Merengue Lessons Toronto
Merengue lessons in Toronto are for you if you’d like to be prepared to dance in almost any social setting!
This Latin street dance is energetic, fun, and playful and goes well with music that has a steady tempo and is the base of the Latin movement. Moreover, you will hear Merengue at weddings and on vacation in a lot of the Latin counties.
If you are looking for Merengue lessons in Toronto, check out Access Ballroom and take advantage of a trial private lesson for couples or singles. During the trial lesson, you will first meet your dance teacher. Then, you will have a chance to talk more about your dance goals, what you are looking to get out of your lessons as well as your schedule. After that, your dance teacher will teach you or help you improve up to two different dance styles, including Merengue, if you’d like. If you have fun and enjoy dancing, we will present you a Personalized Dance Program specifically for you/your couple.
BOOK YOUR TRIAL PRIVATE LESSON/CONSULTATION TODAY!
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Reviews of Merengue Lessons in Toronto at Access Ballroom
We’ve signed up for semi private lessons at access ballroom. We were able to customize our dance lesson package to what we felt comfortable with, which we thought was amazing! My partner and I have no dance experience what so ever and signed up to learn merengue, salsa and bachata. Gil is very patient with us and ensures that we figure out each move before continuing to learn more. He pushes us to practice at home and we enjoy ourselves at every lesson! Looking forward to the next! What a fun experience! – Jessica Bonomo
What is Merengue?
Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. Merengue music, in turn, shares similarities with Haiti’s Méringue or Merengue music. The Dominican Merengue is sung in Spanish while the Haitian Mereng is sung in Haiti’s native Creole. Merengue was also influenced by Cuban music and the dance called Upa Habanera.
About Merengue Music
Merengue music is played with the accordion, saxophone, Tambora drum, box bass, and güira (a sort of metal scraper). In fact, the Dominican Republic dictator Rafael Trujillo promoted and expanded this traditional music style as a symbol of national expression from the 1930s onwards. Eventually, this led to the development of larger Merengue orchestras, who played to more urban audiences in larger dancehalls.
Nowadays, Merengue has developed the use of more hi-tech electronic instruments and emphasizes the role of the saxophone, which often gives the music more of a big band style. Tempos vary considerably, but this change in instrumental emphasis over time has not altered the basic Merengue rhythm of a 1-2-3-4 beat. The Dominicans often prefer a tempo that quickens towards the end of a piece of music, so that the Merengue dance evolves into more of a fast-paced dance.
The emphasis in the authentic Merengue is to go with the feel of the music, the partnership, improvisation, and the mood of the occasion, rather than style.
If there are some themes, it is that when dancing simple steps, the partners dance in a closed hold, while making walking turns. Merengue dancers also open to a two-hand open hold with both hands held overhead when making the turn. What follows is either a reversed turn in order to unwind or pretzel-like hand movements that take advantage of the twisted handhold in which the partners end after a turn.
Check out our Soundcloud playlist for some Merengue music examples.
History of Merengue Dance
There are two popular versions of the origin of the Dominican national dance, the Merengue. One story actually alleges the dance originated with the enslaved people who were chained together and, of necessity, were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums.
The second story alleges that a great hero was wounded in the leg during one of the many revolutions in the Dominican Republic. A party of villagers welcomed him home with a victory celebration and, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obliged to limp and drag one foot.
Merengue and Ballroom
Ballroom Merengue is more rules-based. Instructors tend to spend a fair amount of time and energy in teaching Cuban hip motion as an integral part of all Latin ballroom dances. In addition, the emphasis is on posture and fair distance between the dance partners when in dance hold.
When teaching Merengue at Access Ballroom, we take the best of both worlds – you get the details and technique of the Ballroom world and playfulness and style of the authentic Latin street dance scene.
Where to Take Merengue Lessons in Toronto?
Access Ballroom is located in Toronto at 1463 Gerard St. East (2nd floor). The entrance and parking are in the back.
Personalized Dance Packages
The great thing about taking lessons at Access Ballroom is that we personalize Dance Packages specifically to your goals, timeframe, and schedule. In other words, you get what you want and need and have fun learning.
Dance Merengue at Your Wedding
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Also, check out our YouTube Channel for more videos and dance playlists.