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DVD - Review from www.salsa-videos.com
contact: www.salsa-videos.com and info @ salsa-videos.com (remove blank spaces ;o)
CD-reviews (in German language) here: CD-Besprechung mit DJ Valerian and www.latinmusik.ch
NAME OF THE DVD: Annetjes DVD-Review:
the last entry is always on top.
Evaluation:
***** = best,
* = worst
Marchant Birch: alchemy Way Partnerwork on1 or on2,

In the ‘extras’ section of this DVD you will find full-hearted recommendations and admiration of Marchant’s talent from names like Juan Matos, Hache Y Machete and his majesty Eddie Torres: quite an introduction. This talent shows at its best, in my opinion, in the choreography of the 8 turn patterns which represent the main content of the DVD; while you would expect a salsa turn pattern to be accompanied by adjectives as ‘cool’, ‘nice’, ‘challenging’, ‘original’, ‘smooth’ and the like, I think calling some of them ‘beautiful’ is not fully out of place; the ideas flow spontaneously and despite most of them are surprising, they still look natural, a distinguishing signature of an artistic creation. Care is given to all details of the design of the turn pattern, so that a hand flick becomes a arm throw, a change of position generates the momentum for another surprise and no beat of music is wasted waiting for the next move, but filled with action.

As you may have already understood these are mostly stage moves, but some of the material may be adapted for the dance floor, provided you put in a bit of work and surely you need to be comfortable with your partner.

The turn patterns are danced and explained on2 or on1, filmed with a single camera but demonstrated on all useful views in a visually stunning setting. It is not down to earth salsa, rather a very refined and elegant one, closer to Mozart than to Celia Cruz, but it is worth watching and studying and I recommend you do not miss it.
review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVD available through in on1 or on2 version through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
Nelson & Sophia: Kizomba III,

Based on the format of their initial Vol 1 & 2 DVDs, Nelson and Sophia bring to us 8 more moves in each volume. Each DVD is simple, but well organised. Each move is demonstrated, then broken down into the male and female parts, then danced to music. The moves are then progressively combined into the final routine which includes all moves in the DVD. The only difference between the 2 volumes (except for the moves, of course) is that in Volume 3 the male and the female parts are demonstrated by the male and female dancer alone, while in Volume 4 each dancer explains his or her part while dancing with the partner, which I found more effective. The moves are simple and technically most dancers should be able to master them fairly easily. Dancing them nicely and giving the Kizomba feel may be a bit more challenging, but the demos from Nelson and Sophia are captivating and convincing. A nice product if you are into Kizomba.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Granda Dance Project: Rueda de Bachata vol 1,

The idea behind this DVD is quite simple: we can take the concept of the rueda de casino, so popular in Cuban salsa, and adapt it to be danced in Bachata style with Bachata music. There are a few details to work out before doing that, mostly related to differences in the basic steps and in the music. Grégory and Nanda cover this at the beginning of the DVD, when they also refresh the basic elements of Bachata and then progress to show some moves and different ways to change the partner during the dance. All steps are broken down first, shown in partnerwork and then in a full rueda of 4 couples. Useful to get going with your rueda team.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

***
Melissa Rosado: Ladies Styling,

This is a very complete DVD for a female dancer who wants to develop an exercise routine to practise at home. It starts with a number of stretching and isolation exercises, covering neck, shoulders, torso and hips. It then focuses on individual parts of the body to develop elegance and style: hands, fingers and arms are addressed with the special details. These elements are then put together into a number of shines, some of which are fairly popular, which offer the opportunity to show how body rolls, hip movements, head flicks and arm decorations can help to make a dull shine come alive. This styling is developed with mambo dancers in mind: it is on2 with gorgeous music in the background, but if you dance on1 you should be able to work out the main tips anyway.
Review by Fabio Boschetti for Salsa-DVDs.com
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Troy & Denise: Salsa Essentials vol 1,

The purpose of this double DVD series is to take you from basic steps to an intermediate level via basic moves in NY/LA style as well as to help you to make the further step to an advanced 'frame of mind' by introducing you early on to several variations of the basic moves. This may sound familiar, but the way it is carried out is less so: there a few differences between this DVD and similar products in the market. The one which struck me the most is that a lot of emphasis is placed on moving and walking rather than on dancing on the spot. This may remind you of Cuban salsa, but it is taught for LA or NY style. Keeping the flow of motion makes it easy for Troy and Denise to go straight from basic steps into cross body lead, circumventing several intermediate steps which salsa instructors usually take between the two. Whether this works in real life as smoothly as it looks on the DVD I do not know, but it does look convincing. For example, rather than teaching spot turns, as it is usually done in a salsa class, Troy and Denise introduce right and left turns during the cross body lead. This 'trick' allows them to move next straight into a set of standard moves, including copas, which are largely combinations of cross body leads and turns. It is a nice idea. Both Troy and Denise have in mind not only salsa students but also salsa instructors in their teaching, since they often refer to them pointing out important elements which should not be left out of a salsa class. What comes out of this is not only a possible alternative plan for teachers to organise their classes but also for students who already know the basic elements and want to see them organised in a different fashion.

Another feature which sets this DVD apart from others is that dancing on1 and on2 is introduced straight from the basic steps and throughout all material; the result is a method which is completely versatile to both LA and NY salsa. On2 is taught both with the man stepping forward on2, and stepping forward on6, which Troy calls 'On6'. A very good product, definitely worth a serious look both for students and teachers

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD Available through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
Fabsalseros: Cuban Salsa for Beginners vol 1,

This DVD is a valuable tool for all salsa beginners who are interested in the Cuban style because it brings everything what the beginners need:
- Fundamentals of Cuban salsa music (counting, explanation of clave)
- Basic steps with demonstration of Cuban body movement
- Leading and following principles
- Basic Cuban figures and their combinations
Everything is explained concisely and clearly. Figures and combinations are demonstrated first on counting and then with music.
I can recommend this DVD to all beginners as I did to my students. I can say from my personal experience that if you will master this, you can go dancing across the whole Cuba from Havana to Santiago and Baracoa, since common Cubans and Cubanas do not dance over-complicated figures presented in most DVDs on the market.
Review by Ondrej Durej for STEPS4DANCE
DVD available through www.Salsa-DVDs.com

*****
Nelson & Sophia: Kizomba 1&2,

The latest equation in the latin dance scene goes roughly like this:

Bachata hip movement +
Merengue motion +
Lambada hold +
Tango steps =
Kizomba

However, this does not imply that if you can already dance Bachata, Lambada and Tango you necessarily will be able to dance Kizomba. This is mostly because of the bizarre and variable count used in the dance, which ranges between 3 beats basic steps (to 4 beat music!) to moves of 4, 6, 8 and even 12 beats. This is where Kent Salsa comes handy with their Kizomba level 1 and 2 DVD. They cover the basic elements in a simple and clear manner. If you already dance at least one 'Caribbean' style dance (zouk, bachata or salsa) as well as tango, this DVD will give you the few hints you need and you will be able to dance a beginner level Kizomba in a jiffy. If you are a novice in those dances you may need a bit more practice, but the necessary explanation is all contained. A simple, but effective product.

review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

***
Jami Josephson: Latin Body Motion for Salsa & Spins,

Like all DVDs from Jami this is a very professional production. It is a technical DVD, in which Jami shows basic dancing techniques, the ones which give solid foundation to any kind of dance and applies them to salsa. The result is something useful for the beginner dancer, to get things right straight from day one, to the intermediate dancer who may want to clean up a few things, and to the expert who may need some reminders for things he/she knows already but maybe forgets to apply regularly.

As usual, Jami's explanations are very clear and so are the demonstrations. The camera view follows the details you need to focus on and all throughout the DVD you have the feeling you are learning something which doesn’t just apply to the latest styling fashion, but some solid foundation you will use for a very long time in your dancing.

The material covered goes from the very basic elements of salsa basic steps and proper motion for knees, hips and chest, to how to place your weight on your feet during the basic steps, to spinning technique, covering balance exercises, spotting, left and right turns, travelling turns and multiple turns, solo and with partner. Spins are discussed both on1 and on2. A useful reference also for salsa instructors.

-
Review by Fabio, from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through salsa-dvds.com

*****
SalsaCrazy: Advanced Salsa Dance Mastery System,

We like the SalsaCrazy approach to teaching and DVD production and this series has not disappointed us: it contains content (lots of it), detail, variety and quality.

A common dilemma when planning a DVD is how to balance the amount of detail vs volume of material, that is how much time to spend in explanation vs more content. SalsaCrazy has solved the problem radically: they include both content and detail, and in order to do so, not only filled 6 DVDs, but squeezed as much as possible into them, since they average between 1.5 and 2 hours in length. This together with some serious thought to the organisation of the product, results in a complete advanced course which you can take home and attend anytime you wish. There is more to it because all together the course is tough, by 10 instructors and with different styles and approaches to salsa dancing. So on top of straightforward salsa teaching you also get a glimpse of what this dance has to offer in terms of creativity and diversity.

To make the most of this DVD the instructors assume you are an intermediate level dancer, you are familiar with standard salsa moves, timing and basic spins. Everything else is provided in the series. Each DVD contains a number of turn patters, each first demonstrated, then explained from the leader and follower’s perspective, then both male and female instructors give tips on specific details of the turn patters and finally we get to the demonstration to music. In each DVD one instructor will also focus on specific techniques which are needed to develop an advanced dancer, covering spinning, posture, and body isolation exercises; some of which are repeated by different instructors which will demonstrate that there is no unique recipe to any salsa element.

Within this common structure, the DVDs change due to the presence of different instructors who bring their own flavour. Vol 1 and 2 present Evan with his confident, cool and experienced approach. We like his teaching a lot and his salsa is that of the consummate social dancer. He teaches with 3 proficient partners (Louise Garrison, Nadine Chan and Angeline Lucia) and their turn patterns are designed to condense in a few moves all the basic salsa elements: wisdom and experience was obviously behind the choice of these turn patterns and if you master them, you will have some 80% of salsa elements under control. Vol 3 and 4 are presented by Alison Hurwitz and Jesus Ortiz; their style is more formal, more technically oriented, with a touch of ball room in its approach. In Vol 5 Tianne and Ricardo present the ‘young’ side of salsa, with turn patterns of their creation and a less traditional approach. Finally, Vol 6 presents Sir ‘Seaon the Stylist’ and what a welcome surprise this is.. he brings his immense style, as well dancing on2, to this series.

With so much choice and variety it is inevitable that you will have your preferences and you may wonder why the entire series was not performed by your favourite instructors. We find Evan’s no-nonsense approach really refreshing and his teaching spot-on and for what regards Seaon… well, we will never tire ourselves of watching him; but you may very well have other favourites.

review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through salsa-dvds.com

*****
Fabsalseros: Rueda de Casino vol 1,

This DVD contains all you need to know in order to build a rueda de casino team from scratch or at least from a group of dancers who know how to dance basic steps in Cuban style salsa. The first session shows the 'basic rules' that is the mechanics of the rueda, how the dances relate to the circle, how the dancers position themselves in relation to other dancers, how the rotation of the partners happens, and so on. Then you are taught a set of rueda moves in increasing order of difficulty, 17 all together divided into 3 sessions. Rueda moves are very well standardised since they need to be executed by memory from the call of the leader, so the material contained in this DVD is the basics which any rueda group needs to learn, anywhere in the world. The teaching is done with a camera positioned high above the team, so you have a front view which allows to see the entire circle, which is very useful. All moves are first demonstrated by Fabrizio with partner and then executed by 3 couples to counting and then to music. The instruction is clear and easy to follow. A good tool to get into rueda dancing.

Review by Fabio, from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

***
Lee Hunter: Guide to ChaCha,

At the beginning of the DVD Lee claims that he will show us how to convert basic salsa moves to ChaChaCha music. In fact, I think he does a bit more than that, in the sense that it shows some salsa elements as well as a handful of turn patterns from the ballroom repertoire and puts this material together. Of course mixing salsa with ballroom is a delicate operation, since the result may displease everyone. Lee's choice makes sense though and I think the elements of ballroom he suggests to us are cleverly chosen and include simple moves and leads salsa dancers are not accustomed to. This, together with some salsa material taken from his 'Improvers guide to salsa' and 'Guide to shines', makes up a reasonable ChaChaCha repertoire for an intermediate dancer. A full session of the DVD is dedicated to making sure that ChaChaCha is danced on2, rather than on1, and it is properly done. As for all other DVDs from Lee, this also is targeted to a social dance audience, that is at dancers for whom simple and genuine enjoyment is more important than showing off the latest moves in order to make friends envious; for these people, this is a good product.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available from www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Adrian & Anita: Adrian & Anita Style III,

contained in the DVD, have found their real passion in salsa.
They have achieved a lot already, being able to boast first prize at several international competitions, including the equivalent of the World Championship, in the category On 1. This talent shows clearly in the DVD, their dancing is spotless, energetic and made impressive by a well acquired stage craft: everything is just perfect and sharp.
'Adrian and Anita style 3' contains a set of 10 solo sequences, basically shines including a lot of body work and styling, 5 for men and 5 for ladies.
Each sequence is first shown with vocal counting, then broken down and then danced to music. As for the other DVDs from this couple, their dance on1 and their style is very sharp and full of energy: material for choreographed shows. They both are proficient dancers and thus able to get away with moves and emphatic styling that most of us would not be able to afford, but if you like this kind of material, or this kind of challenge, you can be sure you will watch and learn from some of the best dancers around.


The material is explained only in Spanish, but unlike the other DVDs this time you can find subtitles in English. As for the other DVDs of this series you will find very useful the use of two camera views with zoom in and out when needed.


Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Tony, Frank & Inaki: 3 Bachateros,

This is a very nice and entertaining production, which I found myself watching all through with a smile on my face. It's a clever realisation of a clever idea: take 3 male Bachata dancers, with a different style and let them show their repertoire together. Not only can you see the contribution from all three, but also you can watch the 3 dancers executing each other's steps, with inevitable styling variation. Tony Lara, well known to all Bachata lovers, represents Italian style, Inaki Fendandez, also known from BachataUk, represents the Spanish style and Frank Santos the Dominican style. Each teaches us two footwork sequences and two turn patterns, which are demonstrated with the equally well known Daniela De Francesco. All material is first demonstrated, then broken down to counting and than danced to music, from two side views.

What makes this production stand out is the joyous atmosphere, the funny way the music is interpreted and the entertaining short choreographies the three dancers coordinate before and after each turn pattern. It's a fun DVD which will entertain you while you add some new ideas to your Bachata repertoire

Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
SalsaVentura: Shines,

I was told this was a very good DVD and it's true. Salsaventura has collected into a single DVD most of the 'classic' shines you are likely to learn in standard salsa class and does not make a secret of it by explicitly acknowledging his inspiration: Salsa Brava, Los Rumberos, Eddie Torres, Nelson Flores and Marlon & Annetje Castillo. All together, there are 42 (!) shines in this DVD, for 90 minutes of condensed teaching. The shines are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced level; for each level they are further divided into sequences of 3 to 4 shines, which are first taught in isolation and then connected as a short sequence. In each sequence, the shines are connected without basic steps in between; this results in short choreographies which will challenge your memory as well as your coordination.

Each shine is first demonstrated from the back, then zoomed in on the close up view of the footwork. It is then broken down twice to counting and finally danced to music with front and back view. The DVD menu is very well organised so you will find quickly the shine you want to practise. The beginner shines are very easy, and can be managed by students capable of executing the basic steps. Naturally the further you go in the DVD the more challenging the shines become, but none is beyond the reach of a reasonable dancer. Plus, the point of shines is not to execute them, but to execute them well so this DVD can keep you busy for a while.

Everything is taught and demonstrated on1. Morry is very confident in his teaching and smooth in his dancing, keeping the styling to the minimum required, which avoids the material becoming intimidating. If you are after a shine DVD and you are happy to dance on1, this is surely recommended.

Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
Carlos 'el Unico Bachatero': Bachata Building Blocks vol 1,

As the name suggests this DVD is meant to take you from zero knowledge of the dance to dancing a reasonable social Bachata. It does so by introducing the basic steps, the basic turns for man and lady, the basic concepts of leading and following and some simple elements of styling. Once this is done, these elements are mixed and combined into 7 turn patterns which will help you to practise and get going in your social dance. Once you think the DVD is close to the end, you will find a few more sections with further instruction on how to time your lead and following, and a few more hints on styling. Here Carlos’ very sensible approach to the dance comes out quite clearly: don’t overdo it, don’t exaggerate the hip movement, simply be natural and in tune with your partner. I like Carlos’ style, the DVD and the teaching; although the editing and organisation of the DVD could have received a bit more attention. I think it is a nice introduction to the dance.
Also available through www.salsa-dvds.com:
Bachata Building Blocks vol 2 and vol 3

Review for salsa-dvds.com by Fabio from SalsaIsGood

****
Melissa Fernandez: Mel's Moves, Ladiesstyling,

The purpose of this DVD is to learn what Melissa does: what she does when she styles, when she spins, when she goes into solo shines, so that you won't need to drive yourself crazy trying to film her at congresses or scrutinise her on YouTube. You can just learn straight from her: it makes sense.

Melissa is at her exuberant, energetic best in this DVD which may appear intimidating to some but may also be contagious and help you to overcome your shyness, as Melissa herself hints at. Underneath all this, the teaching is solid and as in the turn patterns DVD with Louis, she often insert technical details in between stylistic description. A good DVD provided the exuberance of LA style at its peak is what you like

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Johnny Vazquez: Azteca Patterns,

Every time I review an LA style DVD I feel the need to point out that I am not a fan of the style and that I find all its defining features just a bit too much. Johnny Vasquez is surely one of the most extraordinary representatives of the style and he really takes it to the limit. Nevertheless, despite the fact that it is not my thing, I have to say I enjoyed the DVD. Johnny is as flashy and quick as ever, but he has also developed as a dancer - much more precise, sharper and more ‘elegant’ in his exuberance. The teaching is also very well done: despite the turn patterns are advanced level, the teaching is very slow and will surely give you time to absorb all the details. Johnny teaches the male part in Spanish while his partner Jennifer Silvas provides the description of the lady’s part in English. If you are not bilingual you do not need to worry too much because I think you will be able to manage all the details for both follower and leader anyway.

The moves are mostly taken from Johnny’s old repertoire, some of which are what has make him famous; here and there you can also pick up some new ideas, but I think the value of this DVD lies mostly in the style and the energy.. perfect for those who want to dance and impress.. and Johnny is indeed very impressive.

Fabio from SalsaIsGood

****
Raul & Shelina: Bachata,

This is a good DVD, surely one of the best Bachata videos around to date. At first you may get a shock at seeing two dancers in full ballroom performance attire demonstrating Bachata, this is not the look we are used to associating with the dance, but in 2009 we are learning to be open minded and have been rewarded.

The DVD is well produced, with a voice over explaining while the dancers demonstrate the moves: this is effective and fast, and allows the inclusion of a lot of material. All elements are demonstrated to counting and then to music, both from the front and back. Also good is the organisation of the material, since you always know where you are at in the DVD; it takes you from the basic steps, to some basic turns, variation of the footwork and partner work, both explaining how to interact with the partner and a few simple combinations. As for most Bachata DVDs around this is most suitable to beginners. The dancers display a clear ballroom stance, but they surely also know how to let go when is needed and, most important, are proficient and they know how to make the dance come alive even without the usual exaggerated overdose of sensuality.

Not what you would find in the streets of Santo Domingo, but solid teaching, surely worth having a look at; hopefully we will see a volume 2.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Boogalu Prod.: R. Borell: Cuban Dance Instruction,

This is my favourite DVD from Boogalu Production: it contains unique material, very detailed instruction (which is not always easy to find in Cuban dancing) and an implicit tour into the history of salsa which is extremely instructive; the result is a must have, in my opinion, for serious salsa dancers at least from an educational perspective.

The DVD teaches 3 dances, Danzon, Son and Cha Cha Cha, covering what has been the ‘fashion of the day’ in Cuba from early 1900 to roughly the 50s. The instructor is a senior Cuban dancer, speaking a very good English, helped by a younger female demonstrator. Each dance is taught in its genuine, original form, at least as close to it as you are likely to ever find on any video recording. For each dance you will be shown the expected posture, attitude, basic steps and basic elements, all of which is in really clear detail, with all parts broken down for both the male and female dancer.

There is no turn pattern or challenging move to learn; as a result a superficial look at the DVD may lead you to think that there is much repetition in the explanation of the 3 dances, the only difference being the basic steps.. but this would miss the core value of the product. First, a crucial difference between the dances lies in the posture, the attitude and the relationship between the dances. Second, if you believe that here there is nothing much to learn except the basic steps you would miss the importance that the right posture and attitude and the attention to the relationship between dancers and music makes in the difference between an average and a good dancer (this is the concept which gives the name to the DVD itself). Third, you would miss the ‘historic’ treasure hidden in the DVD, which shows how salsa evolved from the rigid and constrained movement of Danzon (similar to old fashioned tango), when looking at moving like a white person was basically expected, to the introduction of hip movement in Son, which implicitly meant more acceptance of being ‘black’ and which was further developed in Cha Cha Cha, (notice also how the opening and closing of the dance position in Son is a precursor of the Dile Que No we use today). Finally it would be a pity to lose sight of the fact that 2 dancers may look good and have fun even by dancing 3 different dances by doing only basic steps. The demonstration of the three dances are a pleasure to watch from this perspective.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD availbable through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
Boogalu Prod.: R. Borell: Cuban Dance Instruction,

This is my favourite DVD from Boogalu Production: it contains unique material, very detailed instruction (which is not always easy to find in Cuban dancing) and an implicit tour into the history of salsa which is extremely instructive; the result is a must have, in my opinion, for serious salsa dancers at least from an educational perspective.

The DVD teaches 3 dances, Danzon, Son and Cha Cha Cha, covering what has been the ‘fashion of the day’ in Cuba from early 1900 to roughly the 50s. The instructor is a senior Cuban dancer, speaking a very good English, helped by a younger female demonstrator. Each dance is taught in its genuine, original form, at least as close to it as you are likely to ever find on any video recording. For each dance you will be shown the expected posture, attitude, basic steps and basic elements, all of which is in really clear detail, with all parts broken down for both the male and female dancer.

There is no turn pattern or challenging move to learn; as a result a superficial look at the DVD may lead you to think that there is much repetition in the explanation of the 3 dances, the only difference being the basic steps.. but this would miss the core value of the product. First, a crucial difference between the dances lies in the posture, the attitude and the relationship between the dances. Second, if you believe that here there is nothing much to learn except the basic steps you would miss the importance that the right posture and attitude and the attention to the relationship between dancers and music makes in the difference between an average and a good dancer (this is the concept which gives the name to the DVD itself). Third, you would miss the ‘historic’ treasure hidden in the DVD, which shows how salsa evolved from the rigid and constrained movement of Danzon (similar to old fashioned tango), when looking at moving like a white person was basically expected, to the introduction of hip movement in Son, which implicitly meant more acceptance of being ‘black’ and which was further developed in Cha Cha Cha, (notice also how the opening and closing of the dance position in Son is a precursor of the Dile Que No we use today). Finally it would be a pity to lose sight of the fact that 2 dancers may look good and have fun even by dancing 3 different dances by doing only basic steps. The demonstration of the three dances are a pleasure to watch from this perspective.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD availbable through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
Santo Rico: Ladies Styling II,

Even in the Mecca of salsa, NY, where quadruple spins are taken for granted, people say that no one spins like the Santorico dancers! Very similar in structure to Vol 1, this DVD aims to bring to the world this famous spinning technique, together with the flashy, flamboyant and eccentric style which is also Santorico’s trademark. The DVD includes a warm up/body isolation session, various spinning exercises and a set of styling exercises most of which also include double or other multiple spins. While the spinning technique is something you can take to the dance floor (and if you succeed it may allow you to become the envy of the local club) the styling may be better suited for the glamour of the stage, but you will be best placed to decide for yourself. The teaching is at a good pace, without too many details and is carried out with the help of 3 different dancers. A short demo from Thomas with one of the helper instructors shows what the technique can achieve.. and will surely motivate you to learn!

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through Salsa-DVDs.com

****
Brian & Mechteld: Advanced,

With exactly the same structure as their ‘Intermediate’ volume, Brain and Mechteld bring to us three more combinations each with variations, for a total of 10 turn patterns plus one shine. Most turn patterns are based on the idea of leading the lady into sudden changes of directions. This is an idea which is elaborated cleverly both in the way it is lead, where the change of direction is placed and its general look and feeling. But the real value of the DVD, in my opinion, lies in simply looking at Brain and Mechteld dancing: I could do this for hours and I caught myself with a smile on my face while I admired the way Brian interprets the music with surprising simple body gestures.. for me that is worth the cost of the DVD in itself. I hope this couple will produce many, many more products. As the ‘Intermediate’ this DVD is also Danced on 2, this time to a very catchy timba groove and spoken in Dutch with English subtitles.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
dvd available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Saltuya: Advanced Turnpatterns on1 and on2,

There is something rustic about this DVD which I like. Randolph and Coco seem to be two down-to-earth dancers who with no frills, want to show us some advanced turn patterns. I can almost imagine the hypothetical scene: you see some fancy figures on the dance floor and you go and ask the dancers to please show you the trick. Well in this DVD it looks like Randolph and Coco decided to show us the tricks impromptu and they do so by dancing the turn patterns first on 1, then by explaining the details of lead and follow and then showing them again on 2. The dancers and the turn patterns seem to be more natural in the on 2 version perhaps because of the choice of music.

The turn patterns are tricky and will challenge an early advanced dancer: they are full of quick hand hold changes, unusual copas, many changes of directions, spins for both the lady and the guy and those typical NY style moves in which you place the hand of the lady somewhere and it appears you retrieve it from somewhere else. I am sure you will have fun trying them out.

There are 6 turn patterns fully explained plus 2 bonus ones which are only demonstrated and all together the DVD is some 30 minutes long. Maybe more material could have been fitted in but the turn patterns are fairly long, 10-12 bars of music each, so if you manage to learn them all you will get your money’s worth. A little bit more care with the camera would not have hurt: the feet are often cut off from view in the demo but thankfully some zooming in compensates for this during the explanation. Also the turn patterns are shown from one side only but if you account for the fact that this is an advanced DVD it may be expected that you know enough to fill the small gaps. As a final touch, the DVD authoring may not be high tech but it is really cute.

review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available though www.salsa-dvds.com

****
Yvonne Goldsmith & Krin Bajough: Spin,

What a pleasant surprise I got from watching this DVD! I have seen many spinning DVDs, from very famous instructors and schools, including dancers world-renown for their very spinning; some are good some less so, but I did not expect to find basically all I wished to see in a spinning DVD collected so nicely in this work, plus more.

In this DVD there are no frills, no showing off; instead it is packed with content (plenty of it), all of which is top quality and taught and demonstrated very precisely and efficiently.

There is all you ever wanted to know about spinning and you may have dared or not dared to ask: single and double spins for guys and ladies, spins on the forward and back foot, travelling and spot turns, basic suggestions for leading and following, the fundamentals of spotting and holding the correct posture paying attention to legs, core muscles and shoulders, the concept of developing momentum for the spins with shoulder, hands and feet and so on. It is really the A-Z of spinning. There are even a couple of tricks for unusual spins I have seen people execute but never teach. At the end some Pilates like exercises show you how to strengthen your core muscles if you are into serious dancing.

This must be one of the best spinning salsa DVDs in the market, if not the best, congratulations to Yvonne and Krin

review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-dvds.com

*****
SwinGuys: SalsaSwing vol 1,

Salsa is a fairly conservative world, especially today with the trend of rediscovering old style mambo and afro-cuban roots. So, how come that a group of 4 Italian guys dancing swing could suddenly because so popular in the salsa world? The answer is refreshingly simple, because they are extraordinary dancers. If you have seen any of their shows you have probably stood amazed at their technique and at the same time laughing at the entertaining joke they intersperse throughout their shows.

Now, we all have the opportunity to learn their un-usual (for salsa dancers) style: it is characterised by a mix of swing and salsa on1, LA style. They are natural performers, as it shows from the jokes which fill their instructional DVDs as well as from the choice of the figures they teach, in my opinion more suited to the stage than the dance floor.

This DVD contains 5 sections, each of 5 items. You will find turn patterns, lift and tricks and ‘free style’ or shines. The free style is where the swing influence is at its purest form, but the fact that the shines do not look very much like salsa won’t bother you that much, because they are very cool and boy… the guy can dance!

All elements are showed from 2 angles, then in slow motion, then with focus on the footwork and then with music, using a boogaloo salsa which nicely fits their style of dancing.. explanations are not given verbally, so you need to work out the details of the lead and following, as well as the acrobatics by yourself, but the visual details are there for you to sort out. An unusual DVD, but well worth it, at the very least for the talents in display.. a promo with clips of their shows is an addition to the product to look forward to.

Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Salsa with Tomaj: Latin Motion Demystified,

If you were born in the Caribbean or in Africa, you would probably wonder why anyone should need to learn the ‘Latin motion’. Similarly, if you have danced salsa for many years, you may not even remember the days when you needed to learn how to coordinate the movement of your hips to your feet and make your salsa look natural. Still, this is a common problem for beginner dancers, as well as for many experienced dancers who simply ‘try too hard’ and end up looking ridiculous by displaying a hip movement so exaggerated that it would look bizarre even to the most flamboyant of Caribbean dancers.

Also, even if you ‘just have it’ and your dancing is nice and fluid, it may not be easy to explain exactly how you do it and to break down the movement of each part of your body, beat by beat and train a beginner dancer. I used to do it in my classes and I know it is not easy. Tomaj did all this for you and compressed it into this DVD. He shows you how to move the hips, then feet, and then knees, how to coordinate all this to the beat of the music and most importantly, how all this relates to the weight shifting from one leg to the other so that the result looks natural. Tomaj explains all this very well, and his partner Susie shows it equally well. This level of detail, as well as the content, is hard to find in any other DVD, which makes this production even more useful. I would recommend it to all beginner dancers.

Review by Fabio from SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Hacha y Machete: Int/Adv Turnpatterns on2,

We can safely expect quality from HyM and this is what you get from this DVD: eight turn patterns from one of the best performing couples currently around. If you think that eight turn patterns are not that many fear not, since each pattern is 14-16 bars of music long, basically a mini-sequence in itself; the result is that the amount of material easily outperforms most salsa DVDs.

I like the turn patterns a lot: all the ingredients of NY salsa are there, as well as interesting novel ideas; and everything is well seasoned with the well-known HyM elegance.

According to the instructors, this DVD is for intermediate-advanced dancers, but, depending on where you learnt your salsa, the material contained can easily challenge expert dancers. As far as I can see the turn patterns look fairly leadable, with no need of much memory.

Coming to the technicalities, this is NY style, on 2, with some Cuban influence in the arm work and some occasional passages. The DVD is filmed with a single fixed camera, but the dancers show all figures from two sides so you will be able to follow all details as needed. The turn patterns are first introduced, then explained with comments by both the leader and the follower and finally executed with fast (quite fast actually) music.

All the specific technical details (turns and footwork) needed to execute the turn patterns are explained at the very beginning of the DVD, so, in principle, you can start learning them geared with all the necessary tools. This is in principle, because the explanations are compressed to the bare minimum and you will have to do some work and thinking to put the pieces together and understand exactly which footwork goes where. This may be the only criticism to HyM production, but, as usual, less explanation means more time for content, and what is in this DVD surely compensates for the small drawback. A recommended buy.

Review by Fabio from Salsaisgood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Al & Karla Espinoza: Simple but Deadly,

As someone who has been taking classes for over a year, but still struggle with more advanced patterns and movements, this DVD has been a godsend for me. I think the shame of the video is me thinking to myself when watching "Why didn't I think of this stuff?"

I love Al's playful nature. I would have loved to hear more input from Karla. I enjoyed Al's videos with Edie. But I guess because this video was more for men than women, she really didn't have to give any tips or opinions.

The only problem I have with this DVD is the abrupt shutting off of the music after a demonstration. It was jarring, and for a DVD with so many professional touches and a stylish look...it was very "low-budget". But that really is my only complaint. Al and Karla's DVDs will become staples in my instructional library. I just hope they can find someone to fade the music out after a demo, instead of just shutting it off abruptly, because any fool can do that.

Review by Anthony Lewis for SALSA-VIDEOS.COM.

DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com



****
Seaon Stylist & Amando Estilo: Shines for ChaCha,

I can’t help being biased when it comes to Seaon’s DVDs, which I believe is most reasonable; he is one of my favourite dancers and instructors, whose DVDs I hold as among the best. The fact that this new series goes back to the roots by incorporating Amanda a peer instructor makes this even more compelling.

According to Seaon’s own words, this is a beginner’s introduction to cha cha cha for dancers already familiar with basic salsa. He and Amanda take you from the very basic steps, On2, to very popular simple shines, to less common ones, all seasoned with rich styling, body motions, hands decoration and the like. The structure of the DVD goes back to Eddie Torres’ original videos, so styling is demonstrated individually from Amanda and Seaon, who focus on lady’s and men’s styling at its very best.

The apparent simplicity of the shines explained in this DVD may be misleading; while an average dancer will probably master the footwork fairly quickly, it will take common mortals more than the allocated life time to equal the body styling, so there is plenty to learn for dancers of any level. And if the guys may find Seaon’s body expressivity a bit over the top for an average dance floor, again worry not, since most likely Nature will ensure that your body executes much narrower movements, resulting is suitably tamed versions of the same.

I like the windows containing written comments and hints on how to interpret and make the shines comes to life, which you can read while the material is demonstrated to music and will surely not annoy you as if they were spoken, should you decide to watch this DVD over and over, as I will surely do.

Review by Fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Strictly Salsa: Men's Styling,

This is a cleverly produced DVD which contains a potpourri of ideas and techniques for men to ‘look better’ on the dance floor. There are not many of these DVDs around, so if you guys have felt so far discriminated against, thank Strictly Salsa for taking a stand.

This potpourri includes spinning technique, decorations to intersperse in between basic elements of LA/NY salsa (decorations on Cross Body leads and simple turns) and some shines. Except for the shines, all other tips are described in the context of partner dancing, which I believe makes this DVD useful. You also have 2 role models to aspire to, since Strictly Salsa provide both the ‘funny’ and the ‘cool’ guy, so you can learn to wear the personality suited to your mood on the night.

Both dancers are technically good and explain well. The filming is also well done since you can see all details from all required angles and the camera often zooms in for close ups.

My only perplexity is the choice of the content; the shines are quite standard, some even ancient, and some of the decorations a bit choreographed, but this is a matter of personal taste, and you may find them pleasing.

One more worthwhile Australian contribution to international salsa.

Review by Fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Seaon Stylist & Amando Estilo: Best of Footwork vol 2,

This DVD contains 7 shines, designed by Seaon and Amanda, taught by Seaon and demonstrated mostly by both. The material is quite rich, each shine covering more than 8 bars of music and characterized by moves of disparate inspiration, from classic mambo, to rumba, to jazz and even flamenco. Everything is, as expected, ‘flamboyantly’ Seaon, and both Seaon and Amanda are in their element by showing body and hip decorations which may be too ‘daring’ for more self-conscious dancers, but which you obviously can adapt to your personality, as Seaon himself shows occasionally. The explanation is good, focusing on each component (feet, body, hands), to which Seaon has accustomed us, and, as in other DVDs, he goes through each move several times both from the front and the back, so that you can follow him while watching the DVD. After the explanations either Seaon or Seaon and Amanda dance the shine to music which makes it come alive and shows that even simple moves in the right hands (or feet) can look really special. If you like the rest of Seaon’s production, you will like this one.

Review by fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Dave Paris & Ava Apple: Lifts & Aerials vol 1,

Some people like challenges: in life, at work, in relationships; some people even take up salsa for a challenge. If in your 'to challenge' list there is gravity, then this DVD may be for you. The lifts and tricks of the DVD are not the 'normal' acrobatics you see in salsa performances or, sadly, at times on the dance floor; no, these are the 'real thing', the ones which you normally see in ballet shows and in a circus (no joke intended); they are the ones in which the man lifts the woman up to the sky with no sign of effort in his grin, and in which the woman, up there, has the energy and strength to adopt positions which most of us can not hold on a sofa.

For me even the neck-drop is life threatening, so this stuff is waaaaay above the horizon, to the point that I am not even able to judge whether the technique taught is right or wrong. It looks right though (and people 'in the know' confirm it is) since both dancers seem to know what they are talking about and look comfortable in achieving the unthinkable. Also, as far as I can guess, they take care to give detailed explanations and, importantly, careful warnings on the physically risky bits.

I won't try this stuff, that is for sure, and if you do, be very careful you are not taking your physical abilities or experience too far; but if you are into professional shows and you have the right technique or professional guidance, then yes, you may salsa with gravity

Review by Fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Strictly Salsa: Bachata Downunder,

Lacking DVDs of native Bachata from the Dominican Republic, bachata DVDs are produced in less likely places, like Italy, US and Australia. This one comes from Australia, and the producers will make sure you are fully aware of it, dancing against a printed background of the Sydney skyline and iconic Opera House.

It contains everything that is needed for going from ‘I have never danced before’ to executing a decent Bachata, given your will to practice of course. The instructors have made an effort: the DVD is fairly long, they spend time on body movement and body isolation, and in the partner connection within the dance. They also provide many moves and combinations though several are little more than variations of the basic steps. It may not be useful if you dance Bachata already, but it may be of benefit if you have never tried.

Instructions are given by 2 couples, including two SalsaIsGood friends and collaborators Jordan (Feelin’Merengue) and Oren (Salsa with the Stars), so you may see different interpretations; given that Bachata is spreading fast, and developing quickly I suppose that style does not necessarily need to be ‘dominican’, and this Australia version will enable you to get going

Review by Fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

***
Nuno & Vanda: Partnerwork (adv),

This DVD contains 6 turn patterns in pure LA style, that is On1 and with sharp, energetic and emphatic body language. The turn patterns are fairly long, so don’t be turned off by the fact that there are only 6 of them; if you do like the style, there is enough material to make this DVD a worthwhile addition to your collection. This is a simple production, but well done, and it contains all you need to learn the material presented. Each turn pattern is first described by the leader, then by the follower; this is followed by a version with voice counter and then repeated again twice at slow pace with music, from two different angles. There is only one camera view, but the explanations are clear, the dancers are technically good and the demonstration precise; in other words, no excuse for not learning what is presented.

The turn patterns are of advanced level, containing mostly standard moves organised in an original way, but, here and there, you will also find some novel ideas, the most interesting of which are based on clever copas. The demonstrations are what I would call ‘performance style’, seasoned by body waves and sharp poses; it thus comes as some surprise that in the final clip all the turn patterns are executed in a free style routine, danced to a fairly slow pace son, in which the dancers look far more natural and everything comes to life. Pity that the order of the turn patterns is not followed and several extra decorations are added here and there; the lack of visual aid will make it not obvious to distinguish which turn pattern is which.

The instructional part is not very long, some 40ish minutes, and the DVD is supplemented with a series of performances, displaying the dancers in their full versatility, from salsa to tango, swing, hip hop, contemporary Brazilian and cha cha cha; good dancers.. whether you like the style or not

Review by Fabio - www.salsaisgood.com
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

******
Alex da Silva: Advanced 2,

Short, but effective and to the point.

With a runtime of less than 20 minutes some may feel cheated when paying 40 Euros for this DVD. I, however, would like to disagree and below is my rationale:

I have taken hundreds of lessons with combos that consists of 10 8:s or more. One or two weeks after I am usually not able to remember anything of the combo. During the last two years I have instead started to ask myself which 2 or 3 8:s of the combo that are interesting and worth learning and then focus only on learning those.

This DVD cuts straight to the point. Most pattern consists of 3-5 8:s which immediately enables you to see if this is interesting to you and if you want to learn it. Thus, I would say that this is a quicker way to learn than that offered by 60 minutes DVDs.

Few of the patterns are really new and original, but most of them would qualify as modern.
This tape also contains one pattern that I consider to be a da Silva signature move (pattern 9).

Although the patterns have a different feel than his “sexy moves 2” DVD, the overall set up is very similar.

Compared to his previous advanced DVD this one has less for the ladies and more for the men.

Review by Pierre
Stockholm/Sweden
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Al Espinoza: Men's Styling 2,

Delivers more than expected.

Having bought many styling DVDs that mainly contains individual styling (=solo shines) I was very happy to see so many moves that you could do while dancing with your partner.

If you prepare CBLs and open breaks in only 1-3 ways this DVD should offer you some more options. Some are challenging and requires some practice, others can be used straight away. (If you already use numerous of ways of preparing those two moves I would not expect you do be reading this review anyway.)

With a runtime of almost 80 minutes and Al being at his very best this is a “must-have” purchase. Unlike some reviewers I have not seen the first styling DVD, but I can assure you that you can buy this one even without having the first one in your collection.

Review by Pierre
Stockholm/Sweden
for www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Leon Rose: Salsa London Style vol 3 (int/adv),

This is an excellent DVD, definitely recommended, at least for the guys. Sooner or later every salsa dancer wonders whether any new interesting turn patterns can still be created, since after so many DVDs we get the feeling that everything has been tried already. Then, once in a while, you find a gem which reassures you that is not the case. This DVD is one of them, and the 10 patterns you can learn from it are all very interesting and creative. There are 2 main features which distinguish the material presented. The first one is that Leon Rose has the ability to move around the lady very smoothly and quickly; this allows him to enrich the turn patterns both with intricate arm work and with surprising changes of position, while the lady can comfortably execute relatively simple and common elements, undisturbed along the line of dancing, and maybe even fit some styling here and there. As a consequence this DVD is probably of advanced level for the guys, but intermediate levels for the ladies. A nice compromise for those guys who like maddening turn patterns and ladies who nevertheless want to look good. The second feature is that the turn patterns are not only nice, but also cleverly designed from an instructional point of view; most of them are based on a novel element which is repeated, with minor changes, at least twice in the combination; perfect for learning, practicing and remembering.

The DVD comes with very simple editing, and goes straight to the point: teaching and demonstrating the turn patterns On1 and On2, but it contains all you need: 2 camera views cover all details you need to see and Leon is very comfortable and effective with his explanations. One of the best turn pattern DVDs in my collection

Review by Fabio - SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

******
Dani de Francesco: Reggaeton Italian Style,

There are so few instructor DVDs for learning to dance Reggaeton on the market and this is only the 2nd (and better one) I've seen. A thoroughly good DVD with plenty of material included. Body isolation is a very important part of dancing reggaeton and there are different sections on the Upper body, Hips and Lower body, then a warm-up for each section to music. A more complex warm-up is also included for each section (good for improvers). If you are a beginner, you may have to replay the steps to get the movements in each part before progressing.

This DVD has the bonus of having 3 different dance routines (2 for the ladies and 1 for the guys) to the same piece of music so you can select whichever style you prefer and whichever moves you like. The routine is first broken down before being performed to music.

Daniela De Francesco is the instructor and teaches classes in Reggaeton at various salsa festivals and also at various venues while touring with her partner, Tony Lara (they do Bachata also). I would recommend this DVD to beginners and improvers alike.
Review by Chris Plummer
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Seaon Stylist & Amando Estilo: Best of Partnerwork vol 2,

Seaon and Amanda are among the best stylists and spinners in the international salsa circle. This is very much reflected in their turn patterns, in which the emphasis is not in the cleverness or intricacy of the turn patterns themselves, rather in giving space to the dancers to style, decorate and.. spin!! This DVD contains 6 turn patters in which Seaon and Amanda show all their talent. If you are into adding to your bag of tricks, you may get disappointed, since you will not find much here which is not standard in most advanced dancers’ repertoire. However, if styling, and in particular very flamboyant styling, is what you are interested in, you will surely find plenty to inspire you.

The DVD is organized as a sort of interactive workshop. The turn patterns are explained by breaking down all elements and repeating them several times; then learning the next element and repeating from the top. Basically it is expected that you watch the DVD while you practice the material ‘together’ with Seaon and Amanda, as if you were in a class. Details are well explained and you will receive plenty of hints on how to style both the male and female parts. The closest you can get to a group class from Seaon and Amanda if you can not get to the real ‘thing’

Review by Fabio, SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Jorge Elizondo: Learn to dance Bachata vol 3 (adv),

Any dance is born in one form and then develops through several stages to become something different. This has been true for mambo, salsa, tango, R’n’R etc. Some forms become popular, others not, some stay the same for a while longer than others and end up being defined as ‘classic’, whatever this may mean. There is no reason this should not be true for Bachata and indeed the Bachata in this DVD is somehow different from the one I am used to. From a dance which is closely related to Bolero, and a cousin of merengue, I have mostly seen very intimate and simple versions, devoid of figures and pre-programmed turn steps. In this DVD however, Bachata is taught the same way salsa is taught in standard classes. You will learn a number of turn patters, mostly based on salsa-style arm work and even double turns. I supposed elderly ‘Son’ lovers must have felt the same as I feel when they saw the first casino or salsa move in the 70s, so I will humbly accept that my perplexity towards this version of Bachata is merely due to being old fashioned. I did not find the explanations easy to follow, mostly because footwork and armwork is taught before being demonstrated with the partner, so I felt I missed the meaning of the moves I was trying to learn, but technology comes to our rescue here thanks to our best friend the ‘rewind-button’. Some view angles were not that fortunate either, which lead me to twist my neck to hopelessly attempt to see what was happening behind the voluminous instructor. One component which is surely not taken from the salsa tradition is the lead; the instructor seems to use some techniques inherited from R’n’R or rockabilly to lead turns, while other moves are ‘suggested’ with a determination unseen even in the most ‘Cuban’ casino.. I trust it must work. Having said that, I am sure that a few people will find this DVD series useful. It will allow you to dance Bachata whether or not you develop the trademark Dominican hip motion, and many will surely find it easier and safer to learn this set of moves than venturing into some demanding intimacy. Why not?
Jorge Elizondo has produced a series of 7 Bachata dvds, from Beginners through Advanced.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVDs available through www.salsa-videos.com

***
Nelson Flores: NY Style Mambo Shines,

As a newcomer to shines you will have the opportunity to learn the basics of mambo shines here as well as some more advanced moves. This means that you can join a group shines class without feeling like a complete idiot! The shines include: Four Corners; Reverse Crossover into Susy Q,: Mambo around the Clock: Side basic Cha Cha: Three Point Hide 'n' Kick and Cross Over Hop. If you have been partner dancing for a while you shouldn't have much trouble picking up the moves as long as you are prepared to put in some time practicing in front of a mirror. The shines are shown from the front and back view with occasional close-ups of the feet. They are shown individually and then put together into a routine without music. Eventually they are put together with music and this is where you get to finally see Nelson shine! It is a shame that the moves were not shown with music throughout the DVD.
Review by Allison Lyons
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

***
Seaon Stylist & Amando Estilo: Ultimate Salsa/Mambo Styling,

This DVD does not contain any turn pattern, rather it focuses on styling which you can incorporate in your dancing. These sorts of products are well needed in the salsa literature, but they are very hard to produce. There is an intrinsic contradiction between teaching some styling inevitably inspired by a talented dancers on the one side and developing a student’s own expressivity on the other. Seaon, with his customary humbleness and wisdom, circumvents the tricky challenge and teaches some tricks he performs with the equally talented Amanda Estilo. They call them ‘exercises’, which implies you should use them only as a training tool, but any development will be on your shoulders.

Seaon and Amanda are masters at styling, so with this DVD you can be sure you are learning from among the very best around. However, Seaon and Amanda are also very flamboyant, so certain styling ideas may be more suited for the stage than your daily nightclub, unless you are far less shy than I, at least.

It is a fairly short DVD, some 30 minutes, with 8 exercises, equally challenging male and female students. I will not execute those ideas on the dance floor, but maybe by practising them I may develop more modest versions.. surely worth a try.

Review: Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Santo Rico: Salsa/Mambo Basics,

Santo Rico is a name which demands attention. This group of big, ‘gangster’ looking guys (from the name of one of their most famous performances) and tiny ladies have invented their signature technique for leading super-fast multiple turns and regularly deliver among the best shows at each major salsa congress. Clearly they must have discovered some secret and must have something which is worth knowing.

This is the first of this new DVD series, and takes you from the very basics, up to a cross-body-lead, and single right turn, cross-body-lead with inside turn and walk-around (natural top), obviously On2, NY style. If you have already taken a beginner salsa course it is likely that you know this stuff already, but if you want to do things precisely and build a strong foundation for future development, it may be worthwhile including this DVD in your repertoire, to refer to once in a while. Same applies for instructors of course.

Thomas Guerrero starts the DVD with a short monologue, in which he summarise the basic concepts of rhythm, tempo, and music subdivisions into bars, and includes some suggestions on how to listen to music. It won’t replace a timing CD but, once again, it may be a useful reminder if you are in the process of learning salsa. All explanations are given vocally by Thomas, while demonstrations are executed by him and one couple from his group. No detail is forgotten (body work, hand movement, etc.) and close views will focus on footwork to make sure you get it right. Instructions are equally given for both male and female part. It is a video at slow pace, maybe not fun to watch, but surely useful.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Leon Rose: Salsa London Style vol 1 (int/adv),

When I see salseros from London, I hardly notice any significant difference compared to US-based dancers, so I have often wondered whether London-style is a legitimate creature or a marketing ploy; this lead me to this DVD with some scepticism. It turned out to be a distraction; indeed this is an excellent DVD in its own right, whatever style it gets assigned to. Leon Rose is brilliant, explaining extremely well, speaking fluidly and precisely, and demonstrating with both elegance and swing. He goes through the material quickly, which is very entertaining, but does not leave any details out. Interesting, in particular, is the brief section on the hand hold, which contains some original ideas, and very neat is the instruction on how to lead multiple turns. What follows are a set of turn patterns, which Leon has the luxury to demonstrate with Susanna Montero On1 and Aisha On2. Both armwork and footwork are well explained and shown with counting and with music. London salsa immediately rings of SuperMario to me, one of my favourites, and indeed there is a lot of SuperMario in this DVD, both in the structure and in the flavour of the moves. This goes as a credit to Leon Rose rather than a criticism, since some turn patterns are really lovely. In summary, this DVD will not revolutionise your salsa, as I doubt London style could anyway, but if you are after solid technique, style (both male and female), a handy refreshing of some fundamentals and some nice new routines to play with, your money will be well spent..

Review by Fabio, SalsaIsGood
dvd available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Tamambo: London with Style int/adv,

A curious DVD, read on to see why. I will write this review by reporting my impressions in the same order as they developed while watching it, in order to explain my amazement.

This DVD contains turn patterns and shines. They are well explained, with precise instructions and clear demonstrations. The turn patterns are not ground-breaking, but they do a good job of standard repertoire and mix it with intelligence plus some extra ingredients here and there. As in other DVDs from London, both demonstrations and explanations are given both On1 and On2; however, the two styles are danced exactly the same, (with the exception of the counting of course); you will not see in these two interpretations any of the 4000 miles dividing On1 LA from On2 NY. Ditto for the shines. Instructions are given only from Tamambo (the guy) and a skilled partner helps only in the turn patterns demonstration (= no shines for ladies).

I am getting closer to the curiosity I mentioned before.. the lack of styling difference between the On1 and On2 versions are just one example of a general lack of flair in the entire DVD. The material is nice and well explained, but lacks bite and flavour, which leads me to think that this DVD would be useful only for dancers needing to replenish their repertoire. This impression was strengthened by the shine session, which surely did not impress me.. but hang on.

Here finally is the curiosity I mentioned before. At the end of the instruction you see a performance from Tamambo and his group.. and well, the guy surely can dance! So I was wrong, the guy has style.. I just wonder why it did not come out in the instruction. And this is not all. After Tamambo kisses us goodbye and you think the DVD is well over and you are ready to eject it, suddenly new clips pop out, including one which looks like an impromptu solo show during the setting up of a party.. Gosh, Tamambo is amazing!! Clearly influenced by Frankie Martinez, you see not just style and flaire but personality, sharpness, creativity, technique.. all of it!!

So, here is my interpretation of the puzzle: I think Tamambo is a fantastic dancer who probably thought it was better, for instructional purposes, to remove distractions from the DVD and concentrate on explaining the material with no decorations. At the end he says he will come out with new products soon.. I look forward to it and let’s hope he will teach us some of the material in that last clip!

Review by Fabio, SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Tamambo: London with Style int/adv,

A curious DVD, read on to see why. I will write this review by reporting my impressions in the same order as they developed while watching it, in order to explain my amazement.

This DVD contains turn patterns and shines. They are well explained, with precise instructions and clear demonstrations. The turn patterns are not ground-breaking, but they do a good job of standard repertoire and mix it with intelligence plus some extra ingredients here and there. As in other DVDs from London, both demonstrations and explanations are given both On1 and On2; however, the two styles are danced exactly the same, (with the exception of the counting of course); you will not see in these two interpretations any of the 4000 miles dividing On1 LA from On2 NY. Ditto for the shines. Instructions are given only from Tamambo (the guy) and a skilled partner helps only in the turn patterns demonstration (= no shines for ladies).

I am getting closer to the curiosity I mentioned before.. the lack of styling difference between the On1 and On2 versions are just one example of a general lack of flair in the entire DVD. The material is nice and well explained, but lacks bite and flavour, which leads me to think that this DVD would be useful only for dancers needing to replenish their repertoire. This impression was strengthened by the shine session, which surely did not impress me.. but hang on.

Here finally is the curiosity I mentioned before. At the end of the instruction you see a performance from Tamambo and his group.. and well, the guy surely can dance! So I was wrong, the guy has style.. I just wonder why it did not come out in the instruction. And this is not all. After Tamambo kisses us goodbye and you think the DVD is well over and you are ready to eject it, suddenly new clips pop out, including one which looks like an impromptu solo show during the setting up of a party.. Gosh, Tamambo is amazing!! Clearly influenced by Frankie Martinez, you see not just style and flaire but personality, sharpness, creativity, technique.. all of it!!

So, here is my interpretation of the puzzle: I think Tamambo is a fantastic dancer who probably thought it was better, for instructional purposes, to remove distractions from the DVD and concentrate on explaining the material with no decorations. At the end he says he will come out with new products soon.. I look forward to it and let’s hope he will teach us some of the material in that last clip!

Review by Fabio, SalsaIsGood
DVD available through www.salsa-videos.com

****
Josie Neglia & Alvaro Coronel: Advanced Salsa Combos 2,

The turns are all leadable and well explained. It's nice and usable to dance on the dancefloor. Especially if you want to learn some lifts and dips you should buy this dvd. The turns are rather intermediate level..

Personally, I don't like Josies latin-dancer-style - I like it a bit more funky..

Review by Christian Schmidt for SALSA-VIDEOS.COM

****
Waldemar Guijarro: Salsa/Casino Cuban Salsa Dance Course ,

There is a lot of effort behind this DVD and a far bigger budget than most salsa schools can afford. Produced by a German company (www.dym.de) to promote dance travel to various locations, this DVD very much summarises what you can expect from a combined 'trip-plus-dance-class' tour to Cuba: you will see plenty of trademark tropical scenery, including beaches and Havana main highlights, and six good dancers demonstrating basic casino salsa movements, mostly in nice outdoor settings or typical Cuban buildings.
The DVD has a remarkable set of features which makes it stand above standard salsa productions: it comes both in NTSC and PAL (on a single disk!), 3 languages (Spanish, English and German), 3 subtitles (Italian, French and German).
All dance steps are shown from several angles, even from below the feet (!). There is an original 'son' soundtrack and even a music clip at the end. You will also find plenty of vocal explanations, several slow motion parts, visual details and close-up views. So far, so good.
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks as well. First in the 70 minutes of the DVD you will learn only 4 basic steps (on the spot, cross basic step, forward and back, and side step) and one variation (basic step with displacement). The time is filled up by several repetitions and by showing the dancers (very good by the way) demonstrating the basic steps over and over again. Despite the attention to visual and vocal details and endless demonstrations I am not sure that the video is that easy to follow if you have never danced salsa before. The breaking down of elements is not that precise, nor clear and (by far the biggest criticism) the music is not always synchronised with the dancers; they will appear switching between dancing on 1 to on 2 several times, and occasionally on 3 (not to mention when the music is completely off), which may be really problematic for a beginner.
Having said that, if you have never danced before, you are curious about casino salsa and you are considering whether to go to Cuba or not, it can be a reasonable buy.

Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood) for www.salsa-videos.com

***
SalsAventura: Intermediate,

This intermediate dvd is for high level intermediates. If you compare it to the salsa dance courses here in Denmark I would say it's an advanced dvd, but the cause of this is probably the lack of good instuctors and the instructors not having enough students. It's amazing how much quality is put into this dvd.

How can SalsaVentura fit so much onto one dvd? 10 long variations with good lead explanations. All the basic stuff which you should already know before buying an intermediate dvd (cbl, copa, inside and outside turns and more). To top it off you get 10 pretty good shine patterns.

Morry from SalsaVentura has standard body movement, nothing special like on Al Espinoza's dvds, but Morry's dance technique is still solid and good. I love this dvd, it has more material than on any other dvds. If you don't got enough money for this dvd, rob a bank. An alternative could be to sell a kidney or lung... Just make sure you get it!! You need it!!!

Review by Teddy Mikkelsen, Denmark
Available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Salsa Lovers: Casino Rueda Intermediate Level 2,

Here we have some short and easy salsa variations, nothing fancy, but good concidering it's an intermediate dvd.
Around 25% is rueda only combos and can't be danced one on one only with a partner, but very fun to do in a rueda circle. Still there is more material than on alot of other dvd's. All patterns are well explained as usual by the salsa lovers team.
There are lots of moves to keep you busy if your an intermediate dancer, even if you are advanced you will find some new inspiration and you will learn faster. These patterns are all easy to lead and good to use on a night out for dancing with people you've never danced with before at your local salsa club because of the low difficulty.
Very good value for your money.
Review by Teddy Mikkelsen
for www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Seaon Stylist: Spinning 1 & 2,

Been dancing for six years, but failed to learn how to double spin. Thought only women needed to know, but have changed my mind the last two years without doing anything about it.

Right now I can get around, but only with poor balance, poor body posture, not on the spot and preferable with using my feet as an extra push for the second turn.

I do not know if this DVD will help improve me spinning, I might need privates for that as well, but anyway here is my review:


NEGATIVE
It teaches and shows how to use your shoulders during the spin. Still, if you do not get it by seeing it and being told that it is important then there are no further clues provided on exactly how to do it.

Overall it shows proper technique, but do not clearly show how to go from bad technique to proper one. There are few "avoid doing this" examples shown.

There are no examples on how to incorporate spins in common partnering patterns.


POSITIVE
The instructor is a good spinner. He is relaxed, can spot, does not travel during his spins and finishes with good balance.

The lessons are progressive. It is clear what you need to master before you can actually start practising a double spin.

In my country (Sweden) this instructor is unknown. This means that whatever positive feedback I or others offer here is not related to him being a "branded" instructor that people praise regardless of the actual content on the DVD.

He stands with his back towards the viewer when showing how to spin. Although this makes it slightly impersonal, it is also really helpful since an instructor in real life is usually showing you it exactly that way.

The DVD teaches you to spin both to the right and to the left. I find that very important since I have salsa friends who are lost when it comes to spinning to the left.

The DVD zooms in both on the upper body and on the feet.

The menu system makes it really easy to find the different lessons.


Overall I am happy with my purchase. I already had Al´s DVD on the same subject, but this one covers it slightly different and I think it is ok to buy both of them.


You still have to practice and maybe go for privates, but I do not think you can blame this or any other DVD for that...*smile*


review by Pierre Wanger, Sweden, for salsa-videos.com

****
SalsAventura: Shines,

On 1. In English.
Many shines, good and easy to learn.
Very professional vídeo production.
In front and back(mainly) position of the teacher.
Sincerely I think this video is excellent for all level dancers. I strongly recommend it.
Review by Francisco Casa Gazquez

*****
SalsAddiction: Salsa Styling for Ladies Vol 1,

Level: Beginners

Length: 43 minutes

Style: LA On 1

Content: Basic Techniques; Posture; Body Tone; Basic Action: feet, knees and hips; Rhythm; Connection to Partner; Body Isolations; Basic Arm Styling; Turn Techniques: simple and advanced spot turns, basic and advanced double spot turns, progressive turns, XBL with inside turn; Dip techniques.

General Comment: Most ladies' styling videos are aimed at ladies who have been dancing for a while and have developed the confidence to start adding styling. Many of them show flashy embellishments which take some time to learn. This video however, could be used right from the first salsa class and encourages ladies to think about styling in terms of the way they move when they dance, so that not only will they look good but they will be able to more easily follow moves lead by their partner. There is a lot of material in this DVD and demonstrations both with and without a partner. The explanations are clear and precise. Juliet also demonstrates how to do many of the moves the wrong way so that students may recognise these as they practice in front of the mirror and avoid common mistakes. This is very useful video for beginners.
Review by Allison Lyons
Available through www.salsa-videos.com

*****
Josie Neglia & Alvaro Coronel: Advanced Salsa Combos 1 ,

The turn patterns in this video are difficult, but this is advanced salsa and L.A. salsa. The video is suitable for a dancer coming from an intermidiate/ad-vanced level and dancing for a long time.
I think that Josie and Alvaro have been very creative with these patterns and they explain with all detail how to realize. But the experience of my wife and I is that you have to like L.A. style and to have a lot of patience because if you do not learn the technique of the feet that they explain very well, the sequence of patters will be a bad experience for you. In fact this is advanced salsa and you have to understand the technique. Then, when you dance these patters for 4 or 5 months continiously, you will appreciate them.
Review by Manuel Pedreira

*****
Salsa Brava: Mens Spins, Shines and Styling with Luis Vazquez,

This is absolute the best footwork dvd I have. In the menu you can see the shines before picking them. There are 7 beginner shines and 8 advanced. All shines are danced on 1 first shown from the front then from the back. The shines are fairly long and look better then on most dvd's. This is mainly due to the nice arm movements and body move. Luis also has a great spin technique. The advanced shines really are difficult compared to anything else I've seen, even the beginner shines really take some time to learn, if you like me want to do every little body move perfectly. If you only buy one shine dvd buy this one.

English

Review by Teddy Mikkelsen

******
Ruby Karen: Ground & Aerial Tricks,

These dazzling but impossible tricks (for most social dancers) are executed with unbelievable grace, body control and strength from the lady's perspective and it is doubtful whether anyone without Ruby's professional ballet or gymnastics training could ever perform them and look this good at the same time! Even the "basic" moves include such features as over-extended splits which I couldn't even imagine being able to do...

The DVD starts with a review of Ruby's resume which is as amazing and impressive as her tricks. This is followed by video clips of her exhibition moves and shows, then the safety pointers (you need them!) and finally the following instructional tricks: 1) Star; 2) Champagne; 3) Star to leverage; 4) Torch; 5) Lawnmower; 6) Arabesque swing; 7) Split on hips; 8) Table top to plank; 9) Tondue flesh; 10) Shoulder to dive; 11) Half snake; 12) Dip with a kick, 13) Whip spin.

Some moves look easier (it's all relative) but I doubt whether they would be anything but easy in practice. Ruby shows the moves with three different partners which is a good idea as the partners are very different in body stature which implies that from the guy's perspective, the lifts have more to do with good technique rather than physical strength - you don't have to be a body builder to do them! I would still argue however that a woman would have to have incredible muscle tone and flexibility for these moves. Most of the moves are performed with non-salsa music so I guess Ruby is saying that these moves are not limited to salsa.

Ruby has been involved with the music herself having written, composed or at least responsible for the vocals on most of the tracks. Quite an all-round entertainer! The exceptions are the final 2 moves which include more of a traditional salsa dip performed with the music of Johnny Polanco. Finally all the moves are put together into a polished, salsa routine which makes me think that this should be an olympic sport.. If you are looking for perfomance or competition moves there is plenty of material here and I'm sure many of the moves could be adapted to fit your capabilities. Good luck!

Review by Allison Lyons

*****
SalsAventura: Advanced Turnpatterns 2,

If what you want from a salsa DVD is to learn nice turn patterns, this DVD is highly recommended. It contains 9 patterns, danced on 1, of advanced, but surely reachable, level. The patterns are original, not only in the combinations but in the individual ideas too; you will surely find some novel hammerlocks or copa to include in your repertoire. Each figure is first demonstrated, then explained in the arm work and footwork separately, then demonstrated twice again with voice counting and finally 2 more times with music. All explanation are clear, well paced and helped by the camera zooming in when needed. There is no slow motion or fancy effects, but all the details are there. The instructors are not fancy, but their technique is solid. Explanations are focused on the leading, since they come from the male instructor, but the footwork is covered for ladies as well. The editing is simple, but done with care. A well worth buy.

Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

*****
The Quick and Dirty Guide to Salsa, 3 dvd boxed set, beg to adv,

Overall a fine and comprehensive collection of basic/intermediate Miami/Cuban style salsa.

Below are my likes and dislikes with this set:


NEGATIVE
The set focuses on the patterns and does not go into specifics when it comes to leading and following. In that sense the beginners DVD is not an alternative to a real teacher, unless you are always dancing with someone who has seen the same DVD.

There are almost no indications on what you should try to avoid.

The advanced DVD is more about how to mix the combinations from the intermediate level and thus there are few really new moves there if you have already seen the intermediate DVD.

Counting is 1-2-3, 4-5-6 and not always correctly matched with what the feets are doing.


POSITIVE
3-angle filming enables you to pick the angle that makes the combination most clearly visible to you.

Female instructor – for a change.

Many patterns on each DVD. This is the positive side of not breaking down leading and following in too much detail.

Each pattern is named – both verbally and in written form.

Advanced DVD contains references to Intermediate patterns in order to enable you to gain from what you already have learned.

Good audio – you expect it on all DVDs, but here you really get it.

Introduction to the tap/vasilala technique for those who usually only dance Cuban style. You learn how to spin the lady to the right on 1-2-3 in Setenta if you currently only do it on the 5-6-7.

Patterns shown with and without music and there is a DEMO section at the end of each DVD.


Who should buy this set of DVDs? My recommendation would be to buy this if:
…you are at or aim to reach the intermediate level in Cuban/Miami style salsa.
…you feel you have already mastered the Intermediate and Advanced level, but cannot remember all moves.
…you already know and remember Intermediate/Advanced moves, but sometimes would like to show it on a DVD for non-salsero friends wanting a demonstration in your home…


Based on all my points above I would say that the best purchase in this series is the Intermediate level DVD.
Review by Pierre Wanger.

***
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Angel & Tulane Rivera: ChaCha (beg),

All you need to know to get started with your basic Cha Cha Cha is here in this DVD.
It contains a few different ways of doing the basic steps and a few simple variations to enrich your dance while you get familiar with this style. At the end 3 simple shines are also included, in case you want to venture yourself into some more challenging solo steps.
Despite the instructors claim to teach Cha Cha Cha in ‘mambo’ style (they dance on 2 and use Cross Body Lead), some of the ideas are taken straight from ballroom Cha Cha Cha, which makes this product open to a wider audience.
On the technical side the DVD seems to have been edited in a bit in of a rush, which affects the flow when you view it for the first time but not the instruction, which is good and well organised. A clip of a mambo performance at the very end shows the talent of the instructors at their best.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

****
SalsaCrazy: Intermediate 2,

Like the Intermediate Volume 1, this DVD is worth every dollar and everything I wrote about Vol 1 applies to Vol 2 too. Good explanations, very easy to follow, attention to detail, and lots and lots of material; the instructors clearly know a lot, have plenty to give and don’t spare themselves. The attitude the instructors communicate is also healthy and refreshing, no showing off, no fancy stuff, just solid, basic moves which you will be able to combine at your will. I can’t imagine anything but good social dancers coming out of the method proposed in this DVD, provided you are willing to give your own dedication and practice. I really need to think hard to find a drawback; at times it is may be hard to follow where you are in the DVD plan, but this is probably simply the result of so much material. Highly recommended.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

******
Liquid Silver Productions: Best of ,

This is not an instructional DVD but rather a collection of some of the best shows choreographed by Al and Edie. Most are performed by Al and Edie themselves, others by larger dance teams and one by a young teenager couple. It includes three versions of the famous Arcade video clip and many other trademark futuristic or fairy-tale themes; for Al and Edie choreography tells a story and does not just showcase technical talent. The Hip-Hop Salsa combination is not my cup of tea so I won’t rave about it. Also, Hip-Hop-Salsa looks more like Hip Hop and Salsa to me, constantly alternating but never mixing. But this is beside the point, since tastes are subjective. What is not subjective is the quality and professionalism of the performances. It is enough to admire the spotless synchronisation of the 2 parallel versions of the Arcade show towards the end of the DVD to wonder ‘how did they do it?’. A good DVD to be entertained and get ideas if you need to choreograph your own show.
Review: Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

****
The Mayan: Competition Finalists 2003, 2004 and 2005,

This is LA performance salsa at its best with an amazingly high standard from the dancers and all the usual LA features: spins like you would only see in ice-skating, dips, flips, drops and tricks all executed with breathtaking speed, agility and precision. There is so much to take in with the dancing not to mention all the glitz and glamour of the costumes, the make-up, the hair... These performances are so professional that they are like acts from Broadway musicals or cabaret. Plenty to inspire, lots of entertainment in this DVD.
Review: Allison (SalsaIsGood)

*****
Jose Barroso: Dances of the Orisha,

Plenty of material in this DVD, no time wasted in chit-chat or
purposeless decorations, just 70 full minutes of dancing and music. The
instructor takes you along a journey from the Nigerian roots of
Afro-Caribbean dance to the better known rumba styles of Yambu,
Guaguanco and Columbia, always accompanied by live percussions and
chanting. For each dance the steps are first shown at a slow pace with
vocal counting over the clave and then demonstrated with a richer
percussion ensemble. You should be aware that no actual instruction is
included, you can understand the counting and the steps, but the working
out of the details is something you have to do yourself. But, really,
this is no excuse for not trying, for just when you may think that your
genes could be too ‘white’ to execute such movements, a few students,
including a western woman and an Asian guy, show you that is not the
case.. a very timely and useful addition to the demonstrations. The gem
comes towards the end, with three outstanding demonstrations of solo and
couples rumba. The dancers are very good (the instructor and his rumba
partner are outstanding) and so are the musicians and the students. A
worthwhile addition to your collection, at least to learn about the
origins of salsa.
Review: Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

*****
Angel & Tulane Rivera: Intermediate 1 (beg/int),

These are all moves you will have seen many times on the dance floor and if you don't already know how to dance them, then it would be worth buying this video to have them under your belt and make sure you dance them with good technique. Excellent tips are given both for the leader and the follower with Angel and Tulane sharing the instruction in a relaxed manner which they both do well. The studio lighting is cool like in a theatre which gives mood but is not overpowering. They repeat the moves from 2 angles so you can see what is happening. I would recommend this video for beginners going into intermediate.
Review by Allison (SalsaIsGood)

****
Nelson Flores, Fajardo, Marlow: Hustle2Salsa (int/adv),

You may have heard mythical tales according to which some Mambo moves comes from Hustle, but not really know what it means. If you are not from the US, you may not even be sure of what Hustle is anyway. All your anxiety can be put to rest with this DVD. Here a Hustle master shows a Mambo master (Nelson Flores) a few Hustle moves and Nelson shows them to you in Mambo timing. The idea is very good, because it clarifies that moves do not make the dance (as we at SalsaIsGood have been devotedly preaching), rather that a dance style materialises in 'how' those moves are danced. You will be able to pick a few good ideas; most of the moves are known to advanced dancers, but there are a few unusual variations you will be able to play with and use to seed more new ideas. Some warnings are due though. First, as openly admitted by the dancers in the intro, the DVD is made in a hurry, the explanations are minimum and the editing quite rough; to work out the details of the moves you will need some experience (both with dancing and with learning from a DVD) and the will to work your remote control hard. Second, the moves are not shown to music and only an approximate counting is given in the explanations.
As a result the difference between the Hustle and the Mambo version is not that obvious; that too will have to be provided by your experience.
In typical Nelson Flores' style, the funny finale confirms the overall informal approach of the production, which is however compensated by some quite impressive performance clips in the Intro. A good buy after all.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

***
SalsaCrazy: Intermediate 1,

This is an excellent DVD for intermediate dancers. I wish I had had it when I was learning. I like everything about it. First, it is packed with
material: more than 1 hour of moves. Second, the moves are simple but nice; they are also very short and easy to combine into longer sequences. Third, for each move you are presented several simple variations. If you learn all the content of the DVD you can easily dance
1 or 2 salsas without having to repeat a single pattern. Fourth, the moves are taught not as a sequence written in stone, but as flexible elements which you can modify and play with. All explanations are very clear and at a good pace; a lot of details are given in how to lead properly and emphasis is always put in the specifics of the hand hold in order to make the lead clear. The instructors' dancing is simple and economical, but clear and precise, they dance to teach and demonstrate, not to impress you; still there is a slight 'swing' which entertains. Watch carefully and you will pick a lot of tiny decorations, especially on the leader's side which by themselves will make your dancing gentle and elegant. At the end the female instructor will summarise very effectively what makes a good intermediate follower. If you like social salsa and you are after a product you can practise along with, while following the instructors at the same as if you were in a class, this is for you. Highly Recommended.
Review by Fabio (SalsaIsGood)

*****
Melissa Fernandez: Mel's Moves, Ladies Styling (int/adv),

The material is good and delivered in Melissa's usual exhuberant, confident and faultless style. There are a lot of useful elements which have been broken down very well so that you can imagine being able to do them yourself. An intemediate dancers should be able to pick up
most of the styling moves with some practice. What lets this video down badly is the filming which is very jerky when she dances at normal speed.

Review by Allison Lyons (SalsaIsGood)

****
Salsa Brava: Beginners to Intermediate Combo,

Very good videos.
The Salsa Brava style is extremely nice and streetwise but maybe a little difficult to catch for a beginner.
Intermediate´s would however find this video very useful, especially when it comes to styling. And the combinations are always aestetic.
This is crossbody style strictly NON-ballroom.
Review by Thomas Nygaard

*****
Nelson Flores: Progressive NY Turn Patterns (adv),

This is a good DVD for learning some advanced turn patterns on2.
Nelson shows 4 combinations of moves, which he repeats from different angles also focusing on hands and feet. He does not break down the moves for each count, so you might have to use the pause and rewind button a lot.
The moves are nice, quite intricate with a lot of turns, but there’s nothing revolutionary.
However, I like the various options for ladies in the open break and T-stance positions.
Review by Carmen Thompson.

****
Enio & Terryl: LA Style Salsa Level 3 (adv),

Here are now many moves and little combinations. Some are very uncommon and rarely seen in the club scene, some are taken from rueda.
A few words about the style, the style is L.A. speed style. These are more circular patterns, very fluent and elegant to dance, combined with CBLs. If you are bored with dancing only CBLs, try this. However, it is not so easy to learn and you should be intermediate dancer.
Review by Jörg Dr Rüdiger.

*****
Salsa Lovers: Casino Rueda Master Level 6 (adv),

If you´re looking for Casino Videos - the Miami Way - this is the best video on the market I´ve come across.
Plenty of nice, short combinations with some great details and leaves great opportunities for ladies to add some styling. (Though there´s no real lady styling any of Salsa Lovers videos which is actually too bad)
Not all of the combinations are easy to perform, so this is strictly for advanced dancers. And they break them nicely down.
Being the best video so far (better than Master Level 7) I´ll give it 5 stars, but I really think they should add on some lady styling next time.
Review by Thomas Nygaard.

*****
Alex da Silva: Sexy Moves (int/adv),

Don Juan Wannabe?
A nice video with ultra short combos with the common theme sexy moves.
If you feel your dancing has become a bit too technical, this video will definately give you some new inspiration.
Review by Thomas Nygaard

***
Stephanie Gurnon: Get Down and Funky (int/adv),

Very nice dvd with most of the fancy steps, you won´t find on other styling/footwork videos. Most suitable for girls, but many of the steps might be used directly or easily adapted for men as well.
It´s not excactly shines, but rather nice steps, you easily use when you´re not in the mood for a 2 minute shine.
Review by Thomas Nygaard

****
Orville Small: Advanced Turn Patterns on 1 (advanced),

A very professionel production with nice funky combo´s from - believe or not -Canada. One of the very best if you like you like your crossbody style to be streetwise, so ballroom dancers might prefer other instructors instead. Orville and his partner shows great technical skills - with a nice - and not so common on the salsascene - "grounding" Actually, it´s one of the best salsavideos I´ve ever come across. If you like Salsa Brava, Al Spinoza/The Salsa Freak, you gotta have this one, too. Review by Thomas Nygaard

****

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