Friday, March 13, 2015

Easy as 1, 2, 3 Swing Dancing!

Learning a new hobby can be an intimidating adventure. There's so many questions about how to know if what you're doing is the proper technique. Without a physical example, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what to do. Dancing is no different! If anything, it's more frustrating! There's so much pressure to perform correctly and gracefully because it's a performance hobby. In most instructional videos, it feels as if the instructor expects you to be intermediate level instead of beginner. Fast instructions, speedy counts, using terms that you aren't familiar with, and awful camera angles all contribute to this frustration. When offered the opportunity to review a Dance Lesson Starter Kit DVD set in exchange for my opinion, I quickly agreed!

Many assume that the only way to achieve the level of learning desired is to pay hundreds of dollars for studio classes. Or even worse, they completely give up on their goals. As an educator, I can tell you that money doesn't equal quality. Some of the very best teachers that I know are far under paid while some of the most apathetic are the ones that are making the "big dollars". So even IF you ARE willing to shell out the money, there's no guarantee that you'll actually get a quality, productive instruction session.

That's where Dance Lessons Starter Kit comes in! You can learn FOUR different types of dance, all in your living room! The kit offers Salsa, Swing, Merengue, and Bachata. My personal favorite was the Swing, because I've always felt as if I was born in the wrong era!

I popped the DVD in, and was greeted by both a woman and man instructor. This was convenient, because it easily depicted the gender roles and the respective dance steps, which made it easy for me to learn with my husband. The instructors were somewhat too posed and staged for me. They were VERY mater-of-fact about the instructional process. It may have been the extremely clear, articulate, and descriptive way that they gave instructions. This was VERY effective in helping me understand, but it almost gave them a monotone voice, which was, at times, difficult to follow.

Their instruction, the camera angles, and the clarity of the video were fantastic. In fact, as far as the camera goes, almost all of the time you see two angles at once. There was never any question about what to do and when to do it. I really liked that the pace was slow enough to not only allow for easy learning, but to allow for finding the perfect stopping, rewinding length, and play points.

My only complaint is, like I mentioned, the "stiffness" of the instruction. The instructors were very dry. When they showed humor or emotion, it almost felt forced and cheesy. However, if you can handle that (I thought it was worth it!), then you've got a fantastic resource for learning a new hobby without spending big bucks!

No comments:

Post a Comment