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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews


Edie the SalsaFreak & Jazzy

Style Moves Vol 1

Level: Beginner

Style: LA

Content: A lengthy introduction followed by: Basic principles of salsa: posture, basic steps, Cuban motion, side step, cumbia or rock step, right turn, left turn, interviews; Partnerwork: pistol grip, open position, 5 connection, frame, elbows, eggshell concepts, closed position, 4 points of connection, cross body lead, leading; Right turns: arm toss, ladies' turns: cops and robbers, no thumbs, one hand, guys' turns: tailbone, pizza; Crossbody lead variations: inside turn, shoulder tap, waist, frisbee, door kob, canopy; Moves: 6 short variations

General Comment: This is another generous DVD: 20 Moves! Remember the time when you were lucky if you found 10 moves in a salsa video? This is LA style of course, the label 'fusion' in the DVD refers to the mix of Jazzy and Edie style. If you follow my reviews you probably know that LA style is not my favourite so I rarely rave about it, but i find this to be a very good DVD. None of the turn patters is over the top and with very few exceptions all material would find itself at home on a dance floor. Although i have not tried the turn patterns yet, they look pretty leadable and not too challenging. Among them, you also will find some very smooth and flowing passages which you could easily port in your favourite salsa style, Cuban included.

Naturally what makes the DVD special is the talent of the dancers. Of Edie we do not need to add much to what has been said already. And Jazzy.. wwooww, he is good too! BTW, don't switch the DVD off after the last move, let it go straight into the final demo, recorded live in a French club, where you can see all turn patterns, plus much styling and improvisation. That is an amazing clip, bursting with energy with both dancers at their best, absolutely spotless; for a few seconds I thought that it must feel good to be Jazzy :)

As always Video Salsa has produced the DVD very well; you have 2 views on the main screen, wisely placed at 90 degrees, so you have both the front and side view of the line of dance. There is everything you need to learn all 20 turn patters .

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Good

Spins for Men & Women Vol 1

Level: Int/Adv

Style: LA

Content: Spinning technique

General Comment: About Edie's spinning there is little which has not been written already: 'Salsafreak' and 'spins' have basically been synonyms for many years now. Finding a male dancer who can match her skill is not easy and this makes Jazzy, and thus this DVD, special.

The DVD contains two main topics: how to spin as an individual dancer and how to spin and lead spins with the partner; importantly, both topics are addressed both from the male and the female role. On the solo side, it starts from the fundamentals of posture, balance and spotting and includes issues like styling and how to stop a spin. Quite some time here is spent on how to make single spins look stylish and unusual, rather than just focusing on the usual obsession with spinning as fast as possible as many times as possible. On the partner side, a similar approach is used, starting from the fundamentals of hand hold, how to lead single and multiple spins and how to stop spins.

If you have danced for a while inevitably you will be familiar with most of the material, but the DVD does contain some novel ideas or at least some concepts which you may have seen and likely forgotten. This includes a list of "do nots" when leading spins (quite hilarious BTW), some styling inherited from other salsa masters (SuperMario, Cobo Brothers, Vasquez Brothers, everyone properly acknowledged) and good pointers for couples of very different heights (tall guys dancing with short ladies and viceversa). A good DVD, surely worth its inclusion in your collection.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Good

Men's Styling Vol 1

Level: Int/Adv

Style: LA

Content: Styling and shines

General Comment: This DVD tries to go beyond the over-worked formula "men's styling=shines"; in fact, it makes an important claim: men's styling is about how the man relates to the lady. While this concept is probably not explored to its full potential in the DVD, it is still by itself worth its money. Jazzy interprets his own claim in terms of posture, attitude, attention devoted to the lady and leading style and this is surely the best part of the DVD.

Obviously, how the man should relate to the lady on the dance floor is not written in the Bible and is largely an issue of personal taste and expectations. These are made explicit by both Edie and Jazzy in an interview at the beginning of the DVD. Here some ideas may feel a bit over the top, but this is subjective of course and you will be able to filter out the bits which are beyond your personality.

Of course we do find some shines here too; 5 routines, nicely explained, nicely styled and very nicely executed: Jazzy is a great dancer, no question about it. The effective editing which allows you to check all details form all useful angles completes a nice piece of work .

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Good


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