CIA 9002: All Star Step

Sharon Money-Twombly, Michele Hanlon, Sue Neese
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Step Aerobics

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Barbara McDermott's sprint step workout has very intense sections and some double time tricky moves that really get your heartrate up. She does about six sprints and uses the same routine sandwiched in between as a rest period. I didn't want to think too much after all that jumping, so the same routine over and over was okay. I thought her cueing was okay and like all other step workouts (exception: Patrick's 9001 - but that's another story), it can be mastered after 2-3 times. She had some kind of contraption on her left leg which was a little distracting. Great music on this section - same as Jennifer Mill's hi/lo in 8003.

Maria Lantran, a regular in Cathe Friedrich's workouts, had very poor cueing and I found the segment hard to follow. It looked like a lot of fun, with great music, lots of turns, pivots, etc. I didn't care for the weight interval training section with weights. I tried with 6 lb. dumbbells and it was causing me to lose my balance and good form. I think she is using 2-3 lb. weights. I rather do weight work after my cardio work. I don't know if I will try this workout again.

Sharon Twomby, who is wearing the weirdest, most unattractive outfit on video (in my opinion), surprised me with an extremely high impact workout that was a little hard to grasp the first time, but I know I can master this routine after 2-3 times. It starts out with a bang - going across the top of the step numerous times. Your heartrate will stay up the whole 30 minutes on this tape. The moves are easy to learn, she even does a move similar to Cathe's repeater shuffle. She repeats the first section a few times but when she finishes the super second section, she doesn't go all the way to the top of entire workout, which is great. The second section is really intense, never ending high impact moves (just as intense as Cathe) - she does tons of squats, over the tops, moves off and around the step, and a lunge move where you do not touch the floor with your foot (very hard, you need to really balance yourself). She does a 7 minute ab routine that was pretty intense. I agree with the other reviewers who said that Barbara's and Sharon's routines are the best of the video and would make a great combination for a super workout.

maryann parker


Just in time for Halloween, it's the Step Workout from Hell! I began hating it right from the warmup with Barbara McDermott, which has too much fancy arm movement and not enough legwork. My legs didn't feel sufficiently warmed up for the stepping. Barbara's steps make even less sense than Debbie David's on 5004, if that's possible. I couldn't get that mambo/kick-the-step thing, even after a zillion tries, so I quit trying. Her jumping steps don't have the right rhythm to them. I was going to say Barbara's segment is the worst stepping I've ever seen on CIA, until Sharon Money Twombly came along and sank this tape to unexplored new depths. What in the heck is a "center back" or an "inside turn"? Does she ever use useful words like "left" or "right"?? Maria Latran's routine is passable, only because she actually uses some normal step terminology and some control, instead of careening about like the floor is on fire. She won't win any cueing awards either. There are dancy, complex combos that make you WANT to practice and learn them, like on 9701 and 9704, and then there is stuff like this that just makes you give up in frustration. Some reviewers liked this tape, so maybe it's just a matter of opinion. 9002 is proof that it's not enough to dream up the most far-out choreography the world has ever seen; you also NEED to have outstanding cueing and instructing skills as well as the ability to make the routine look appealing and coherent, in order to pull it off. I'll be real generous and give this a D. As in Disaster!

Instructor Comments:
Strictly amateur night.

Sue B


I first watched this video and didn't see anything particularly outstanding. But looks were very deceiving. All the instructors use 6 inch steps. I always use 8, and got my butt kicked. Barbara's intense sections were really great for driving that pulse rate up. Excellent section, with alot of fun moves.

Next was Maria. The stepping was fun, but my heart rate really nose dived. I was sweating so much from the 1st section and got cold with this section. So I decided to do the last section at another time.

Well, I did Barbara's section and followed with Sharon's section, and got my butt wooped! Sharon's section starts with some blah moves, but peaks one's interest shortly after that. She follows with a very good ab section and leaves you with a feeling of a job well done.

I give this video 2 thumbs up!

All the inscructors are very likeable, although I like Barbara the best. She's energtic and talks with her other steppers, like a real class



Money Twombly

Barbara McDermott's stepping section is my favorite. Its 36 minutes of intense stepping - she alternates "sprint" sections with recovery sections. There are approx. 6 "sprinting" sections, which is stepping at your maximum intensity, with cool down sections intermingled. The only thing I don't like is that she doesn't do a different cool down section after her sprinting section - she does the same cool down session each time. Therefore, after you complete the workout, you intimately know the cool down section! Its a

Maria's section is good - excellent stepping! She really has interesting choreography, although I felt this section could have been a bit longer; its only 33 minutes. Its good if you want a light workout one day, or want to do this section with one, or both of the others; its really not sufficient on its own. She works shoulders, triceps, biceps, anteriror delts, along with some quads, outer thigh, and a little inner thigh in the weight routine. The second weight routine requires some balance. Overall its a great routine.

I've only done Sharon's routine once; it was a cute, choreographed routine, although I'd like to do it one more time before I review it fairly. Its 35 minutes, so its a sufficient length; could be done with Maria's routine for a great cardio workout with some weights thrown in as well. In general, I feel the first segment is the best (lots of intensity), but the other two are good as well.

Grade: A -

Kathy Lapinski