Totally Cool StepChristi Taylor
Year Released: 2002
Categories: Step Aerobics
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I am 56 years old and I do my exercises every other day, inside my home, and in front of the TV. I do both hi-lo and step aerobics. My favorite fitness instructor is Christi Taylor. I love her choice of music and her routine or choreography. It is fun and lively. If you like to incorporate some dancing in your exercises then you will love her DVDs. Though you will get a pretty good exercise from her DVDs your legs or lungs or both will not feel like giving up. Here are my favorite exercise DVDs from Christi Taylor.
1.Totally Hot Cardio – my personal favorite among the three.
2.Fantastic 4 Workouts – best value for your money with 4 workouts (2 hi-lo and 2 step)
3.Totally Cool Step – my favorite Step Aerobics DVD.
These DVDs are for intermediate and advanced aerobics people. But if you have good stamina and enjoy dancing GO FOR IT.
I only recommend exercise DVDs which I normally use. The following are my criteria:
•It should have at least 40 minutes of cardio exercises excluding the warm-up, cooldown, and stretch. For both 1 and 3 you should do the Cardio Bonus to get the minimum 40 minute exercise. Please note that the Cardio Bonus and Set 2 exercises have the same cooldown and stretch.
•There should be at least 3 persons in the DVD doing the aerobics.
•Use of popular dance music.
•DVD cast show enthusiasm.
•Enjoy and look forward to exercising.
Both 1 and 3 have exercise tutorials called Move Master. I did not use it. Just went straight to the exercises and rewinding to master the steps. I mastered it on the 3rd day.
Christi likes to do spins or 360 degree turns. Even though I wear eyeglasses I do all of her spins. But for newcomers I suggest that you avoid exercising on carpets. Also, do the spins after you have mastered the choreography. This applies specially to spinning on the steps.
While I've tried many instructors, I've mainly stuck with Cathe for the past 9ish years. I can always pick up Cathe's choreography pretty easily, but always have a terrible time picking up anyone else's style. It takes many, many tries for me, with endless rewinding, slow motion, cursing at the tv and usually throwing in the towel 15 minutes in! I did once attempt a Christi several years ago when I was new to working out and I was totally lost, and never tried it again. This time was totally different. The workout was so much FUN and not nearly as difficult to pick up as I thought it would be. I actually got through the entire thing the second try, and can honestly say this one will not be collecting any dust on my dvd rack. The music was great, all recognizable songs with lyrics. She has a move master feature on the dvd which can help you pick up any choreography you find difficult. The dvd also has a behind the scenes feature where you can see the group prepping for the shoot.
You can tell Christi is in her element when she's teaching. She's a fabulous cuer, has a great attitude on camera and infectious enthusiasm. She just makes me smile. Thank you Christi! I cannot wait to try more of her work.
Thank goodness for Movemaster - I took the time to work through Movemaster and now this is one of my top Step Video workouts. Christi could give a master class in cueing - she is fabulous at it.
This workout is fun fun fun from beginning to end - works up a fantastic sweat and the whole time makes you feel like you've just been at a great dance class.
Love that the warm up is part of the first routine and flows seemlessly from stretchs right into the choreography.
I'm a Christi convert...
I’m reviewing this workout after doing it once in its entirety.
General workout breakdown: This 48.5-min. step aerobics workout contains 42 min. of step cardio with a 6.5-min. cool-down and stretch. There is a bonus 4.5-min. additional warm-up as well as a just over 15-min. bonus cardio, which TIFTs all combos together 3x (for an extra 9 min. of cardio) plus adds in the cool-down and stretch. If you do the bonus warm-up, the full routine and then the bonus cardio portion, and stay for the cool-down and stretch you’ll put in 62 min. total.
Christi combines standard step aerobics moves with a bit of a dancey flair. You’ll start with basics, repeaters, hamstring curls, knee lifts, kicks, shuffles, v-steps, mambos, squats, lunges, hamstring curls, and other moves which get jazzed up as the routine progresses.
Christi always begins with basic steps but quickly layers them, either transforming the moves, changing the order and/or rhythm, or cutting down the number of repetitions. Her style of instruction is to begin with a few counts of basic moves, then layer it up, run through the new variations of the moves a few times, then put them together to take it from the top. She’ll then add on another set of base moves, repeat, and then run through all of the parts of that. She often uses the “watch me” method, although here she and her two “flippers” will launch right into the final variation with just a warning that a move change is coming up. I appreciate that Christi only changes one thing at a time and almost always gives you at least one chance to see and then do it on each side before adding any other changes.
Christi teaches things symmetrically, and she balances out break downs on both sides, more or less. Christi never weaves, or slices and dices, combos; she’ll always do combo #1 on the right, combo #1 on the left, combo #2 on the right, and then combo #2 on the left (or whatever side she does first), and so on.
The bonus abs (6.5 min.) is taught by Christi via voiceover while Julie demonstrates basic crunches, twisting crunches, crunches w/ leg lift, twisting crunch w/ leg lift, back extension with arm movements, and crunches with legs straight in the air. This bonus is also found on Totally Cool Step.
Level: I’d recommend this to experienced exercisers at the intermediate through low advanced level who are comfortable with complex choreography. Those looking for a less complex / strenuous / torque-y workout can stay with the modifiers, and I highly recommend those new to Christi and/or more complex workouts follow them at least the first time through.
I consider myself an intermediate / advanced in cardio, although I’m more of an intermediate plus when it comes to step, since I’m still working my way through more complex step aerobics workouts. I pick choreography up pretty quickly if it’s broken down and cued well, which is true here. I felt very confident with the full choreography after just one run through (again, know I think I’m better than average at picking up – although probably not exactly executing – choreography), although I could stand to polish both halves, especially the accompanying arms. Yes, I tried to do the full shebang the first time through, but I’ve been working somewhat systematically through my complex step workouts and now through my Christis. Anyway, this gave me a solid steady state workout that had me in my moderately high zone. After recently doing other Christi step workouts (Solid Gold Step last week, Stepsational with a pair of risers the week before, Cardio Collectibles and CIA 7004 the weeks before that) I do agree that this isn’t as intense (or even as complex) as some of the others, but I don’t mind all that much because it’s fun.
Class: 6 women join Christi. The four in the back row, wearing all black, stick with the lower impact / less pivot-heavy version of the routine, while Christi, Julie, and Tammy show the full shebang.
Set: the 2002 CIA set with red sponged walls, blue beams, brightly colored geometric art, and various seating arrangements along the back and side. It’s a lot of color!
Production: clear picture and sound, with both Christi’s voice and the great soundtrack clearly audible without drowning each other out. The camera angles aren’t particularly flashy and as a result are helpful. There is one brief moment at the beginning of the second half where suddenly the camera cuts to almost an overhead shot as Christi’s cues continue via voiceover, but that’s about it for oddities.
Equipment: Christi and crew use a full-sized club step with one set of risers, which is what I used (and what I normally use). You’ll want sneakers that won’t get caught in your step and/or carpet (if relevant).
Space Requirements: You’ll need some horizontal space for this. You should be able to kick to the front and each side plus have room to move side to side behind the step. You don’t need that deep of a space, however.
DVD Notes: You can skip the opening intro to get to the main menu, with its options of Instructor Training Program Promo, Bonus Abs, and Bonus Cardio on one side and Introduction, Start Workout, Bonus Warmup into Workout, MoveMaster, and Behind the Scenes. Don’t dally at the main menu too long, as the DVD launches right into the main workout after a minute or two. The workout itself is chaptered by combos.
Comments: Totally Hot Cardio was my first Christi, and I’m happy I finally felt ready to tackle its companion, Totally Cool Step. I got a little nervous about reading how difficult some people found it, but most of those reviews seem to have been from folks new to Christi at the time of their trial of this workout. As a Christi veteran I found it quite doable, both in terms of complexity and intensity. That said, there were a few parts that felt a little unfinished, as if Christi held back the final flourish, but that’s OK.
I have to add that I rather like the soundtrack of standards better than top 40 hits, as it gives the workout a more timeless appeal.
Christi cues so well, almost always cuing each move each time through, even mentioning both the modified and full move where relevant, which may be confusing at first, but I got used to it pretty quickly. She does cue a little ahead of each move, so be aware of that if you’re used to instructors cuing just before or on the move change. And she mirror cues, although I wish she’d indicate turns or break down footfalls more often, at least the first time through. Christi’s singing of cues is part of her great ability to match moves to music - few instructors seem intuitively to be able to work so well with music, and here she’s designed the routine so well she rarely, if ever, stops to get back with her music - and part of the fun she exudes when both teaching and doing these routines.
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.
Christi cues well and I love her choice of music for most of her videos.
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.
She really appears to be enjoying herself. No cutesy comments such as "You thought you were going to get a rest?" a la Cathe.
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.
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.
Christi loves what she does and it's infectious. You can't help loving it right along with her.
WU: 5min, integrated into routine
Step: about 40 min.
CD: Don' t rememember!
Bonus Cardio + CD on DVD: 15 min.
Some Known Songs:
Heard It Through the Grapevine
I Love Rock n' Roll
We Will Rock You
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.
Christi is a cueing queen, and this choreography needs it! She is a blast to work out with.
Fabulous! Christi packs a full class into only 49 minutes, and you’re working hard from beginning to end. Of course, you don’t realize you’re working hard because it’s so much fun. She teaches a little faster than in previous workouts, but her outstanding cueing and instruction let her get away with that – 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, it’s not as good as the music in some of her previous workouts. It’s still way beyond 90% of other tapes out there, though. Christi is just the absolute best and I can’t wait for her to make some more workouts. Grade A+.04/27/2002
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+
Christi is a very talented, hard working instructor. Her cueing is absolutely impeccable and her routines are always inspired.