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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews


Salsafix and Edie the SalsaFreak

LA Style Salsa Beginner DVD: World's Best Leads

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: Salsa Fix – LA salsa Beginner DVD

2 for 1. In the current supermarket of salsa instructional products, the ‘2 instructors for 1 DVD’ deal sounds quite appealing. The 2 instructors are Edie the SalsaFreak and Jorge from SalsaFix. Edie obviously does not need any introduction; basically everything about her has been said already, as the 32,000 hits you get by typing her name in Google confirm. On the contrary this is Jorge’s entry to salsa immortality. His story writes the script for a salsa movie itself. He is a super-nice guy, who one day happens to find himself in the same salsa club as Edie. They dance together and Edie, the star, finds that he has one of the best leads in the salsa world: she decides they should make a DVD together. The salsa version of Cinderella’s story, with sexes reversed. Now Jorge has risen to popularity and with humbleness, a sprinkle of healthy irony and a warm heart, takes it as a mission to spread the secrets of his learned leading talent which you can learn too!

This DVD aims to take you from zero to a level sufficient to dance a full song in club. It does so by covering basic steps, body movements, right and left turns and a couple of variations of the CrossBodyLead. I believe it reaches its aim. The presence of the 2 instructors, both very good, provides the information needed to both guys and ladies and they take it in turns to provide the instruction. Experience allowed then to play cleverly with angles and mirrors, so despite the use of a single camera you will see all the details from all the angles you need. This would be enough to make the DVD worth its money, but there are a few extra bonuses. First, interspersed through the DVD, you will find parts of the repertoire from Edie’s renown bootcamps: useful, solid stuff to build the foundation of your dancing on. Second, the editor plays nicely with titling the DVD, so at every step of the instruction you know where you are at and what you are supposed to learn. Third, at the end you are offered 6 combinations, which include the material previously taught. These part is very quick, with not much explanation, and you will have to make the best of your remote control; nevertheless I liked it; I assume that the meaning is that if you learned the basic stuff which came before, you would now sail through those combinations peacefully and with no need of extra help. Very finally, Edie runs some brief interviews to Jorge, which allows the additon of extra instruction and tips, for things which are not technical but still related to the world of a beginner salsa dancer: how to ask a lady or a guy to dance, how to win the fear and embarrassment of the first salsa night outs.. and similar. A good product; if you are a beginner, you will find this DVD useful.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended

LA salsa Intermediate and Advanced

Level: Int/Adv

Style: LA

Content: 25 moves interpersed with interview of Jorge by Edie

Compared to the companion ‘Beginner’ DVD, this product not only maintains the same ‘2 for 1’ concept of delivering quality instruction from 2 top dancers like Jorge and Edie, but also gives you plenty of material to work on with 25 turn patterns (!). Clearly dancers whose repertoire and knowledge is vast do not need to save their material.

The 25 turn patterns are all very short, 4 to 6 bars of music on average. This should be handy in order to both remember them and allow you to play with them by recombining with endless combinations. The emphasis of this DVD is Jorge’s lead, since Edie presents him as one of the best leads in the world (BTW, Ally danced with him and we confirm that Edie is right). This is very well done, because after Jorge’s explanation of what the lead should be, Edie adds to that by highlighting what makes that particular lead both effective and pleasant for the lady. In addition to this, a question-and-answer section between Edie and Jorge, allows to delve into the philosophy and frame of mind in which a guy needs to be in order to deliver his best lead.

The 25 turn patterns are not original, they all contain elements which can be considered standard in the salsa world. Having said that, I found the choice of the material not only appropriate for the audience this DVD targets, but also clever; the turn patterns could in principle be grouped into a few ‘themes’, according to which element they are built upon. In each ‘theme’, different combinations and variation are presented; understanding this, will allow you to make your dance diverse, even by using only a handful of ideas. The only weakness of the DVD, in my opinion, in that this concept is not explained, so these nuances may be lost to an unexperienced dancer. Similarly, and unlike the beginner DVD, there is little use of titling so you may not remember where you are in the DVD if you do not make ample use of the chapters via your remote control.

But, at the end of the day, these are details; what counts, for salsa maniacs as we all are, is how much salsa we get and its quality. And the answer to both questions in ‘plenty’! A worthwhile buy.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended


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