicated as such, and the warm-up music is not in synch with the movements (they don't start on beat 1 with a grapevine, for example - other movements are totally independent of the music).

This is a sorry continuation of the sort of slapdash production style we began to see hints of in "The Reebok Aerostep Workout" with its sloppy edits leaving the partipants on the wrong foot sometimes, and a further deviation from the established guidelines from stepping technique and class safety (Aerostep was the first Step Reebok tape to be above 122 BPM - it was 124 BPM throughout the aerobic segment).

Reebok needs to get a real attitude about their music guideline, or they need to stick to it in their videos. Forcing certification specialists, trainers, and certification examiners to try to get people to hold to guidelines even Reebok does not follow is sure folly and damages our credibility in the fitness industry.

Moreover, as the "founders" of step training, they owe it to the public to present the highest level of form and technique. There is a difference between adding dance influence to step training and falling into shoddy technique, and this is clearly the latter. If the leader of the pack can't step up and down with *zero* bounce in her heels, then the rest of the participants who buy this tape and use it at home don't have a prayer of knowing what correct technique is. I adore Petra Kolber. She utterly charmed me in the "Winning Body Workout". But I feel that she is not a good representative for proper step training technique no matter how much fun she might be to be around. Her performance (and that of her compatriots) in this video makes a very strong case for considering 125 BPM way too fast (much less the 130-140 BPM we're seeing with some of the "advanced" step tapes).

I would like to see Reebok return to making the sort of quality videos that have distinguished them in the marketplace. As a group exercise leader and as a personal trainer I have used their videos in the past for inspiration, and as part of client programming. Sadly, "Dance Step Reebok" will stay on my shelf and collect dust.

Larry DeLuca


All I can say about this video is the reason I will not be doing it again is because the moves were extremely difficult for me. Just when I was getting the routine down, she changed into another routine. It was extremely frustrating. I don't have enough time on my hands to learn this routine, when there are great STEP videos that will keep my heart pumping and I can following along on the first time through.

This video was *overall* not up the quality of other Reebok videos.

Julianne Johnston


Reebok's "Guru of Aerobics" fails miserably in this dismal video. I recommend that EVERYONE go out and buy this tape. Beginners through advanced level need to view this tape. It's inexpensive and teaches an excellent lesson. How to execute step aerobics in a dangerous and ineffective manner. It is well worth the less than ten dollars I spent to learn how NOT do step aerobics.

This fiasco of a tape, transports you into an MTV-type setting replete with metaphysical undertones and "inspirational" quotes. The set is actually the strong point of this video. And I totally agree that the mind is a powerful tool in achieving fitness goals. However, in the name of subliminal messaging, the developers of this routine have let safety and form slip into the abyss. To me, these considerations are paramount--especially for those not trained in exercise physiology.

There is no basic instruction in how to execute moves. Instead Kolber begins flinging herself wildly in moves that take credibility from the Reebok name.

The person who is especially annoying on this tape is the female exerciser, Kasey. She fancies she is some type of wonderful step dancer and adds dangerous moves to even the most basic of steps. Her arms and shoulders flail spastically--her back arches in a manner reminiscent of Linda Blair in the "Exorcist." Sorry Kasey, while your moves are newsy and cute, you fail miserably as an step aerobics instructor--if you were in my class, I would definitely correct your form.

The male participant is OK, but his form is still not the best. But to his credit, he does move in a more controlled fashion than his female counterparts.

Ms. Kolber's occasional nose-scrunching grimaces and hoarse voice are also annoying to me. At the end of the tape during the cool-down session, she makes an extra move with her neck to the music during the neck rolls that could be dangerous and looks--well, goofy. I thought she was having a seizure.

The production quality is fair. The music is nice; however, the sound quality is bad. Reebok again detracts from its name with this production. But hey, it was less than $10, right? Wrong. For a few dollars more, I can get wonderfully produced tapes like the FIRM or FIRM parts.

Grade for this Tape: D- (and I'm being generous here) I actually do this tape when I need a couple of laughs and feel haughty enough to pretend I am correcting Kolber and her comrades.

Still, it's a must see! View it and weep! And remember, if Reebok will put its name on a tape of this caliber, imagine how the shoes are built!

Amy Steppe


I chose this video because of the short duration of the workout. I get up at 4 o'clock every morning to be at work and I don't have time for a long workout--but need one to get me going for the day. Keep in mind that I am not an aerobics instructor but I really enjoy this workout. Petra Kolber is very motivating and gets me moving at a pace to where I am working through the duration of the workout. I did not find the choreography difficult although I had to do the video several times before getting it right. I also appreciate the tips for modifying the workout that Petra provides. The one thing I didn't care for was the way she has you move your head during the cooldown--but I just modified to a movement I'm comfortable with. The bottom line--for a short aerobic workout, this is pretty good.



I had just purchased this yesterday (along with the new Kathy Smith) as my New Year's present, and thought I would come to this site and check out the reviews. YIKES! Even though it's cheap, I hate to waste money on videos that are duds. After all the bad reviews, I had to take a look at it this morning.

I was looking for a short step tape, to accompany two short (1/2 hour) workouts I like to do; Molly Fox's "Total Body Workout", which is a super little free weight workout, and good old Jane Fonda Beginner's original vintage audiotape of floor exercise (1/2 hour, and gets the job done well in that amount of time). So here was this cool-looking Reebok tape that fit in that time frame.

Visuals: In a word, YUCK. A dreary post-industrial set, dominated by a giant video screen which flashes Big Brother- like semi-subliminal messages like "STEP" and "HEARTRATE", along with exciting footage of blood rushing through veins, and mostly inscrutable, creepy video snippets. I felt like we were on the U2 Zoo TV tour. And what are those outfits Petra and the other female participant are wearing? How could such outstanding bodies look so dorky? (I think it's the skin-tight coach's shorts - EEUUWWW.)

Production: Apparently the camera crew has never shot an exercise video before. Close-ups of Petra's face instead of her feet. Columns seem to get in the way frequently. I thought Karen Voight's "Strong and Smooth Moves" had weird camera angles; Dance Step is the new winner!

Music: Being a fan of the wonderfully produced, very motivating music found on most of the Jane Fonda videos, I found the music on this video to be completely unmotivating. It got a little more interesting near the end, but the opening half was like the music at a trendy hair salon where no matter how cool you think you are, you are not as cool as the regular patrons. Mechanical and austere.

Routine: Though the steps are familiar and put together to make a challenging short routine, what is the deal with the arms? I couldn't follow these arms if my life depended on it. It seemed like a lot of the arm movements threw my body off-balance, causing a lot of the form problems noted by others in this forum. I think adaptation is going to be the key here.

Closing: If I knew nothing else about the Reebok tapes, I would never buy another one after this one. Because of the convenient length, I will stick with it and modify it for my needs.

Kathy Diemer