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114 of 119 found the following review helpful:
We never knew learning salsa could be so much fun - and easy! Nov 18, 2005
By K. Corn
First, a confession - I've always been a little scared to try anything other than the usual basic dances moves, nothing the least bit noticable. I just wanted to be able to get out on the dance floor and not make a fool out of myself.
So let's just say I was a little...wary...of trying to learn Salsa, a type of dance which I think of as incredibly romantic and sexy. I've always loved watching Salsa dancers and I've been envious of their grace, rhythm and style. I never for a monent, however, believed I could do anything remotely similar. But, DVD in hand (a gift), I was game to give it a try.
This DVD made learning Salsa not only painless but fun and before long, my partner and I were actually moving through the steps and, better yet, we actually KNEW what we were doing. We looked like the dancers on the DVD, if only a "touch" less professional (okay, a lot less professional but it WAS our first time). Now we're working our way through the DVDs, Learn to Dance Salsa 2 and Learn to Dance Salsa 3 and I can actually say that we are getting better and better all the time. Plus, it is a lot of fun to practice!
What makes this DVD a standout? The instructors start out by explaining the basics of Salsa so that once you work into the actual dance movements, you have some idea of what Salsa actually is and where it fits in the dance spectrum. You aren't just mimicking steps but actually expressing a certain mood and feeling. That is a major plus right there. If you are going to Salsa, you want to create a total effect, not look like a robot going through the motions.
The instruction itself is very easy to follow, with both full-length and close-up shots of the dancers' feet, going at a very easy, step by step pace at first and gradually working up to a brisker tempo. We found ourselves smiling from start to finish, amazed at how much fun this was. Be forewarned, however- depending on your partner, you may be compelled to take a few romantic interludes as Salsa can be amazingly sexy and just moving together in rhythmic harmony while practicing the moves that lead one's thoughts to further romance...but that's another plus, to my way of thinking (think of it as a free bonus, if you will).
ONE NOTE: If you are already a professional Salsa dancer, these DVDs may not be for you. They are definitely designed for the beginning Salsa dancer but "beginning" is a matter of perception. If you're among professional dancers, perhaps you won't come across as a pro but if you're dancing at parties or other events, you may come across as far more expreienced.
When we actually danced in public, people thought we were more than beginners, especially since the DVDs taught us how to "talk the talk" as well as "dance the dance", using such the right terms for each step, terms which are discussed in detail on the DVD. No one knew we'd just started learning Salsa and that was gratifying to us.
There is a lot of info on this DVD, including tips on looking sexy (although the moves themselves go a long way in giving that impression) and Dance Club Etiquette, always useful to know.
26 of 26 found the following review helpful:
Salsa Dancers Do It With Rhythm! Nov 06, 2005
By L. Shirley
"Laurie's Boomer Views"
This review refers to "Learn To Dance Salsa: Beginners Vol 1"
Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine dances at a party, and everyone laughs at her moves(and rightly so)? That's me. I am a terrible dancer and what's more I have, or should say had no rhythm. I decided to give this a try anyway. I do work out quite a bit though, so I approached it the same way I do my video workouts.
First I viewed it all the way through, so I knew what to expect. Watching it I saw the instructors and the dancers, breaking down every move so easily, and repeating each of the basic steps and moves over with music, I thought "I could do this!" But it looked like I needed a partner, and dragged a reluctant friend into my living room. Turned out, we both actually learned the FUNdamentals(yes it was a blast), and thought we looked pretty good doing it as well. I actually got the rhythm down.
Patiently and slowly, the instructor and dancers, will take you through the very basic steps, for leaders and followers,then to music, and then putting the moves together for both dancers. There are a total of 35 scene selections depicting different steps, and patterns of the dance, and there are picture in picture close-up so you can just watch the way their feet move. You'll also get the terminolgy down as well. Also, if you hang around and sit through the credits, at the end you will find another bonus pattern to learn.
The music is great and so is the DVD. It's nice that you could always pause or pick any scene you want to try over again. Sound and picture are excellent. The DVD says it is 2 hours of comprehensive lessons, but the actual dance instruction is about an hour and 20 minutes. The bonus features include "Dance and Club Etiquette"(this will come in very handy when you are ready to show off what you have learned), "Salsa History", which was most informative, and some outakes, which were quite funny, and helped put me at ease(nobody's poifect!).
There are several levels in the Salsa Dance Lesson Series, three volumes at the Beginner level alone. So I thought the DVDs a little high priced, maybe they could put the beginning level together in a package deal.Once you start you will want to continue(I know I do) and to buy each level will run into quite an investment(my only reason for four stars, the lessons are 5 stars for sure). I see some pretty good deals through the outside sellers though(for new DVDs).
Okay, so I am not exactly Gloria Estefan yet, but I really learned the basics, enjoyed the video very much and hey, found some rhythm lurking inside of me! Oh and by the way, by the end of the hour and 20 minutes, I felt like I had quite a good low impact workout, and will be adding this to my great work out listmania as well!
Enjoy with a partner....Laurie
12 of 12 found the following review helpful:
Salsa-riffic Dec 22, 2005
By Joanna Daneman
I have to confess: I AM NOT A DANCER. No way, no how. 2 left feet and clumsy. So I view this DVD on Salsa dancing from the standpoint--can someone ELSE learn to dance as I am --hopeless--.
The DVD begins by explaining Salsa terms (isn't is weird to have a dance turn called "Kentucky" in Latin Dance? but there you are) This is important; should you go to a Latin dance class, you will be familiar with the words used by the instructors and not be saying "what?" (or "que?" ) all the time. There is a bit on the art of Salsa, the background. This impressed me; when I studied music, I found that knowing the history and background of the art form made for better expressiveness on my part--it makes you part of the artform, not a spectator.
This DVD series also differs in that it includes dance club etiquette and a bit on presentation--how to look hot and sexy while dancing. Is this silly? Nope. Dance is about performance. So looking caliente is really as important as not treading on one's partner's high heels. It makes a huge difference in how you are perceived as a dancer, so I give this DVD series a big thumbs up for including lessons on expression as well as simply going through the steps.
The instructional part of the video has both distance and close-up shots, including FEET (well, if anything could help me, seeing feet is about the only way you can get me to trip any kind of light fantastic.) I grade dance videos on varieties of shots included; while there are other series that include the same dance from different angles, I give this DVD a good mark for showing close vs distance.
The DVD series goes from "beginner" to "intermediate"--but this would be for amateurs. If you are going onto the professional performance circuit, you are going to need personalized instruction. But for couples who want to dance on weekends, this makes a great addition to the home library.
Summary: nice series, lots of info. Fun for couples.
13 of 14 found the following review helpful:
Easy-to-follow, step-by-step expertly provided instructions Feb 08, 2005
By Midwest Book Review
An expertly produced and professionally presented instructional DVD, Learn To Dance Salsa: Volume 1 - Beginners offers 120 minutes of easy-to-follow, step-by-step expertly provided instructions that will enable even the most novice dancer to quickly acquire the ability to stride upon the dance floor at any social event and perform with their partner in a lively Salsa dance with a passion and pure enjoyment. Very highly recommended for anyone wanting dance to the natural rhythms of the Salsa!
35 of 43 found the following review helpful:
This Salsa DVD is awesome! May 11, 2004
For the first time ever, there is a separate window that displays the actual footwork up close while the moves are being shown! There is no possible way to misunderstand or be confused. The teachers have eliminated all of the typical intimidation that comes with learning any new dance. The pace is perfect; not too fast nor too slow.
The teacher's sense of humor is constant and made me laugh over and over again (especially during the etiquette sequence) and relaxed me and took out any nervousness I had. I felt as if I was right there in the actual lesson!
The written tips (after each segment) are a constant reminder to focus on the important points. So, it's impossible to forget what you've just learned.
The etiquette section is something I've never seen any teacher explain on any video, and is very helpful when I am ready to delve into social dancing.
If one is a beginner, there is no better DVD video one can get. It's simple, yet interesting. You receive a tremendous amount of material for your money, yet it is very easy to understand.
And the best part of this is you don't need a partner to practice. Because no matter what you are, a lead or follow, both teachers teach the steps you need to know.
Very easily the greatest dance video I have ever seen! I highly recommend this SalsaCrazy Salsa DVD Video for anyone.
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