Pure Spice: CinnamonChristi Taylor
Year Released: 2013
Categories: Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance
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Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.
I am soooo not a dance workout person. As the possessor of two left feet, I generally give a wide berth to dance workouts because I just can't keep up with them. However, I have long loved Christi Taylor hi/lo workouts and I really, really wanted to give this workout a try. Plus, I was determined to give myself the best chance I had of enjoying this DVD. So first, I viewed the Move Master and then tried the first few songs. It went pretty well, but I viewed around 7-8 songs in the Move Master several days before I actually tried the workout, but the later songs didn't "stick" as well as the first few. So next, I tried using the add-on process that worked so well back when I was learning to learn complex choreography. I would do the workout once and stop when I my brain got tired. The next time, it would be easier and I would go further than the previous time. With this workout, I seem to be able to add on two songs at a time. Another thing that someone could try is to view the Move Master for a song and then doing that song.
This DVD has the following menu options:
Love 4 Amanda
Be A Video Star!
In the introduction, Christi clearly lays out her goals for this workout, the reasons why she made it. She wants to replicate the high energy of the workouts being done in fitness classes these days and this is the model she wanted to emulate. Part of that model is the lack of verbal cueing.
A lot has been said about this "cueless workout" which just cracks me up. The first time I was doing this workout, I decided that people saying that this workout doesn't have cues is like people telling me when I was a teenager that my mother couldn't communicate her thoughts to me - especially her displeasure - without words. Ha! Riiiiigggghhhhhttttt. Trust me, Mom could hold an entire conversation with you without words. And, Christi is the same way. She cues throughout this workout without using words through gestures and pointing and other movement. For those that are visual learners, this is likely to work well. For those who are auditory learners, maybe not so much. One of the nice things about the Move Master is she sometimes tells you the type of gesture she will make to indicate a certain type of move is coming. Several times, I saw her lips moving and she seemed to be singing along to the music, something she couldn't do in her traditional workouts. I thought it must make her happy to be able to sing some.
There are a total of 12 songs, each from a different part of the world with its own distinct style. The dance (and music) styles include Salsa, Latin Hip Hop, American Pop, Caribbean, Rock and Roll, Belly Dancing, and Indian-inspired Bollywood. At the beginning of each song, a screen comes up that tells you the number and name of the song and the style of music. I find that nice because it helps me anticipate the types of moves I'm going to find in that song. It can also help you find the corresponding part in the Move Master.
The music is fantastic. She obviously put a lot of time into choosing the songs and then matching the moves to the music. There are a LOT of background exercisers. In the Move Master, she encourages you to watch the different styles and moves that people make. The only problem is that I have a hard time seeing individuals in that crowd. Once in awhile, they split the crowd and half does an easier version of a move while the other half do a harder version. That is nice when they do that. The background exercisers do look like "real people" and they genuinely seem to be having a good time.
My verdict? I am really enjoying this workout so far. I may tire of it after awhile (or I may not). For now, it's just so different and is a dance workout I'm willing to put some work into to learn. For those of you who are less of a dance klutz than me, you won't need to put that effort into it. While I am doing this workout, I am a dancin', groovin' good time girl. Fortunately, I don't have a mirror in my workout room to contradict that impression I have of myself!
She is welcoming and supportive and fun, even if she doesn't talk.
I received this DVD as a free preview. I’m a former Zumba instructor, and I tell you, it doesn’t get any better than Christi Taylor’s new Pure Spice workout! My understanding is that “Cinnamon” is the first of several new “Spice” dance workouts that Christi plans to put out – and I say, Bring ‘em on!!!
One of the most important things is a workout of this type is the MUSIC!!! Many people are put-off by the inclusion of “gangsta-rap” or songs with explicit lyrics in their dance routine. The music that Christi has selected is REALLY fun (and has a nice variety!) and you don’t have to worry about your five-year old (or whomever) overhearing the songs. There’s also none of the “overt sexuality” so prevalent in a lot of dance workouts – not that that can’t be fun as well, but some people don’t want to posture or pose; they just want to dance!
Now to the actual workout: It’s true! Christi doesn’t talk at all during the workout! Instead she points and uses other hand motions to show you what you’re going to be doing next. Of course, this means you have to be watching the video the entire time, and I like to watch myself in the mirror (only to make sure I’ve got correct form, etc., not to admire myself, LOL!) It’s the same in a live dance class of this type (Zumba, etc.) – you are watching both the instructor AND your own image in the mirror to make sure you’re doing it right. That little quibble aside, it’s not hard to pick up the moves – it will just take a little time. It helps that she repeats several of the moves, so you know what to expect. Starting with the energy-infused warm-up, there are 12 short dance routines with a small pause in between each song (just like in a real class); just enough time for you to catch your breath, grab a quick sip of water, or wipe away some of the sweat. Christi moves right into each song with no long explanation of dance steps (there’s a “move master” tutorial for that!) so the entire workout has a really nice flow.
Christi is dancing with a large class of maybe 15 people of varying ages and fitness levels. As a 50-something year old woman, I appreciate seeing both “older” and “younger” people represented in fitness videos – and every one of them seemed to be having a good time!! I know I was!! By the end of the workout, I had a nice little “glow” going on, LOL. If you like Zumba or Latin dance – or if you’ve wanted to try it, but were intimidated by the thought – you should absolutely give this a go!
Christi seems very open and accessible. I would LOVE to take a live class with her!!