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14 of 14 found the following review helpful:
Dance instruction of rare and outstanding quality! Jun 27, 2009
By Dance Day and Night
To offer some context for this review, I study approximately 30 types of partnered dancing, focusing on lead-and-follow social dancing rather than choreographies. My library now includes a large collection of dance training videos, many of which I've worked-through. I am particularly interested in the teaching/learning process or pedagogy of dance instruction. I've studied partnered dances with dozens of dance teachers. Sadly, my assessment is that the majority of dance teachers may be excellent dancers, but are exceedingly poor teachers. This assessment also extends to dance training videos. The instructors who recorded this video stand as a refreshing contrast; this is a training video of outstanding quality. What makes this training video outstanding?
1 Both instructors teach! In most training videos, only one instructor teaches (usually the male) and the other partner is mute.
2 In this video, the instructors teach both to the men and the women. In most other training videos, instructors teach nearly only to the male and neglect or even ignore teaching women the dance skills which they need.
3 Both of these instructors teach outstandingly well. By "well", I mean that all of the little technical details of how to actually successfully dance together with a partner are explained, including dance floor etiquette, how to lead the partner to move, how to follow the lead's (man's) moves, where the muscular tensions must be applied, how to hold the partner and much more. I have never seen another dance training video containing so many of these details. In contrast, most dance training videos teach a much larger number of "moves", but don't provide beginner dancers with enough information for them to be able to actually lead these moves on the dance floor - a discouraging and frustrating experience. In contrast, these instructors are truly aware of what beginner social dancers need to know for their dancing to work. Many of the details presented in this training video took me years to figure out because so few dance instructors ever mentioned them.
4 Presentation of each dance "move" (a "figure") includes a demonstration of what the move looks like, then separate detailed breakdown of the man's part, the woman's part, technical pointers ("tips") and a demonstration to music.
5 Being a good dancer isn't about doing many complicated figures badly; that just ends up looking and feeling like a wrestling match and doesn't impress anybody. Good dancing is being able to dance fluidly and move as one body with your partner. This requires understanding how to move in a particular kind of dance to look and feel beautiful. These instructors presented an outstanding breakdown of how to do the basic movements ("basic step") of Bachata and greatly improved my understanding of how do dance Bachata despite the fact that I've been dancing it for years.
Some (mild) critiques:
1 These instructors make the same mistake most others make, in explaining figures facing the camera instead of with their backs turned to the camera, forcing the confused student to try to dance the mirror image of what they are doing. I can't believe that any dance instructors still use such lousy pedagogy, but most do. This is especially confusing to beginner dancers.
2 Since this tape is targeted at beginner dancers, the fact that the basic step is taught left foot first for the follow (the woman), even though they state that the follow always starts on her right, makes this doubly confusing.
3 There are only five figures taught on this video. I don't believe that this should be objectionable, because it is better for a beginner to learn five moves which they can actually pull off on the dance floor than to learn 15 moves of amateur wrestling disguised as dancing. If you think that this is too few moves, I'd recommend working through this video and then purchasing other Bachata training videos by the same teachers or other teachers. Working with different dance instructors will make you a better and more versatile dancer.
These dance instructors are among the top 10 instructors (for a beginner video) I've learned from over the years.
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
superb!!! Aug 25, 2007
Now this dvd is great. I have been doing ballroom and latin for a few months but I pick up dance steps very easily, perhaps because of this I tend to lean to dvd's that give me alarge volume of patterns even if the instruction is not detailed cause I can figure out what is being done. That said bachata is a dance that I was having a little more trouble with in terms of technique, so this DVD was very very good. I liked the instructors, they took their time and even gave you simple alternatives to use until you could actually get that ever so important 'triple hip' that the bachata is famous for. Now I plan to get the second dvd to learn even more patters to broaden my repertoire. In short...buy this!!
6 of 6 found the following review helpful:
like it! like it! like it! Apr 14, 2008
By Lanette Roi
Being a Latina, I've always watched different ones in my family try to "do" the bachata, but I wanted to "really" learn it. This video is a wonderful start. The instruction is very simple. I'm not a natural born dancer, but after this video I got a little more confidence and an appreciation for the actual techniques. I would recommend this video to anyone that wants to learn it the right way, and not just bits and pieces of it.
2 of 2 found the following review helpful:
I really liked this set! Mar 19, 2008
By Kimmy Day
I really liked this video set. I'm just now starting to learn different dance stuff and this was really good. It was easy to follow and the instructors are great. One of them is actually from the Dominican Republic which is very appropriate since this is a dominican dance. Actually, I thought it was interesting how they told a bit of history about the dance also. I learned a lot of the techniques of Bachata and felt really good about it. I highly recommend this video set for anyone that wants to learn proper dance techniques for the bachata.
1 of 1 found the following review helpful:
mostly good with some annoyances Dec 24, 2010
Volume 1 of this series moves at an easy to follow pace. There's not much covered in terms of breadth but that's not a big deal if you plan on getting the other DVD's of this series. Each pattern is covered as a demo, a break down, tips and finally danced to music. In terms of delivery, I much prefer the style of Evan from the learning Salsa DVD's. I found the outfit of the lady instructor distracting in that it really masked the hip movements. I would have much preferred if she were in a pair of jeans. Secondly she gets quite annoying when it comes to the "stationary basic" where one moves their hips while dancing in place. Everytime she does that does she have to go overboard by saying "oooh, this is my favorite part", "ahhhh, work it", "lets go to town with it", "grove it"? The male instructor is pretty good but their overall delivery is a little too soft-spoken and artificial. While I cannot strongly not recommend it, I will be on the lookout for other Bachata instructional DVD's as well.
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