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The Journal Of The InnKeeper
Ranty Lessons by Joreth
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18th-Jun-2012 11:42 pm - Merengue Dance Lesson #3
Swing Dance, social events, dance
One of the drawbacks to taking dance lessons is that if you don't practice what you learned, you can forget pretty quickly. So I'm going to be posting some YouTube videos of dance instructors teaching the steps we learned in class. If you took the class, you can use these videos to practice. If you didn't take the class, you can use these videos to learn the same steps that we learned in class and then you'll be caught up with everyone else.

At the bottom is a playlist of music to dance to at home. In fact, even if you're not dancing, just play the music and move around your house, maybe while doing chores or standing in front of the stove or something, stepping to the beat of the song in the rhythm of the dance. Remember, you can practically make stuff up as you go, as long as you keep your feet moving in the proper rhythm. So drill this beat into your heads & listen to the music so that when you're out in public, when a song comes on that has a good dance beat, you'll be able to recognize it and do the proper dance to it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0aEl9bUdDs - is cuban motion explained

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRrTU6wixew&feature=plcp - alternating bent & straight legs (turn up volume)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZPGbYPDPBE - more cuban motion

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L6Zg1zTE_Go - is the merengue basic step

Turn your volume up for the next 5 videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&NR=1&v=M_BBdnfs79A - another merengue basic with excellent analogy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7XptFslUEA&feature=BFa&list=SP931222065ED49943 - dancing basic with a partner

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq65eRW1RkA&feature=BFa&list=SP931222065ED49943 - standard merengue turns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-LIQcpUjRM&feature=BFa&list=SP931222065ED49943 - is for two-hand merengue turns

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLm1ZldilBs&feature=BFa&list=SP931222065ED49943 - is the same cuddle we learned in cha cha

If you would like some merengue music to practice to or to learn how to identify which songs you can merengue to, you can use my YouTube Playlist, which has all of the music we used in the lesson, plus a few more songs.  There is a specific style of music for merengue, but it's not the only music you can merengue to.  Many songs, in fact, nearly all popular music today uses a "merengue beat" underneath it, even if the style of music is not merengue.  What you want to look for are songs with a really heavy 1, 2, 3, 4, drum beat and between 120 and 180 beats per minute (you don't need to know the specific BPM, listen to the examples to get the feel for how fast the beat is).  It might help if the song has a Caribbean flavor to it, especially if it uses horn instruments, but it's not necessary.  You'll notice from my playlist that there are several different styles, from reggae to hip hop to '70s R&B.  

(included are the two scenes we showed from My Blue Heaven)

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