Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|HOW TO DANCE THROUGH TIME Vol II Dances of the Ragtime Era 1910-1920|
Actors: S. Fava, L. Ewing
Director: Carol Teten
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
LEARN TO DANCE the Animal Dances Fox Trot, Horse Trot, Kangaroo Hop, Duck Waddle, Squirrel, Chicken Scratch, Turkey Trot, Grizzly Bear, Castle Walk, Tango, Maxixe, and Hesitation Waltz. Learn the steps to a fancy Fox Tr... more »
Worth Every Penny for Dancers and Scholars Alike!
Good Brother Cadfael | Virginia | 06/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What a treat Ragtime DVD is! I got it yesterday and watched it, then my husband watched it with me when he got home from work. We have always been more interested in the older social dances from the Vernon and Irene Castle era, and now we realize that we can do these dances ourselves. A couple who does vintage ballroom recommended this series to us, and I am so glad we bought this DVD!
OK, enough gushing, here's the facts:
1. the DVD is divided into five lesson chapters, and you can select the chapter you want. Using my computer, I was further able to select individual steps. Each has a short commentary by Carol Teten which sets the dance in its proper historical perspective.
2. the five dances you learn are:
animal dance, Castle Walk, tango, maxixe (forerunner of the samba), hesitation waltz
3. each dance is divided up into different steps. Each step is usually shown a couple of times and also shown with a close up of the feet. The movements are clear and it is easy to see the couple's feet. Ms. Teten counts out the steps in a way that makes it very easy to understand what is going on. The couple is a wonderful dance team and their dress is not distracting. After you learn each individual step, the couple returns, dressed in period garb (awesome costumes - the woman even wears a little Dutch cap a la Irene Castle for the Castle Walk series) and executes the steps in a sequence that you can learn to do easily.
4. none of the steps is impossible or even particularly difficult. And those animal dance steps are so cute! We really loved all the old-fashioned tango variations - they look more like the kind of tango we want to do than either standard ballroom or Argentine. They even showed the Castle's Innovation variation of the tango, where the man and woman do not touch as they dance. So chic! And that hesitation waltz is utterly beautiful.
5. The music is perfect to the era and not intrusive. Nice steady beat to follow. This is so important when you are learning.
We have had ballroom dance lessons and also learned from various videos, including Cal Pozo's series. This series is the next step. We can't wait to be up on the dance floor, trying out these steps! For now, we'll just have to go early to the mall, where most people come to walk for exercise, and try them out.
TWO YEARS LATER ... My husband and I went to a Viennese Christmas Ball in Washington and when they played a tango, we showed off our vintage moves. Everyone got out of the way and watched, then applauded wildly at the end.
We were asked to do a dance to "The Jamestown Rag" for the 1907 segment of Jamestown's 400th anniversary program, and the Animal Dances were a big hit. I just got back from a weekend in Norfolk in which I played a dance mistress from 1907, teaching the visitors the Grizzly Bear and the Squirrel.
These dances are so much fun! You will exercise your brain and your body learning them, and become truly a part of history!
How to Dance Great Vintage Dances
Wendy Brickman | Monterey, CA USA | 11/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love ballroom dancing with my husband and have already studied parts of the `How to Dance Through Time' -6 volume set. I have taken ballroom dance classes but loved these videos that showed me early ballroom dances, which led to those variations, which our teacher has taught us. My husband and I are experimenting with many of these vintage dances because we love history (as well as dance). We found the instruction extremely clear and concise, enabling us to learn many of the dance steps, while actually having fun. Now, we are asking friends to join us so we can experiment with a greater variety of the dances. We are creating a club!"