Still Jumpin'

Christi Taylor
Year Released: 2001

Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance

If videotapes had personalities - and we all know they do - Still Jumpin' would be my ponytail personality workout. Everything about SJ conspires to make you want to shake your ponytail, snap your fingers and go. Even though I cut my hair short over a year ago, I still manage to make a few little wisps in back bounce and roll when I get into my "hopscotch," my double ponies and my hips-and-heels. American Bandstand, here I come! (Note to self: turn all mirrors to face the wall.)

Before I get too carried away with praise for SJ, not to mention the fascinating nuances of my sweaty hair, here are some details about the actual workout.

SJ is a 60-minute cardio-lovers dream. The music is a great mix of popular vocals and oldie & goodies. "Turn the Beat Around," "Enough is Enough," and "Still the One" are just a few of the songs you'll find yourself happily crooning along to. And if the music doesn't woo you, the choreography sure will. The complexity is on a level with Hi/Lo Heaven's stage one or Happy Hour Hi/Lo. All delivered with Christi's trademark style: she takes a standard hamstring curl, a pony or a mambo, makes a few rhythm and directional changes, adds some crisp and classy arm movements - and suddenly you are way past working out and well into the DQZ. (Dancing Queen Zone.) This is a bare midriff and tie up your shirt tails workout, because you'll just know that Patrick Swayze is coming to dirty dance you off your feet at any moment.

The intensity is about equal to Christi's other hi/lo videos, but because the first two choreography blocks start out mostly low impact, it builds slowly. Don't panic, endorphin addicts, the workout will take off on you before you know it.

Christi has pulled out all the stops to make this workout accessible for choreography addicts and people-who-count-out-the-beats alike. She and the front row of exercisers demonstrate all the spins, pivots and twists that the choreography lovers desire. Then the back two rows - dressed in eye-catching hot yellow shirts - stay with the simpler option. Christi also managed to please the combo lovers and those who can't bear to hear another rendition of "lets take it from the top" by dividing the 45 minutes of cardio into two segments of completely different choreography blocks. Segment 1 has 4 blocks of choreography and lasts almost 25 minutes. Then on to segment 2 which flies by with just 3 blocks of choreography.

And then, for those who don't have time to do the whole workout, no need to fast forward to the cooldown, just follow along with "mini-Christi" on the little screen and stretch while the cast is starting segment two. All of these efforts endear SJ to me even more, because they show that Christi listens to her fans and responds.

Christi's cueing is spot on and peppered with Christi-isms. Right after a song lyric saying, "I can't go on," Christi starts to teach a new step and says, "I'm going on." Pause. "Even though I can't." Pause. Giggle. Then explains. It's cute. And I get completely and embarrassingly choked up when "Still the One" starts playing during the very last combo and Christi dedicates the song to her husband. "Looks like we made it look how far we've come my baby " Yeah, look how far we've come. I love this video.

Daphne M