Video Fitness

Totally Cool Step

Christi Taylor

I find I never write Christi reviews because her programs are so near flawless there's little to say other than Wow Wow Wow. Christi gives the best video parties in town. I had a smile on my face from beginning to end.

The choreography is advanced but I could pick most of it up right away. This has alot to do with her completely reliable cueing. There's plenty of twirling and turning, never a dull moment. The time flew by. I found myself actually wishing it wouldn't end.

The music includes some Stevie Wonder and Jackson Five. My only conceivable complaint is I would have mixed it louder.

She's got maybe 6 cast members with her. 2 do advanced stuff, the rest do a simpler version. I didn't watch the "move master" where she breaks everything down - but I'm sure it will be helpful for many who want to learn to do more complex moves. I did watch "Behind the Scenes" and enjoyed that very much.

The warm up blends seamlessly into the routines. There's about 45 minutes of cardio. Nice cool down.

I would say this program is not as difficult as Step Heaven, but a notch harder than Still Steppin.

Whats not to like? A+

Instructor comments: Christi is a very talented, hard working instructor. Her cueing is absolutely impeccable and her routines are always inspired.

Jane C
altroute66@yahoo.com
April 13, 2002

Fabulous! Christi packs a full class into only 49 minutes, and youíre working hard from beginning to end. Of course, you donít realize youíre working hard because itís so much fun. She teaches a little faster than in previous workouts, but her outstanding cueing and instruction let her get away with that Ė not many could pull it off like she does. The choreography is advanced, but not as complex as the second section of Step Heaven. The music is very good, but unfortunately, itís not as good as the music in some of her previous workouts. Itís still way beyond 90% of other tapes out there, though. Christi is just the absolute best and I canít wait for her to make some more workouts. Grade A+. Annie S.
ann.stevenson@att.net
4-27-2002

WU: 5min, integrated into routine
Step: about 40 min.
CD: Don' t rememember!
Bonus Cardio + CD on DVD: 15 min.

Some Known Songs:
Roadhouse Blues
Heard It Through the Grapevine
I Love Rock n' Roll
We Will Rock You
Hold On
Oh What a Night
Unbreak My Heart

I will enjoy any video Christi makes. So when I received new videos last week, I popped this one in!

I found this workout ackward in the warm-up, as it incorporates quick stretches within the dance routine. The choreography is pretty complex, but I managed to get all the moves by the time the combos are run through together - and yes, it helps to have done other Christi tapes! The first half of the workout contains 3 Combos, and once through, are not reviewed again in the second half of the workout - the second half brings in 3 new combos. The move I didn' t care for were the bows and arrows/hamstring curls across the step and floor (very repititious). All the other moves I liked.

That said, I didn't enjoy it as much as Step Heaven or CIA 9801. The intensity is moderate for me (int.adv), and the rock music is "okay." I really like these songs, but I prefer dance music in workouts.

I found the Cool down choreography so-so, but she thoroughly stretches you out - back, calves, hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings. I didn' t try the bonus cardio on my first try here, but the extra minutes are repeating choreo moves you've just learned.

On the DVD I didn't check the Move Master, or try the bonus abs (yet!). The 24 min. bonus footage are scenes of the trip to the studio, and the prep before, in home-movie style. It is not as interesting as the bloopers on her previous videos - I won' t watch this section again. This video will definitely get a regular rotation from me. Christi is a great instructor and she puts fun choreography with lots of turns to keep my interest level high.

Instructor comments: Christi is a cueing queen, and this choreography needs it! She is a blast to work out with.

Jennifer V
intensia@videotron.ca
May 5, 2002

I'm sure that this video has been broken down and explained well. So I'd just like to add that I love, love, love this workout. If I'm feeling down - it makes me feel better. If I'm feeling good - it makes me feel even better still. The music is good, the moves are fun. It's just the right amount of time and with the extra cardio section it's perfect for good long days too.

Instructor comments: Christi loves what she does and it's infectious. You can't help loving it right along with her.

Nat

5/11/02

It's kind of embarrassing to admit how thrilling I find the release of a new Christi Taylor video to be; after all, my days of star-struck admiration should be long gone! Nevertheless, I detected a perceptible rise in adrenline when I heard about the Totallys, and couldn't wait to try them once they arrived.

What marvelous fun! I enjoyed all aspects of Totally Cool Step. The music, always such an important component of any Christi workout, is generously flavored with R&B favorites edged with a little rock and roll spunk. Christi leads six background exercisers; two ladies at the front demonstrate more advanced moves while the other four stay with more intermediate modifications a la Still Steppin'.

Six step combinations are taught in two separate segments of this 45 minute workout. The first combo is introduced in the warmup at a slightly slower tempo; the warmup also incorporates some dynamic stretches, and establishes a sense of momentum. It also clearly previews the predictably effective teaching style used throughout the workout.

In general, Christi blends her choreography intuitively within 8, 16, and 32 count blocks of music, and uses demonstration, practice, and review to build the combinations via add-ons. Advanced modifications are layered seamlessly, and have a perfect kinesthetic flow, sense of joy, and capacity for intensity--all of which make them seem challenging yet approachable. And they are all so much fun to do!

As always, Christi cues clearly, in perfect musical sync, and with contagious enthusiasm. Overall, this workout is not as choreographically difficult as Stage Two of Step Heaven or the second section of Still Steppin', but the trade-off allows for a greater concentration on building intensity. It's still intellectually challenging, and the fun quotient is way up there.

Laura
7/10/02

Instructor comments: Creative, competent, confident, cheerful Christi--she's the consummate teacher.

lauraspark
lauraspark@ec.rr.com
7/10/02

Totally fun. You can now count me as a convert to Christi's step workouts. The only workouts of her's that I had done previously were Happy Hour Hi/Lo and Hi/Lo Heaven. While I kind of liked Happy Hour, I found Hi/Lo Heaven a little confusing and did not care for the music at all.
When I first popped in TCS I thought I might be feeling that way about this workout. The first song seemed kind of strange for a workout video (Roadhouse Blues?) and the second song is one I have heard too many times (I Heard it Through the Grapevine). Also, I became quite confused with the choreography about 15 minutes into the workout. Still, I enjoyed all the turns and pivots enough to give it a second try the next day. I'm so glad I did. The music gets better throughout the workout (and now I will even concede the first two songs work with the workout)and I was able to pick up so much more of the chorepgraphy on the second try. I just had to realize that sometimes Christi cues early. By about the fourth time I did the workout (in the span of oh, say, five days!) I was able to do the whole thing without any problem. The moves just flow together so well.
One thing that disappointed me was that all the combinations were not put together for one final run through. However, I discovered that this may be done by selecting "bonus cardio" from the menu. This has you run through the routine three times and includes the cool down.
A few things that really stand out for me in this workout:
The warm up: I love that you are working on the first combination from the get go. She includes some quick dynamic stretches, but it does not feel at all like a warm up.
The music: The second half includes some great music. A few of the songs I recognize from some of Cathe's earlier workouts, but they sound so much better on this dvd.
The dvd has some great features. In addition to the aforementioned TIFTTing section, there is a nice ab workout. The move master is helpful too (although I have used tis feature more with Solid Gold Step more than with this workout)
Finally, I just love all the turns, spins and pivots.

Instructor comments: She really appears to be enjoying herself. No cutesy comments such as "You thought you were going to get a rest?" a la Cathe.

roz
March 2006

This step video is fun for the music alone. The combinations are fun and catchy. I would say the intensity is intermediate, but the choreography is complex. There are two sections of three step combinations each. I usually like to stop right before the cool down, go to the Extra Cardio bonus on the DVD and go through all six combinations with this section. I give this workout a solid A.

Instructor comments: Christi cues well and I love her choice of music for most of her videos.

Lady D

7/22/06



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