Less formal salsa style danced by many in Latin America
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you want to be spoon-fed one regimented unvarying way to dance salsa choose another video. (Then God help you when you want to dance with a partner who didn't learn the same exact way you did). If want to learn the more "formal" New York mambo style choose another video. If you want formal ballroom/dance studio salsa look elsewhere.However if you want to learn a cumbia backstep style of salsa, Marlon Silva's set of videos are the only ones I've found. If you dance with many different dance partners from different parts of Latin America, this will make you a more flexible leader who's better able to find a step to match her style. Or if you teach beginners to dance salsa - once again - I like this step better. Marlon Silva teaches you to switch and vary your "basic step" and later to improvise and find your own personal style. And if you want to watch lots of new moves there's lots of interesting material here that you can incorporate into *any* style of salsa. I switch back and forth among different steps and styles, but if I had to choose one I prefer this cumbia-style of salsa to the New York mambo style. I won't bother to argue with those who say the New York style is the "proper" style of salsa. I've danced salsa most every week for seven years and dance to have fun with my partner, not to impress dance judges in a "Strictly Ballroom" competition setting. I first learned salsa (and merengue) in a university town with lots of international students right off the plane from Central and South America. And if you dance salsa where there are plenty of dance partners from Latin America (particularly the Caribbean) just look around: this is the style I see a lot of people dancing to *salsa* songs (and not just to cumbia songs). In my opinion this cumbia-style salsa step feels more smooth and flowing and makes it easier to get swept up in the music than the New York style. And when I'm teaching a beginner to follow, that means this style makes it easier for them to catch onto and enjoy the distinctive feel of salsa rhythms (I often hear "aha" from women who had a quick lesson in New York style and didn't "get it"). Most complete beginners I ask prefer this style if they try both briefly. Later I teach them the New York style too for variety.Marlon Silva doesn't spoon feed you a single basic step. Before he moves on to even basic turns, he suggests ways to vary your basic step and find your own style. Once you get more experience, he will encourage you to improvise. I chose another simpler video to get my "spoon fed" salsa to start off with, but quickly moved on to this one. Marlon Silva is more of relaxed informal natural street dancer, not a studio instructor. He definitely emphasizes feeling the music rather than precise technique.I would agree with some of the other reviewers that Suzie Neff appears a little stiff and uninspiring in these videos. Maybe that would make a bigger difference if I was trying to learn the woman's part - I don't know. It doesn't affect my opinion of the video as a way to learn how to lead salsa steps and moves. If this is a style of salsa you'd like to learn, Marlon Silva's instructional videos fill a valuable and neglected niche."
Poor "salsa" but a good laugh!
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Please save your money. This is probably the most disappointing product I've purchased from Amazon.com. There are many more salsa videos that truely rate B to A+ on this website--try New York Salsa among many others. This "instructional" video rates a clear F! I'm boggled by the 5-star rating offered by a few customers. Were they rating Let's Dance Salsa or some other video? (1) The instructor and his sidekick don't even dance to the music--the basic 1-2-3, 4-5-6 steps of salsa are totally ignored. I've danced salsa in Puerto Rico, NY, Miami, Havanna and D.C. and have never seen this sort of clown-like jumping around.
(2) The instuctor's English is embarrassingly poor! My girlfriend and I got a good kick out of it.
(3) There was probably little to no video editing. Suzie almost falls on her face a few times. MY salsa parter (an intermediate dancer) can execute the head roll far better in her sleep.This is an honest review. Heed my warning if you really want to learn salsa."
A Saturday Night Comedy Sketch!
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Call Saturday Night Live and tell them to watch this DVD! They'll get a kick out of this one!
Don't, I repeat don't buy this DVD if you want to learn to dance Salsa. More of a comedy sketch, (although I'm sure it wasn't meant to be), this "vanity" production is hilarious. This becomes evident in the poor instruction given by Marlon Silva. What qualifies him as an instructor? Where's the basic step? A legend in his own mind, it becomes clear that he and Susie are having a great time doing what ever it is they are doing but the lesson certainly doesn't help beginners or anyone else! Please don't call this DVD Salsa instruction and save your money for a serious lesson!"
A little sloppy..
(3 out of 5 stars)
"We thought that it was a little hard to understand because of the strong accent, and the lessons were taught quickly, without much consideration that we were beginners. The steps were shown once, and then he went into the much more advanced way to express them, which made the steps confusing. The tape seemed to focus more on the teachers' ability to dance rather than the teacher's ability to teach. Also, the blue screen in the back made the lines of the dancers fuzzy and distracting. I would consider this "basic" instruction more geared for intermediates."