Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Invitation to Dance Latin Dance|
Genres: Special Interests, Educational
Entertainer Nancy Hays and award-winning instructor Greg Gale join forces to bring you easy-to-learn basics of the most popular Latin steps for the hottest Latin dances including Salsa Cha Cha Rumba and Tango. These dance... more »
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Recommended, with a caveat
A. Koebel | 08/07/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I find it strange that there was only one review of this DVD before I added my two cents. But here it is...
You really can't go wrong with this DVD, especially given its very reasonable price. You also get a music CD in the package, but it's nothing to write home about (I find it makes a handy drink coaster). Buy it for the DVD.
You are taught four steps in Tango and five steps for Rumba (or Rhumba) in part 1. This is followed by five steps for Cha-cha (or Cha-cha-cha) and five steps for Salsa. You start with the "basic" step in each case. The first three dances are done in the American ballroom style (i.e., what Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire dance studios teach, the latter being where I burned though a lot of money - but I digress!). It is not International style. If that doesn't mean anything to you don't worry about it. The Tango, in particular, is not Argentine Tango.
With respect to Salsa...well, this is not your father's Salsa. I'm not sure what it is, as it looks to be based on what is known as the Cumbia back step, which comes from Colombia. I would have expected the Mambo basic from ballroom instructors, which is the basis of the popular "linear" styles of Salsa such as LA and New York. The rest of the Salsa steps they teach look like they derive from Mambo or Cha-Cha-Cha. Note also that what they are teaching is not Cuban or Miami style, such as you'll find on the "Quick And Dirty Guide to Salsa" series. Far from it.
I would, frankly, ignore the Salsa instruction on this DVD and buy something like Hot Salsa Lessons Vol 1 for that (a DVD I rate highly, by the way), assuming you are an absolute beginner. Still, whatever you call what the instructors Greg Cale and Nancy Hays are doing here, they are obviously enjoying themselves. During the Salsa practise segment where they dance together to music they do execute some moves I recognize as "traditional" Salsa, including the cross-body lead (which is fundamentally the same in several latin dances, of course). The cross-body lead is taught back in the Rumba segment but another common Salsa step they execute is not taught anywhere on the DVD. Too bad, as it's the best one.
In general, the instruction is good. Greg first demonstrates the leader's steps alone, with his back to you as if you are standing directly behind him, while the camera concentrates on his footwork. Then Nancy joins him to show the follower's steps. As they dance together, Greg also describes and shows the upper body and arm movements, and the leading. After showing all the steps for each dance they review them in order and then, during a practise segment set to music, show how they can be combined (i.e., they actually dance). I should note that the DVD does not teach much about technique - you really only learn the steps. Unfortunately, Greg Cale's technique while generally sound sometimes seems a little on the sloppy side, so you might pick up some bad habits.
Overall, I recommend this DVD with the exception of the Salsa instruction, which you would be better off learning from one of the better dance instruction DVDs dedicated to Salsa, such as the aforementioned Hot Salsa Lessons or the series put out by SalsaCrazy."
Excellent dancing instruction
Fun Times | Rhode Island | 05/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well worth the cost. Each dance is organized into basic steps, a review combining all steps and a fully display of the dance with music. Both dancers show a real love of dancing. You'll be dancing with your partner in no-time."
What a let down
C. Winchell | 02/18/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Please, do not waste your money on this DVD! It is boring and the dancers they use or like "wannabe" latin dancers. It was so bad, my husband and I can not find anyone to just take it for free. Shop around for other Latin Dance DVD's...just don't buy this one. You have been warned."