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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews


Angel & Tulane Rivera

Cha Cha Cha
Level: Beginner
Style: ChaCha

Content: This DVD is designed to teach the foundations of ChaCha patterns and leading techniques. It includes Basics: side; running; lock, on1 and on2. It then goes through partnering techniques: cross body leads, crossover breaks, cumbia step, chase, sombrero and adios back spot turn. Some simple shines are then shown by both Angel and Tulane: 3 point step, single double SusieQ and tap & flare.

General Comment: This is a video for beginners so of course the moves are very basic and often look very ballroom like. However they are explained well by both dancers and tips are given for making the dancing look good, leading and following techniques etc. The moves are repeated from a second angle. The studio location for filming is simple and uncluttered which for this dance works well. The editing of the video is also simple with errors which have not been removed and "no frills" filming but many other salsa videos are similar. A good introduction to cha cha. A highlight of the video is the performance clip of Angel and Tulane at the end. They are truly amazing! Don't switch off after the credits until you have seen it!

Reviewed by Ally of SalsaIsGood - Good

General Comment: 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.

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Good

Intermediate 1
Level: Intermediate
Style: On 1

Content: Patterns: Dishwasher, Waterfall into lady's turn, Catapult, Tortilla, Shadow, Arm toss, Coca-Cola, Around the world, Adam's rib. Some basic shines shown first for the guy and then for the lady.

General Comment: A good DVD, in which Angel and Tulane take you though 9 intermediate moves. The moves are quite easy, suitable for dancers who have just come out of a basic salsa course. They are also quite short, which makes them easy to memorise and combine to add some variety to your dancing. They are all ‘standard moves’, though, in the sense that they have been around for a while, and are today common elements of any LA/NY repertoire. You may know them already, in which case this DVD will represent a good item to add to your ‘classic moves to remember’ library. I like the instructors - their dancing is simple but elegant and precise, the instructions good and cover the male and lady’s part equally well. I would define their style as ‘refined LA’, since it is on 1, on the line, but without the energetic and flashy feel we have been used to associating with LA style. All together a good buy, provided you are not after novel and original ideas.

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Good

General Comment: 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.

Reviewed by Ally of SalsaIsGood - Good

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