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The Quick & Dirty Guide to Salsa - Part 1, Beginners
The Quick Dirty Guide to Salsa - Part 1 Beginners
Actor: Gigi & Pedro
Director: Debdoot Das
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
UR     2004     2hr 24min

Learn To Dance SALSA With This Award Winning DVD — Winner of Four Telly Awards and An Aegis Award Now a NEW and affordable way to learn how to Salsa dance. As the first-ever true MULTI-ANGLE dance instructional, this state...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Gigi & Pedro
Director: Debdoot Das
Genres: Indie & Art House, Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Other Music, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Studio: Digifilm
Format: DVD
DVD Release Date: 05/15/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 2hr 24min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Now anyone - and I do mean anyone - can learn to Salsa
Daniel Jolley | Shelby, North Carolina USA | 09/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I used to believe there were two kinds of people: those who could dance and those who could not (and, more importantly, should not). I of course have always counted myself among the latter. The Quick and Dirty Guide to Salsa, Part One - Beginners has opened my eyes to a vast new world, however. Could I, one of the most uncoordinated individuals on the face of the earth, actually learn to dance? And I'm not talking about the kind of dancing Howard Sprague learned to do on The Andy Griffith Show - that's basically just walking around with a partner. I'm talking about Salsa dancing, the hottest dancing I know of, with all of its intricacies, fluid movements, and unadulterated fun. With the help of this amazing DVD, the impossible has truly been changed to the possible.

This DVD is specifically aimed at beginners; hopefully, DVDs for more advanced Salsa skills will be forthcoming from the guys and gals at Debdoot Das. When you begin the lessons, you immediately find yourself in very good hands. The lovely Gigi is a great teacher, and her partner Pedro adds a number of very helpful tips for male partners as we progress through the steps. Gigi starts at the very beginning, telling you what to do, showing you how to do it, and giving you the chance to do the steps along with her. As she gradually moves to more complicated moves, she works them into an increasingly comprehensive practice routine - what this means is that you basically practice all of the moves you have learned so far with each advancing lesson. You can't forget what has come before because Gigi doesn't let you. I won't name all of the different moves featured in this instructional DVD, but Gigi repeats each of them often enough that you know what move she is calling for when she calls for it. She also counts out the rhythm and pauses that make up each dance move, helping ensure you get not only the moves but the timing of those moves down pat.

The real secret to this DVD's success, aside from the wonderful Gigi, is of course the inclusion of three distinct camera angles. The instructional video runs for roughly 48 minutes; multiply that by the three camera angles and you get a thorough lesson of well over two hours. I would start, obviously, with the Front Angle because it lets you see the basic moves in the clearest of fashions (and Gigi is addressing you from this camera perspective). It can be hard to see what the dancers are doing at times, though, especially when one partner is moving in front of the other - that is where the other viewing angles come in. The High Angle viewpoint not only gives you a higher vantage point from which to observe the movements, it also offers a more close-up view of the action. The Back Angle is truly great and helpful - now you can see all the stuff you could not see from the other two angles (it also offers other advantages that I, as a guy, appreciated). These multiple-angle viewpoints are immeasurably helpful in making sure you can see exactly what each dancer is doing at all times.

It is also important to note that Gigi and Pedro make Salsa dancing fun, even when they are showing you the most basic of steps. They also make it seem easy to learn. Only after they have gone through all of the lessons and reviewed the moves multiple times do they add music to the mix. I also liked the fact that they did not actually dance until the end of the lessons - I think this is important because Salsa dancing itself looks like something I could never possibly learn. If I had seen how hard it looks before learning the basic moves, I would have been less confident and thus have gotten less out of these lessons than I did.

Simply stated, this DVD and a dance partner are all you need to learn basic Salsa dancing. If you want to learn but are too shy to take lessons, this DVD is perfect for you. You can't just watch the DVD and expect the information sink in, of course; you have to get up and do what Gigi and Pedro are showing you. At the very end of the lessons, Gigi and Pedro show you what more advanced Salsa dancing looks like, and I guarantee this will get you even more excited about practicing what you have learned and more than anxious to see a hoped-for follow-up DVD aimed at intermediate Salsa students."
Arriba! Very simple and easy Salsa for beginners
Joanna Daneman | Middletown, DE USA | 08/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a very cute DVD lesson set for learning Salsa dancing. Gigi, the instructor and her partner Pedro take you from simple forward and back steps to "Kentucky" or a complicated turn. There are twenty-six lessons, and best of all, the DVD gives you a choice of angles to observe the steps. You can take front, back or high-angle and this gives you much more information about the dance steps than a single camera angle or cameraman's choice would ever do. The steps are called out by their names in Spanish: Enchufla, Adios a la Hermanas, etc, so you learn the proper terminology.

The chapters are organized by steps that are related to each other, then at the end you have a chance to review with music. And there's a teaser for Quick and Dirty Salsa Part Two and Three, where the turns get more complicated and there are some more moves (dips, etc.)

This is a nice, clean production with good organization on the DVD, nothing fancy but well-filmed, clear and simple. If you were taking Salsa in a class, this could be a fantastic review, and if you want to see if Salsa dancing is for you, try this. I think "Quick and Dirty Guide to Salsa" is very well-done, indeed.

Joanna Daneman"
Shelley Gammon | Kaufman, Texas USA | 08/31/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am far from being coordinated, I have no sense of rhythm and I have never felt comfortable on the dance floor. This DVD has really changed my perspectives on dance and how easy it can be for anyone, when properly taught.

The mult-angle feature is AWESOME. I have heard of the mult-angle function in DVDs for years, but never had a DVD with this feature before. Debdoot Das wears many hats - producer, director and editor - and does a fantastic job in incorporating the multi-angle feature to help those of us with 2 left feet.

Clicking on the "Info" button on your remote (all DVD remotes have this) pops up a menu separate from the animated graphic menu, allowing you to seemlessly change viewing angles from front view, top view & rear view of the dancers.

The front view is head on, but the top and rear views are at skewed angles so you can see full body movement, while learning the steps.

Each of the 28 lessons are taught by Gigi and her partner Pedro. Both instructors are extremely articulate and well spoken. The lessons are slow, but not tedious. This is the perfect disc for total beginners to any type of dance - you don't have to know anything other than how to move your feet and hands. Gigi will patiently guide you step by step and repeat. Since you have the remote, you can easily repeat each lesson as you want so that you may repeat.

Gigi goes over each dance move and describes its name. When a new move is introduced, it is spelled out at the bottom of the screen in easy-to-read letters so there is no confusion on what she is instructing you on or what moves she is calling out.

Until the final lesson, there is no music, so you can clearly hear Gigi & Pedro instruct the women & men watching and you can be more focused on the moves until they become second nature. You start out in baby steps (no pun intended) and are hand-held through the entire process. One move is learned, then another one, then the two are combined into a dance - and the dance becomes slightly more complicated as new steps are added in each lesson.

The final lesson is more of an exhibition of how you can incorporate all our moves into a dynamic set of moves that is quite a work-out and fun to watch as well. For those of us not born with a pair of dance slippers or tap shoes already on and raring to go, the DVD expects no prior knowledge. Steps are easy to follow and deliberate.

The setting is in what appears to be the large dining hall or parlor of a large, high-ceiling estate. Furniture is moved to the edges of the room as Pedro & Gigi dance away and explain their moves on a hardwood floor, so you can hear the rhythm of their shoes as they click and spin on the floor.

When you go to grade school, they have fire drills at least once every year, usually more often. They are thought of as nothing more than a distraction from your daily work, but when a fire or other disaster comes, no one panics - they fall into line and march out in unison. This is similar to the DVD on many fronts... Salsa dancing looks particularly complex until you're shown the steps one by one. Having these 2 instructors at your beck and call on DVD is a way to drill the steps into your body and mind until they become a reflex instead of robotic arm & leg movements. Once the moves become second nature, incorporating them all together in a single dance will be a piece of cake.

On just this one DVD, you get your own private dance instructors that are always on the top of their game, never tired, and annoyed with your lack of rhythm. They don't care if you are only in your sweats, they are professionals. Never boring and the best way to learn Salsa dancing!"
Not a con job!
Kenneth P. Hinson | Blacksburg, VA | 11/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Contrary to the concerns of a prior reviewer, this DVD is not a con job. For more about the DVD see ."