Search - Dance Fitness for Beginners with Joby 'Brava': Havana Heat Workout/Latin Dance Instruction on DVD

Dance Fitness for Beginners with Joby 'Brava': Havana Heat Workout/Latin Dance Instruction
Dance Fitness for Beginners with Joby 'Brava' Havana Heat Workout/Latin Dance Instruction
Actor: Joby 'Brava'
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
NR     2005     1hr 20min


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Movie Details

Actor: Joby 'Brava'
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Sub-Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Dance Fitness
Studio: Goldhill Home Media
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 01/11/2005
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Latin dance instruction and workout
Beth Cholette | Upstate NY USA | 07/28/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"In the instructional portion of this video, instructor Joby 'Brava' teaches four categories of Latin dance: bachata, salsa, merengue, and cha-cha-cha. She spends about 10 minutes on each segment, and they all follow the same pattern. First, you briefly watch Joby and a partner perform the dance while her voiceover describes the origins of that dance. Next, Joby alone teaches the variety of different moves that make up that dance. She starts by demonstrating the move with music, and then without the music, she breaks the move down, teaching it very slowly from both the front and the back. Finally, the music returns, at she encourages you to practice the moves several times with her at tempo. Although Joby's instructions were clear and precise, there were several things I didn't like. First of all, viewing the move from the back seemed unnecessary, as this made the video move along extremely slowly and caused left-right confusion. Secondly, Joby explains how each move is counted, so you need to remember this and be able to follow along--no easy task for those new to dance! I was also surprised by the complexity of some of the moves which Joby selected for this video; the salsa section in particular includes quite complicated foot movements that I found very difficult to replicate. The entire instructional portion is about 45 minutes long.

The second part of this DVD is the Havana Heat workout. Like the instruction, the workout is broken down into separate chapters for the bachata, salsa, merengue, and cha-cha-cha, plus there is also a warm-up and cool-down. The 5-minute warm-up is a combination of moving and static stretches, and then Joby begins the workout with the bachata. Surprisingly, I found this 5-minute segment to be quite boring: the music was very low-key, and the routine seemed to be very low-energy. The Salsa segment (6 minutes) was a bit more upbeat, yet the footwork was quite complicated and the moves repetitive. The merengue section was probably the most enjoyable, as the moves were easier to follow yet still fun; this segment lasted 6 minutes. But then Joby finishes with a short (4 minutes) cha-cha-cha, which I also found to be too complex for my liking. A very brief (1.5 minutes) stretch brings the workout in at just over 20 minutes.

The DVD includes several bonus features: a couples and group performances (Joby is obviously an excellent dancer), a workout without narration option, trailers of three other Natural Journeys videos, and a photo gallery of Joby (I can't understand why Natural Journeys always includes these). Overall, I was disappointed with this video, especially given that I had difficulties following the workout and did not find it to be at all fun. I think that this DVD might be more suited to someone who is looking to learn Latin dance moves for use on the dance floor rather than someone who is looking to use dance for fitness."
Interesting dvd for beginners | Christchurch, Canterbury New Zealand | 02/04/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Joby is a well known LA style Salsa teacher and has had our respect for several years but in this dvd she lets herself down.
The instructional video section is suitable for absolute beginners. The Bachata instruction is the highlight of this section. The other instrucional sections were okay, nothing really different from other dvd's.
The workout section is badly thought out. Jody has chosen some terrible steps & patterns to perform in this section of this dvd.
The workout is not fun.
The dvd is a very good length & is good value for money however
unless you are looking for a good intro to Bachata I would look to buy other dvd's on the dance styles covered."
High aspirations, too stiff, no 1/2 time teaching, too short
Lena, LMT | Nassau, NY | 06/29/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This is a quality production in studio w/4 female in shape backup women. It gives options of instruction or workout with chapter choices & also comes in 5.1 surround. There's a bonus 3 min dance of her & the other women dancing, and her & a male partner. She seems a little stiff in her dancing even in the bonus.
There is no music except when she shows you quick in tempo & you do it w/her at tempo. She shows you first, then teaches the feet first facing you, then again facing for the arms, then turns around, then does it at tempo. This is confusing & frustrating since starting w/the right foot for women is important & she teaches by saying left foot, etc. Like a REAL dance class, she should have been facing a mirror most of the time. Also, though this is a dvd & can be replayed, she teaches you 1/4 time 3x total & then expects you to get it at tempo right after. Impossible except for natural dancers. Her teaching style is dry & minimal. She doesn't give analogies to help you remember (I could think of great ones), there's no personality at all. She makes even the easy moves seem complicated. Even ones I know from other dance dvds confused me here. She is not a good teacher.
BACHATA (5 min) also does side variation, and leg straight to the side variation, simple dance moves. SALSA LA STYLE (15 min) teaches turns, grapevine varation, very hard to learn from her, also does simple/cute jump/chest thrust & Suzy Q which is a twisted triple step that's fun. MERENGE (12 min) side, hip turn, cross step w/double hip bumps, single/single/double to the side, swing back, double hip variations. CHA-CHA (known as triple Mambo 11 min) teaches step cross, circle step, double tap (tap behind), right turn reverse variations.
If you don't know the steps by now, you're out of luck. All Joby does here is call out the steps. There is no 1/2 time or telling you how to move. The camera also goes for the artistic shots, zoom in/out, sweeping, so you can't follow any of the dancer's feet. She will also do moves she didn't teach, such as a Bachata 4 corner turn move.
5 min warm-up of all maj muscles including ankle rolls (I hated her fast neck stretches in high speed, that can cause injury)
5 min of Bachata
6 min of Salsa
5 min of Merenge
4 min of Cha-Cha
2 min cool down
Having the instruction so seperated made learning harder as well as more boring. Even w/my many dance dvds & knowing some steps, I still had issues. This could have been a GREAT latin dance instruction/workout if they spent more TIME teaching in 1/2 tempo w/practice & more time in the workout w/less camera zooms & either a voice over or someone who can remind you how to move, not just call out the name. Also someone w/some personality, Joby was so Robotic here & looked to have no fun.

Trailer on youtube under "Joby Brava - Salsa Havana Heat Promotion""
Rhythmically impaired
MlleYeuxBleus | San Francisco, CA USA | 07/28/2007
(1 out of 5 stars)

"I don't recommend this DVD at all. I've been learning salsa for 2 years & am familiar with Joby as an LA-style instructor, so when I saw this DVD I thought it'd be great! I just finished my first viewing, & am extremely disappointed. This was painful to watch, especially as a dancer & lover of Latin dance.

Main reason: she is off beat in every single segment (with the exception of some of the demo partner work when she is being led)!! Most of the time she is just completely off, dancing randomly to the music even as she counts out the steps (not just on the wrong beat, but speeding up or slowing down tempo, completely ignoring the music). A few times, she has it almost right, but even then she has her measures flipped & is counting 1 where 5 should be, etc. Counting out the steps is lovely, but those numbers are actually supposed to correspond to the rhythm of the music! Latin music is full of intersting rhythmic patterns, which makes it such a joy to dance, but in this DVD it's as though the music is an afterthought (maybe it was dubbed in post-production??).

I cringe to think that this is out there as a representation of club-style salsa, because of the total lack of musicality & also because I fear it might scare away those interested in learning salsa. I'd be terrified to take a salsa class after watching this as an intro to the art! Please don't let this intimidate you from giving it a try... beginner lessons are MUCH slower & simpler, & some people dance for several months before getting into the complicated styling & footwork in this workout. Granted, there are certainly much more advanced classes as well, but the moves in this DVD are not beginner in the least. Even as a salsera, I had a hard time with it, mostly because the timing issue was making me so crazy I eventually just sat on the sofa shaking my head. Joby seems nice, & is generally well-respected in the salsa community, but this DVD does Latin dancing a disservice."