Picks and Pans Review: Breakin' in the Usa: Break Dancing and Electric Boogie Taught by the Pros

updated 07/01/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/01/1985 01:00AM

How many times have you envied street performers their eye-catching talents, wishing you too could moonwalk? Well, all right; whether you have or not, this tape teaches you how, using show-and-tell video techniques. Like all instructional videos, this one must overcome a major hurdle: how to be entertaining while offering solid information. Breakin' taps New York's Schuzan Studios for its hip-hop teaching talent. The props in this tape are three women in leopard-skin tights, who stand around and tap their feet while the boys strut their stuff. The dancers first demonstrate the mimelike robotic steps of electric boogie, then move on to the acrobatic floor moves of true breaking. Voice-overs and slo-mo repetitions cover the material well enough, but Breakin' makes a basic mistake: not allowing a teacher to teach. An instructional tape needs a real entertainer who can inspire the audience. But in video, as in the classroom, mere demonstration is no substitute for good teaching. (Sony, $29.95)

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