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Bachata & Merengue Video Reviews


Hips on Fire

Salsa for Beginners

Level: Beginners

Style: On1

Content: Basic elements

General Comment: The two instructors bring their Puertorican and Costarican background into the Hips on Fire style so you may expect a mixture of both. The result is salsa danced on 1, which includes both forward and back basic step as well as cumbia step and cross body leads as well as enchufle executed on the line. It is something the purist will not be able to recognise as LA, NY or Cuban style, but very useful to remind us of how easy it is to be constrained by conventions.

The DVD is taught with energy in a class environment, so you will see the instructors and some of their students demonstrating the steps. It is geared towards dancers who want to learn fast, get quickly on the dance floor to have fun and who may not be too concerned about technical details or patient enough to perfect the latest stylistic decoration. But for the purpose, it does the job: together with basic steps, you will learn the Hips on Fire basic right and left turn, for ladies and men and enough simple elements to enjoy your first salsa social nights.

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Ok

Rueda de Bachata vol 1 & 2

Level: Beginners

General Comment: This series is based on taking the latest Latin dance craze (Bachata) and combining it with the idea long established in Salsa of having several couples dancing in a circle and exchanging partners every few bars of music; the result is the Rueda de Bachata. Whether Bachata is suitable to be danced in this way I will leave to posterity to judge. More to the point is the fact that there are a few subtle differences between Salsa and Bachata which need to be accounted for to make the rueda concept work in Bachata as it works in Salsa and this is the where the main contribution from Hips on Fire lies. In Bachata there is no cross body lead, so the change of partners needed to be re-engineered via an outside turn for the lady. Also the requirement to tap and move the hips on beat 4 in Bachata makes fast and long steps harder to achieve; the Hips on Fire solution is to employ some rocking steps which change the timing from 1 to 5 and occasionally to 3; all the couples in the DVD seem comfortable in synchronising to this, so I must assume it works for them.

The two instructors teach well, they have a lot of energy and I like the way they vocalise the basic rhythm of Bachata when they explain the counting of the steps, it is natural and makes you feel like dancing. At the end of the DVD they assure us they have some 67 turn patterns ready, so if you like this Rueda de Bachata idea stay tuned for more

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Ok








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