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Salsa & Mambo Video Reviews


Ismael Otero

Beginners gone Advanced (with Yesenia Peralta)

Level: Beg-Adv

Style: NY

Content: Basics, Footwork, Turns and Patterns.

General Comment: Ismael is one of the first generation of NY dancers. He has been around for a while and he knows all the tricks. Actually, many tricks which are today considered standard are his own! Complicated arm work in NY style, unusual and funny hand flips were part of his repertoire far before many others incorporated them. He has kept his repertoire up, and there is a lot he can offer in term of creativity and originality. This video contains a number of nice patterns, which you can combine into longer routines. In the beginning of the video, basic steps and basic turns are also covered, together with some foot work and styling. What I like about this video the most is that Ismael does not try to impress you, rather he strives to make things look easy. He succeeds, his teaching and demonstration are simple and clear; no mystery in salsa, “it’s just basic steps” as he repeatedly says. Despite the material presented is not trivial, you will watch the video and think “Yes, I can do that if I practise”, a good achievement for an instructor!

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended

Advanced Turn Patterns

Level: Adv

Style: NY

Content: Turn Patterns.

General Comment: This DVD is so Ismael Otero! And can be captured in two images: cool turn patterns and utmost simplicity. First the reason to buy the DVD: the turn patterns. You will find 10 of them, all very cool and creative, with Ismael’s ageless trademarks (nice arm work and surprises) suitably updated with the latest salsa trends. I have not tried them yet, but they all look leadable given correct technique and a certain level of salsa experience, something you can surely use on the dance floor in your local club. Well worth learning them. Second, the simplicity: the presentation is logical and easy to follow: first you see the pattern, then Ismael explains the arm work, then adds the counting, and finally you see it with music. Then, 2 or 3 patterns are joined in a short routine. At the end the entire sequence is showed again with counting and finally with music. All explanations are well paced, keeping in mind that this is an advanced DVD, and all details are properly explained. In some else’s hands the same turn patterns may be demonstrated in such a way to make them appear far more complex and challenging than they really are, but this is not Ismael’s style, thankfully, and everything in the DVD seems aimed at demystifying the learning process and make it look approachable, starting from the relaxed attire of the dancers (sneakers and track suit) to the very style they use to demonstrate the figures. Jamie Matos does not contribute in the explanations but her demonstrations are spot-on and nicely flavoured. Definitely Recommended.

Reviewed by Fabio from SalsaIsGood - Recommended








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