Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|SalsaSolo Dance instruction for beginners with Yesenia Adame|
Actors: Yesenia Adame, Ashle Dawson, Nicolette Arture
Director: Yesenia Adame
Genres: Special Interests, Educational, Exercise & Fitness
Salsa...Solo! is a step-by-step instructional program for beginners. Yesenia Adame teaches a beautiful and diverse array of salsa moves you can perform solo. Perfect for solo vignettes within partner dance, or for non-part... more »
Easy, spicy salsa lesson from a total star
Mala Bhargava | India | 10/14/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"World Dance New York's first salsa video arrived as a reminder of such how much I always will love this spicy, saucy dance. I haven't danced salsa in a long while but seeing the three attractive dancers in their flirty dresses doing these once-familiar steps made me pull out my favorite salsa music and dance wildly - and not very well - for a bit.
Salsa Solo is a total beginner's instructional. It takes you through the basic steps that make up the salsa dance and then a bunch of patterns or shines. You can dance the lot on your own (which is what I love about shines) or you can spice up your partner dancing by breaking away for a moment of extra style. And because salsa is full of constant footwork and arm movement, it makes a good low-impact aerobic exercise - provided you keep it up long enough.
The instruction is led by the lovely Yesenia Adame, who can do some breathtakingly athletic dancing.
The warm up, always a good idea, is short and uses moves that you'll need while dancing the salsa. In fact, this is where you're prepped for the moves.
And you get straight into the first of the three combinations in this program. Typically, you have step-by-step, movement review, and practice with music sections to each. The first combo is all basics: front, side, back-back, cuban, right and left turns. Each step is broken down so you can see how the back-replace-forward, forward-replace-back really works. The only non basic part in this combo is when you do arm stylization for the left turn.
Now, the instruction here is clear and attractive enough. You get to see the dancers dancing from the back so that you can follow them as in class. For salsa somehow that's particularly important. You'd get hopelessly mixed up if the instructor were only in front of you and you wouldn't know which foot to begin with.
However, my feeling, when I think back to my time as a beginner in salsa classes, is that something more is needed to make the learner more comfortable with the rhythm and the basic step. A little more explanation of how the footwork fits into the rhythm, perhaps. It actually takes total beginners a long while to figure it out. And going by my class, some never do. I wasn't a salsa natural either and often was told to go stand on the sidelines and clap out the rhythm. I think that novices can't really hear the pauses in the beat and so they struggle. There's nothing for it but to give it time and really listen to the music a lot and connect with it, but perhaps a little more time should have been spent on the basic beat here. Maybe even a longish round of the main front-back basic done to music. That way the learner can just repeat that section many times.
Another thing that needs more explanation is the Cuban motion. That's another thing a learner struggles with. It just isn't as natural and easy as it looks unless you're born in salsa-land. So, while Cuban hips are briefly explained here, it's not clear how they fit into the footwork - that too in all directions. It also isn't clear how the torso shift fits in with both footwork and Cuban hips. It probably isn't necessary to get into too much detail on a video for absolute beginners, but then perhaps one should either ignore that angle. If not, it needs a better breakdown.
That out of the way, we go on to the second combo, which goes up in difficulty level. There are 6 or 7 moves strung together here. The basic with a tap, cumbia with a slide, a "squash the bug" foot stylization, a figure eight with arm stylization, etc. Together they look good. They're not unchallenging so there's no danger the learner will just look at the lot, get the basics and move on. this will take some doing. With my own salsa having gone rusty, I definitely would have to spend some time on this combo.
Combination Three gets further into proper shines territory with the cross forward walk or "swivel basic", sliding box step, the Susie Q, a right turn that returns with a fast turn stylization, side to side taps, a body roll, and a saucy shimmy turn. Another thing that should have been explained is how the shimmy happens.This combo is done to faster music. There's a session of dancing all the combos together, of course.
A short cooldown of inhale-exhales and reaches and a few stretches finishes off the program. Except for a brief demo of solo dancing by each of the three dancers. These are just a few seconds each. Why not a whole song?
All in all, a pleasant video and if you work with it enough to get that certain Latin look, you definitely will look great on the dance floor. This one is a women only video because of the styling. No reason why men shouldn't do all the basics and footwork which is common to both (except for which foot to begin on) but the styling will be very different for men.
I'd recommend looking for Yesenia Adame and checking out her amazing dancing.
The nicest thing about this video is that it's actually learnable on your own - and in a short time! One burst of hard work and you can dance rather well.
There are other solo salsa and shines videos on the market. But this one is a quick and effective lesson at half the price.
Perfect for Beginners
Alechka16 | Ottawa, ON, Canada | 10/10/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Salsa Solo is an instructional DVD and about 60 mins long. It includes the welcomes, a warm up, cool down and three combination sections. Each combination section has an instruction section, a review and then a practice with music. The instruction and review is done with no music to Yesenia's count of the beat. I actually would have preferred music for all sections but I guess for complete beginners it is better to know the steps by count without the confusion of trying to be in time with the music. After all, once you become more familiar with the moves you will be mostly using the practice section.
The warm up has you getting ready for salsa and Yesenia introduced Cuban hip movement to get you moving the right way. There is also a break down of a body roll that you will do in a later section. he rest of the warm up is pretty standard.
The first section introduces the basic steps of salsa and turns. The second section puts playful twists on the basics and the third section introduces fun combinations that are a little different from the basics. For example, they add a body roll and a box step. There is also a section that puts all the moves together for a short practice.
I think this DVD provides good practice for beginners who want to become familiar with Salsa. Keep in mind that this is a solo practice DVD, it does not teach you how to partner dance. This DVD has you learning steps and combinations to dancing salsa on your own and it strives to give you the confidence and tools to be able to get creative and find your own style! The only thing I feel is lacking is a rhythm lesson. Beginners might have a hard time figuring out when to start on 1.
If you are an intermediate or advanced salsa dancer you obviously do not need this DVD. It claims it can provide a workout in the practice sections but I wouldn't go as far as too say it doubles as a workout DVD. However, the moves you learn will definitely help you salsa your booty off!"
Dancing with myself!
Seir | USA | 12/26/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Salsa Solo" is a delightful program that facilitates learning salsa in your own home, at your own pace. The reward here is to take this Latin dance to the dance floor without a partner. Salsa is lively, intriguing and the footwork will soon draw the viewer in without a doubt.
This program is designed for beginners by a star choreographer, Ysenia Adame.
The brief warm-up is simple with such moves as arm circles, upper and lower body rotations.
The program is divided into three learning sections and includes reverse image presentation for ease of following the footwork closely. Each section provides drills applied with music and several repetitions.
Section one: an easy entry level basic salsa: front and back steps with Cuban hips, and arm frames
Section two: the basics are spiced up with such moves as:foot taps, side steps with cross over steps, cumbia (with a slide, etc.
Section three:intricate, with such moves as, " wall to wall", fast spins and traditional arms, and undulations.Ysenia brings in all these combinations to complete a choreography that is up in tempo but yet so addicting that it is impossible to sit and watch these three lovely dancers without joining in.
A cool down follows and the dancers are highlighted in a brief presentation to finalize the program.
For beginner purposes- the music used in the drill section is a bit fast paced and the combinations roll in one after the other, making it difficult to follow along and remember the moves. The dance technique is not detailed so body movement must be closely observed in the dancers.
Patience will reward you as you accomplish each combination,build the dance, and try to follow along in real time. Nonetheless, these 59 minutes squeeze in fun moves,great exercise!
Meg | 05/21/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I just received this DVD. Gave it a try today and, for the most part, really enjoyed it. It certainly helps to get your heart rate and a little bit of sweat going, all while managing to have fun without it feeling like an actual workout. I'm sure my legs and the rest will be feeling it later, but it was certainly more fun than the treadmill or aerobic workouts.
They've broken the DVD up into 3 different combinations (basic, intermediate and more advanced), with each combination being divided into 3 parts as well: instruction on steps, the review (shown with them facing away), and the third set with music and moves that are faster paced. Combination 1 follows the warm-up, basically giving you the basic steps, which you then add certain techniques in combination 2 and 3 as you progress. At the end of the DVD they do the whole thing with music, followed by a cool down.
My only complaints are the odd scene cuts and her methods for 8-counts, as well as lack of cues during some sections. I've taken different types of dance classes in the long-ago past, and find her counting to be a little misleading for someone who's used to vocal cues. Sometimes the way she counts down, you think you're done with that particular set when there's still more to do. This is due to how the production/directing was done with camera angles, while other times it's simply her.
Her cues are also weak at times, especially during turns when you're facing away from the TV. I also would have preferred that she left more advanced bits (certain turns) for another section. During section reviews, where they face away from you (which I actually find really helpful), she fails to cue you on what moves are coming up, and you're forced to think back, trying to remember what order things were done and making it a bit difficult to focus on what you're doing.
In the end, once you get the hang of it (even if you have to rewind some), it's quite fun to learn. I'm sure with a few attempts at the entire set, pretty much anyone can get the hang of it, even enough to fine-tune technical movements with the arms and Cuban hips. It's also a lot better than some of the other Salsa discs that I have. Recommend.