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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews

 

Peter Fige & Dorota


Salsa Partnerwork technique

Level: Intermediate-Advanced

Style: On 1

Content: Spinning, leading and following technique.

General Comment: This is a very good DVD, technically sound, precise, clear, well taught and spotlessly demonstrated. It assumes you know the basic concepts of salsa dancing and covers spins, leading and following technique. If you are not familiar with them already, it makes sure you learn them the correct way and ensures you avoid some typical mistakes. If you are, it may still clean up and improve your style. I believe that if you understand and absorb this instruction, at the very least you will be sure that you won't do anything wrong on the dance floor.

Both instructors teach and demonstrate very, very well. What they bring to you is a mix of technique and experience plus an even rarer gift, savoir-fare and wisdom; the salsa they teach wants to be natural, simple and gentle, or, as they nicely put it, a silent conversation. These are ingredients for enjoyable, beautiful dancing.

The DVD is on 1, but the material it covers transcends the specific timing used, so it can be useful to on2 dancers as well. The first part of the DVD, which focuses on spins, includes instruction as well as a number of exercises which you can execute while you watch the instructors. The second part, which focuses on partnerwork is mostly teaching and includes many precious tips. A really nice piece of work.

Reviewed by Fabio - Recommended


Salsa Anywhere

Level: Beginner-Advanced

Style: On1, On2, Cuban, Cha Cha Cha

Content: Turn Patterns, Basics,, Rhythm instruction, Shines

Device: iOS, Android

General Comment: This must be one of the best tools currently available for salsa students. Salsa Anywhere makes the most of current technology for portable devices (both Android and iOS) and delivers a sophisticated app which includes basically all is needed to learn salsa form the basic steps to advanced combinations. The word ‘technology’ here stays for ‘good technology’, nothing to be scared of. With supreme IT wisdom, Salsa Anywhere is incredibly simple to use, skilfully hiding from you the sophistication of the features it provides. Normally, when you first open a complex app, you spend a few minutes trying to work out how to use it. When I first opened Salsa Anywhere, I spent a few minutes marvelling at how intuitive all the menus are and I got going without making any use of the Help, which is anyway available on each page. Next, I started marvelling at the quality of the dancing content, which, of course, is the main priority.

When you launch Salsa Anywhere you see a menu with steps/turn patterns for salsa on1, on2, Cuban style, Cha Cha and shines for ladies and men. Each of these categories include beginner, intermediate and advanced material. Salsa Anywhere has a lot of free content (that is free moves/instructions) which will keep you busy for a while. Once you are done with his, you can purchase new content, which, as far as I understand, is regularly generated by Peter & Dorota and collaborators, including such names as Brian & Mechteld and Clau & Luke. When you open an instructional clip, you will see the demonstration on the main screen, the beat counter on the right and on the left, the breakdown of the turn pattern into bars of music. Both beat counter and the current bar of music flash synchronising with the demonstration. By the time I wondered where the slow motion was, I realised there is an even better feature: you can step through the demonstration, a few dance steps at the time, by just clicking button. When needed, a written instruction appears on the screen, describing the important parts of the move. Brilliant.

All content is available on line or can be downloaded on your device for later use, so that you can indeed use this app ‘anywhere’. In addition to this, a separate menu links to more useful content in the public domain, which complement the instructions.

If you think this is already more than you dreamt of, read on because the best has to come. You can import your own video clips (like the filming from your dance classes or from a congress workshop), manually superimpose the beat counter and then use the ‘step through’ option to learn the material with ease. All this can be done in a few minutes with only a quick look at the help. This is not a tool to use a couple of times and then discard, this may very well become your regular learning companion. .

Reviewed by Fabio - Recommended


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