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3.4 out of 5 stars11
3.4 out of 5 stars
Format: VHS Tape|Change
Price:£9.99+ £2.80 shipping
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on 22 February 2009
Yes - I was thrown out of ballet classes at the age of 9 because I (unintentionally) made the other girls laugh.
No - I am not in the first flush of youth (soon to be a grandmother), but I love Irish music and dance and would like to know the basics in order to have fun and keep fit.
Colin Dunne is very good at what he does ("look mother, I'm skipping") but I didn't find his personality very engaging (possibly due to nerves), and it took a good deal of rewinding to fully understand the moves.
Although this was by no means as baffling and elitist as Jean Butler's Master-Class, it still took an awful lot of getting used to.
If this was just an old-fashioned VHS I could forgive its lack of navigability; but the DVD format makes it ideal for an 'update'.
Ideally there would be a more advanced menu with repeatable sections, freeing users from having to constantly hit the rewind button whilst wobbling across the floor.
I also found the inclusion of a live audience quite distracting, rendering it a performance, rather than a serious guide to the steps and (for me) it further diminished the notion that this was a dancing lesson.
This was filmed a very long time ago and in the first flush of Riverdance mania. Colin has since achieved a Masters' degree in dance - so I'm sure he would use a different approach if he were making the video in 2009.
At the top of my list would be for Colin to be filmed from both front and back - so it could be viewed in split-screen format. Having two very Celtic - but very left feet;I think that the steps could then be more easily copied from the student/ viewer's vantage point.
Maoliosa Bond has produced a Beginners' Irish Dance DVD for children - and although this is also fairly dated, she does have the sense to show how the steps look from the back and front; demonstrating footwork slowly and repeatedly before moving on to the next. In contrast (and rather like my old maths teacher), Colin tends to rush on to the second part of the lesson before the first part has been fully absorbed.
If you are truly despairing of ever understanding the basics, I cannot recommend the old faithful VHS Child of the Dance too highly. Although it is of the same vintage as Colin's offering; the very un-starry (yet excellent) teacher Conor O'Donnell's enthusiasm and patience is a complete joy.
If it were to be transferred to DVD and given a menu, it would be a sure-fire hit.
Fortunately for us despairing 'diddly-i' dancers; Conor has masterminded a new DVD for adults. It is called Traditional Irish Dancing and (sorry Colin) I await it with great excitement, knowing that it will be perfectly clear and thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 1 November 2000
Colin Dunne is a fantastic dancer and he goes over the dance steps at a good pace. The videotape is good for the Irish dancer with a little experience under their belt, however, when Colin does the steps up to speed, the uninitiated will find it hard to follow. The dance steps will help those studying Irish dance expand their repetoire with some more basic steps. For those looking for a basic step-by-step tape, they would be better to invest in something like Olive Hurley's tapes.
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on 22 February 2001
Colin a very talented dancer in conjunction with the Celtic Feet Dance Troup have created a wonderful video. This video teaches three routines, and completes them with a demonstration by the Celtic Feet dancers. The first "reel" is fairly easy to learn but the second and third dance may require prior experience in Irish Step Dancing to grasp the techniques in time.Although with a bit of rewinding you'll have a lot of fun!
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on 12 April 2006
In this video, Colin Dunne and the Celtic Feet Dance Company show you how to perform several soft and hard-shoe dances. The introduction is a short talk by Colin Dunne about his dancing life, and begins with Colin dancing a solo called "Celtic Jazz." This is followed by over half an hour of teaching steps and performances by the company.

Look and Production:

Although this isn't the most important thing about the video, I feel it does have to be mentioned first. The video was made in 1995, over ten years ago now, and it shows! It doesn't particularly detract from the video, but the video quality of the time wasn't amazing, and it's amusing to see the hairstyles that some people sported! However something that I feel does detract from the quality is that it was performed in front of a non-participating audience. More on that later.

Teaching Quality:

I agree with previous reviewers: it is useful to have some experience of Irish dance. Why? Because Colin goes through the steps very quickly. The format is usually: Colin tells you about the dance, he demonstrates the steps once slowly, the dancers join in, and then it's set to the music. From the promotion for this video I also assumed that it was going to contain more advanced steps than it actually does. The problem with needing to have experience is that by the time you have some, the steps will be too simple for you (for example, I've been dancing for three years now, and I have moved way beyond the steps shown). I am sure that maybe in a workshop circumstance, Colin Dunne would make a very good teacher, but because it is set in front of this non-participating audience, it is more like a show for them, so going over the steps slowly would bore them (this is why I feel that the audience element detracts from the quality).

Overall Impression:

Two stars out of five. The dances that you get to see the company performing are the most exciting bit, although they are simple. The music the dances are set to is nice, and quite traditional. You do have to consider the time that this was made. 1995 - Michael Flatley was setting up his own show, and although Colin Dunne was the new Riverdance lead, he wasn't as popular as the charismatic Mr Flatley. This video is less instructional, and more a vehicle for Dunne to present himself as a star in his own right, to show his personality (he does seem like a very nice chap), and as a reaction to the Irish dance fever that was sweeping the world, to "feed the craze," perhaps. However, I am glad I bought it, as it adds to my Irish collection, and I can almost understand the idea of having the audience there, to give the "big star doing a private show" kind of thing.

Other suggestions:

For the complete beginner: the video's pace is too fast for those who don't know the basics, try Olive Hurley's videos for good solid instruction.

For the advanced dancer: this video will be too simple for you; Jean Butler's Irish Dance Masterclass is a must-have.

For the Colin Dunne fan and Irish Dance Paraphernalia Collector: buy this video!
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on 2 November 2007
I am Anglo Irish and I used to dance when I was young. I am a pensioner now and have not danced for years but this DVD helped me remember some of the steps and was a great joy to watch and I was even trying to dance before getting out of breath! Colin Dunne is a great teacher and dancer and the music was good. The set was nothing to shout about but it enabled you to concentrate on the dancing. Well worth every penny and if you want to learn how they do it buy this DVD. Thank you Colin!
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on 29 April 2012
I was very impressed with said DVD, which gives a good insight to the basic steps of Irish dancing. BUT, what really annoyed me, was that in the Product Details it states that the Run Time is: 250 mins!!! which in fact is totally wrong, as its barley 1 hour long. So i am at a loss as to why it states this, and so was expecting more time and dance moves/steps/routines. It is VERY MISLEADING and should be brought to AMAZON'S attention. This is why i gave said DVD a four star---but, -- it in no way reflects on the performance/quality of the DVD. Colin gives good clear instruction. My only wish is that it was done in a split screen, so that we could see the steps from behind on one side of the screen, and in front on the other side of the screen, and then full screen for the complete dance to the music in real time. Most helpful to people who don't/cant dance in front of mirrors. All in all i highly recommend this learning DVD so you can learn the steps at your leisure at home, or indeed along side any classes you may be partaking in already.
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on 14 August 2006
I am not a beginning Irish dancer, but I found that when I was a beginner, I couldn't follow these steps the way Colin presented them, but now that I've been dancing for a while, they are easy to master! And though they may not be the most difficult thing in the world, they are great practice/warmup routines, and with a few added moves, (aka toe-ups and rocks and such) these routines can be quite entertaining!! Besides, if you're performing them for a group of non-dancers, they don't know these routines aren't as difficult as some, and really, the choreography is quite good, in my opinion!!
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on 14 February 2012
if you like irish dancing and a follower of michael flatley this is a good watch i like the tapping sound i find it facinating
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on 20 February 2015
Not quite as I wanted, but a good DVD
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on 23 May 2015
Arrived promptly. As described
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