BFS Video // 2006 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 11th, 2006
One, two, cha cha cha.
I can't dance. I've always hated it and have never felt comfortable out on the floor. If dancing were cheese and I was a starving mouse I wouldn't be able to...uh, well that metaphor got away from me. You get the picture. Anyway, here's another how-to DVD (I've seen so many of these you'd think I'd be the most accomplished Jack-of-all-trades on the planet, but, alas, no) and this sucker is all about the basic steps of ballroom dancing and, you know, if I spent some more time with it, I might be able to venture out on to the dance floor and not rupture my ACL.
Your instructors are dance pros Angela Rippon and Ian Waite. They're European and well-dressed, so you know you're in good hands. Rippon is a professional dance coach and Waite is some kind of big-shot dance champ. Both are amiable, smiley, and engaging. The program runs about 10 minutes north of an hour and is broken up into five separate, 10-minute dance lessons. On the agenda for you today is: the Waltz, Quick Step, Tango, Cha-Cha, and Jive. The dances are nicely varied (described as "graceful, "lively," "dramatic," "sexy," and "energetic" respectively) and should offer a decent smorgasbord for the beginner to wrap his or her hands around.
Lessons are laid-back, with the instructors patiently mapping out the set-up (hand position for male and female, space between the bodies, who leads in which direction, etc.), then walking through the footwork. The tempo eventually picks up until Waite and Rippon finally jump full into the routine. At the end of the 10 minutes, a slew of background dancers are ushered in, generic music piped through the air, and everyone does their thing. It's an effective enough teaching technique, relying mainly on the old rewind option by the viewer to absorb every nuance of the step.
What makes this is a nice instructional video is both the methodology and the teachers. The producers have crafted an easy-going atmosphere, and the tight zooms on the footwork, plus the gentle learning cure, should get you dancing well enough. It is geared mainly toward beginners, so advanced booty-shakers may not find as much value in the disc as novices, but who knows, there still might be a few interesting tips to pick up.
Technically, it's basic all the way: full frame and 2.0 stereo. The only extras are text-based profiles of the instructors, and origins of each dance taught on the disc. Subtitles would have been nice.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: BFS Video
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Instructor Profiles
* Origins of Dances