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Five(ish) Minute Dance Lesson: Merengue

5:12

It's time to move! All three Latin dance styles shown in these lessons have basic steps that are easy to learn and fun to try. Get up out of your chair and get your hips swaying! Soon you'll find yourself dancing! In this lesson: Merengue (pronounced muh-RENG-gey) This is a great style to start with as it contains movements used in other Latin dances. Ricardo and Elba will demonstrate Merengue's characteristic small steps and slow, graceful turns. They will perform using two holds: The closed hold: The dancers face each other, his arm on her back; her arm on his shoulder. Free hands are held together and elevated to shoulder height. The open hold: They both face the same direction with only one hand maintaining contact. This hold is needed for turning. Listen for the beat of the tambora (TAHM-baw-rah) drum, and the rhythmic sounds of the güira (GEER-ah), a perforated piece of metal that is played with a stiff brush.

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