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Salsa Articles

Learning from Salsa DVDs

Is it possible to learn salsa from videos? This is a long lasting dispute among salsa instructors and salsa video producers. Economic interest makes opinions often very biased.

That it is possible is basically a fact, since some people do. I myself leant at least 60% of what I know via videos. That a good balance between tuitions and videos is the best recipe is also quite obvious. How much you can learn from a video I believe depends mostly on 3 things

1) on you first. Look at your attitude. Are you patient and methodic? Do you work better at your own pace or do you need a constant prompt? Look at your study/work patterns. At school, did you prefer to learn from a book? Did you often skip classes and study at home with a text-book? Or were the teacher's words necessary? At work, do you grab a manual and work it out or do you ask a collegue?

2) On the videos! Some videos are made to impress, others to teach. If you are after inspiration, impressive videos may be a good choice, but do not expect to learn much. If you are after learning, choose videos made with that purpose. A good teaching video may contain careful explanations presented in a capturing way. May contain useful hints and concentrate on the important parts, skipping the obvious. Alternatively, the explanation may arise mostly by the filming and editing technique (like in our videos), which can help to'see' angles and details which otherwise may be lost even in a private class.

3) On what you want to learn. The very basic concept, the lead and interaction with your partner may require tuitions; figures, shines, turn patterns can easily be leant from a video.

The last part to keep in mind is also obvious: tuition can be obtained only by local teachers; videos bring to you the repertoire from all around the world. And they form what I believe is the salsa literature. Would you like to miss out on Los Van Van, Gilberto Santa Rosa and Isaac Delgado simply because they do not play live in your town? Or would you buy their CDs???

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