CIA 2K01: Two Jammin' Workouts in One

Gay Gasper
Year Released: 2000

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Step Aerobics

I know a lot of VFers have dissed this tape as "not intense enough". I just acquired it via the exchange and find myself wondering "what's not to like about this video??" The instructor is excellent, Gay is very professional, friendly without being overly talky, and one of the MOST excellent cuers in the known world. The music in this tape is excellent, it comes close to rivalling the music in Christi Taylor's Hi-Lo Heaven, which in my humble opinion is the GOLD STANDARD in the video world today. The hi-lo is intermediate in both intensity and complexity. Gay teaches well, starting with a simple pattern, adding small variations at a time with adequate repetition, until she has transformed her simple pattern into a fairly complex one quite painlessly. For those who would like to move up in complexity but are frustrated by Christi Taylor's "watch me" style and quick cuing, Gay might be just the ticket. This hi-lo will not satisfy choreography junkies (like myself) but I wish I'd had this tape as an intermediate step when I was trying to move up from simple choreography to Christi and Franny! I think a good intermediate tape is worth its weight in gold, as it provides a challenge to the advanced beginner and a respite for an advanced exerciser. I expect to use this tape on days when I need a break from too much intensity/complexity but want to work up a decent sweat and need good music to motivate me to do so. It might be intermediate in intensity, and intermediate in choreography, but it is TOP NOTCH in quality and definitely fits its niche well.

The Step and Strike portion is also excellent. The music is less inspiring than in the hi-lo portion but it is OK, there is a segment with Shania Twain's "Feel Like A Woman" which is a real hoot! The step combos are a TON of fun, taught more slowly than we're used to in CIAs but as I mentioned above, that can be a good thing! These are really fun, flowing combos as taught, and the advanced modifications (which, as others have mentioned, CAN be a bit hard to see) are even more fun! The kickboxing segments frustrated me. I think someone experienced in kickboxing would like them but I got really confused. I'm sure I'll master these with a few times through. The intensity goes way down during the first kickboxing segment as you stand still to learn good punching form. . . the other segments don't have this problem. This is fairly choreographed kickboxing, not the drill-type kickboxing of Tae Bo. It is similar to Kathy Smith's kickboxing only the combos are significantly more complex.

I give Gay Gasper a big thumbs up, she strikes a very professional and friendly tone that avoids the extremes of a Karen Voight/Moira Stott on the one hand or a Denise Austin/Charlene Prickett on the other. Her cuing rates right up there with Cathe's if not slightly better (is such a thing possible?). This is a great step-up-to-CIA tape, a very effective "warm-up" to more complex choreography. The ONLY reason I give this tape a mere A instead of an A+ is because Gay uses kicks in the warm-up (ack!) for hamstring stretches! What was she thinking?? --I guess a tape has to have a flaw or two so the reviews of it sound realistic, LOL.

Susan Phillips