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Anyone Can Dance Samba
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Anyone Can Dance Samba

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Starring:
Donald Johnson, Kasia Kozak
Producer:
Dance Vision
Level:
Absolute Beginner, Beginner
Genre:
Samba
Format:
DVD
Running Time:
43 minutes
Release Date:
2006
Availability:
Available
 

 Summary

Discover how easy it is to learn to Samba! This DVD is like having a personal dance lesson in your own home. National Ballroom Dance Champions Donald Johnson & Kasia Kozak make learning how to dance easy and fun. In this video, you will learn:

• Basic Bounce
• Forward & Back Basic
• Side Basic
• Box Step
• Fifth Position
• Extended Basic
• Samba Walks
• And More!

Dance Vision is the leader in instructional dance videos and consistently produces the highest quality DVDs with the best instructors. You won’t be disappointed!

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Member Reviews

LJH - July 13, 2016

Anyone Can Dance Samba

It helps, going into this DVD and their idea of Samba, if you’ve already seen people dancing Samba – especially if it was “fancy” ballroom Samba where people were dressed to impress and competing for a prize. Samba’s a fun dance. Well worth getting the hang of… It’s just a fun way to move, even if you don’t do it perfectly. But when you do…

For the average beginner, a lot of this will go over your head – at first. Just be willing to be a kid again and mimic the steps they are talking about. Watch what they do, hear what they say, then step it out with them many times. In the end, the words he uses may not be the words you use in your head. You may, for example, prefer, “A one, A two, A three, A four, A five, A six, etc. depending on the pattern you’re learning. He/she sticks with “A one, A two, A one, A two, but, then again, they’ve done this so many times...

I was reminded in watching the DVD and reading the earlier review that you wind up teaching yourself most things. At some point you have a “break through” and say, “Hey, I like to think of it this way…” Once you get a handle on something, you start to master it. You may later, for example, go back to “A one, A two,” but only after you figure out there’s no point in over-doing the count, as in “…A sixteen, A seventeen…”

They discuss “the bounce” and the “A” right out of the gate, but there’s no real harm in “learning it wrong” and moving on/off the “A” until you can get a private lesson – if needed - and be coached on how to do things right. So much of this can be taught more quickly in person (do this, do that, yay…), but then again, you tend to forget what happened and you need something like this DVD to remind you… The key to learning is GOOD “practice, practice, practice.” Be prepared to improve your practice as you go along. Learn how “beginners” dance, get the idea, then learn better ways and practice that.

They don’t teach turns on this DVD, but I think that’s smart because you need a place to come back to after a turn and being able to land on/in one of five or six well-known patterns is a good thing. Very often people want to do turns – only to get excited and then get lost after doing them. As a lead, watching a follow “guess” what to do can be a real trial... Meanwhile, learning how to bounce and step in various ways – the basics – is what makes the turns and other embellishments the most fun. Learn right - learn well.

We enjoy this couple’s teaching. There’s a lot more they could always say, but they hold off on pouring out too much information. Just get the next DVD in the series when you can do this one in your sleep and you’ll eventually be golden.

Robert B. - September 3, 2013

The DVD starts with lots of details on Samba motion in general, such as the timing of the bounce action and the footwork and how they mesh together, how to lead and color moves, etc., so it actually takes a while to get to the Samba Basic, but it's an investment in doing the Samba properly and avoiding common mistakes. (Samba is not an easy dance, and probably not a good one for beginners to start with, but this DVD probably gives a beginner the best chance of learning Samba properly and doing it well.)

Like other Donald Johnson and Kasia Kozak DanceVision DVDs, for each move, they demonstrate the move a few times (without music), then go through the timing and footwork for both the guy and the girl, then discuss the lead and any other details (pitfalls, variations, etc.), then demonstrate the move again to music. (I really think the pattern of "demonstrate, teach step-by-step, demonstrate again" is the best way to teach dance moves.) The quality of the DVD is high (which is typical for DanceVision), and the instructors are knowledgeable and energetic. The DVD seems to cover a little less material (dance moves) than their typical DVDs, but I think that's because there is so much (necessary) attention to detail throughout. A dancer who learned all the moves on this DVD could go out and have a good time, but wouldn't be too flashy (e.g., no turns are taught at all); however, the dancer would be doing the moves properly and could build upon that, whereas some DVDs dumb Samba down or don't teach the details well, so a dancer might learn more moves, but could be doing them wrong. I'm not sure Samba should ever really be for "beginners," but if that's where you are, this is a good DVD to learn from.

As always: I recommend that you take what you learn from a video and try it out in a studio, with an instructor to help correct any parts you didn't get (whether you realized it or not). And if you really like a video, buy a copy, to further support and encourage the video makers!

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