I love to dance. It's not unusual for me to start grooving in the middle of a store when I hear a song I like. I'm the person in the car next to yours who is bobbing her heat to the beat. I am the person who is audacious enough to dance in church or kick of her shoes at a formal party before getting on the dance floor. Curiously, it's never bothered me that I'm not a very good dancer. In my mind, if you don't know how to salsa dance, no one will notice if you shake your hips enough.
To help me improve my skills, SalsaCrazy and DanceCrazy sent me some videos to help me learn merengue and salsa. The first thing that I noticed about the videos was the quality of the images. The cameras used aren't as good as the ones used on popular workout videos. They remind me more of the kind used to shoot public access shows. Don't let the video quality affect your overall opinion of the videos because the instructors are A+. They are experienced dance teachers who know how to explain the moves well.
The following are reviews of each of the videos I received:
This is not a traditional workout video like the Crunch Cardio Salsa DVD (which I enjoy). Actually, I'm not sure why it's called a workout video. What I do know that this SalsaCrazy video offers a good introduction to salsa dancing. The teacher and his partner demonstrate beginning and intermediate salsa moves in a way that's simple to follow. I found the step-counting element a bit confusing at first, but it's not a big deal once you get the rhythm in your steps.
During the "workout" portion, the instructor combines the steps previously reviewed and has you dance along to music. While it's not a traditional workout, it's fun. An important thing to note is that you learn the steps as if you were the dance leader (male), not the partner (female). At the same time, you learn the steps as if you were line dancing, so there really is no leader or follower.
All in all, this is a good introductory video, especially if you don't have a dance partner with you.
This video is great for couples on a tight budget who want to learn to dance salsa. The instructions are so thorough that it's like having a private dance instructor in your home. The cost of the DVD set is less than the cost of couple dance classes. I feel the same way about the merengue video, too.
merengue video from DanceCrazy has different instructors than the salsa videos. Both are good teachers.
I like how the male teacher explains how to be a good dance leader. I always thought I sucked at dancing, but after watching this video, I realized that many of my dance partners were bad leaders.
The male teacher is more relaxed than the female teacher. She constantly looks at the camera, even when she dances with her partner, so her movements don't look as natural or comfortable. Ladies, when you dance merengue, you don't need to always look to the right (unless you want to look like you have a neck cramp are disinterested in your dance partner).