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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews


Susana Domingues

Salsa Colombian Style Vol 1

Level: Beginner

Style: Colombian style

Content: Basic steps, footwork and basic turnsn

General Comment: If this video had come out some 15 years ago it would have probably become the Bible of contemporary salsa. In those days most people would dance this Colombian style: basically everyone in Central and South America, and all westerns who learnt from immigrants from those countries. Then people started to go for holidays to Cuba, Cubans started to emigrate more easily, Eddie Torres became well known outside NY, LA style spread widely and the rest is history.. today this style is out of fashion to the point that I heard more that once people calling it ‘the salsa style danced by non-salsa dancers’ referring to whoever does not go through today’s standard NY-LA or Cuban class cycle. The comment is obviously unfair, almost racist J, but the fact is that I myself learnt this style originally in Costa Rica and today I am basically unable to use it: the lack of Cross-Body-Lead or Dile-Que-No makes it hard to adapt to the expectations of most salsa dancers world wide - at least those who have taken classes to become dancers, rather than those who have learned informally from their families.

However, for the less fancy (or snobby) new students, it may worthwhile to be at least familiar with it, for a number of reasons: first, it is by far the easier style to learn, second it does not expect flashy moves and consequently may suit dancers who want to learn in order to enjoy the occasional night out, and third it is probably still true that the majority of people in the world dance this salsa style and if your local club is attended by many Central and South Americans, this will be the easier way to dance and mingle with them.

Susana has a fairly old fashioned approach to this production, much of which is healthy: she avoids trying to look cool or impress you, rather she tries to teach some simple material and makes sure you learn enough to dance a full song with minimum repetition of material. She also takes care of teaching the very basic elements of Latin rhythm, although a curious misalignment of voice and motion in the DVD does not help this effort.

Susana plays the male role in the instruction, while she performs the female one in the demonstrations at the beginning and end of the DVD. The teaching could maybe have been a bit faster, but by the end of the DVD you should be able to master basic steps, a few variations of them and the basic left turns which characterise this style. A DVD suitable for beginner dancers.

Reviewed by Fabio of SalsaIsGood - Ok


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