TNE Editor
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Merengue and Bachata lessons for Latin dance night 2019

Published 1/30/19

Kinsey Shade

TNE Writer

In 2018, the Spanish club sponsored a Latin night dance and received 2018 “Event of the Year” at the student awards banquet. Due to the event’s success, it was without hesitation that Spanish club would sponsor a second year of Latin dancing. Event planning for 2019 began as soon as the first event finished. this Latin Dance Night 2019 is near Valentine’s Day.

“We had around 30 participants last year, and we hope to see even more this year,” said Gemini Creason-Parker, graduate student and president of Spanish club. “Everyone is chipping in to make the night happen. We have been working on creating a Latin atmosphere, so we hope dancers can let loose and enjoy themselves again this year.”

Creason-Parker said dance is important to Latin culture and dance, rhythm and song is an insight of what the culture is like. Latin dance allows participants to connect to the past.

“After last year’s dance I had people messaging me that they continue to dance through other Latin style classes,” said Creason-Parker. “It was great to hear people further their integration through dance.”

The merengue and bachata is predicted to be the highlight of the evening. These Latin dances originated from the streets of the Dominican Republic. The merengue was sparked in dance by the way slaves were chained together and dragged the other foot. The bachata, a sensual dance came from the rise of brothels. The view today of these dances are reflected on the history and story that each dancer shares.With the music connecting the body to rhythm expect to learn the culture through dance.

Kevin Neal is teaching the two styles. Neal has been dancing since the age of two and learned from his mother. He suggests to all dancers to come out and have fun.

“Latin dance is known for being very seductive and sexual,” said Neal.  “Participants should expect to learn something new and to meet new people. It will be laid back and in no way embarrassing. For the newbies, come with an opened mind and a willingness to learn something new, ask questions and ultimately have fun. For the experienced dancers, this is your chance to meet new people and refresh on what you have learned.”

Neal said students should come to the event with an open mind, someone there will also be a beginner, so do not be afraid.The evening should spark memories of school dances growing up. The attire is semi-formal.

“There will be an area to hangout and relax, and an area to dance,” said Macey Hawthorne, Guymon freshman and Spanish club advertising chair. “If you come without a partner, don’t worry. By the time the lesson begins you will have a one.”

Hawthrone said if you come alone no one will be excluded. The event is open to couples and singles alike.

“I am excited to see how everyone will bond together, and to see everyone have fun,” said Hawthorne. “We really try to make this event fill exciting and comfortable for all.”

Learn to dance like the stars at this year’s Latin dance night, Tuesday, Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. at the NSU event center. Classes are from 7-8:30 p.m. and cost $7 for singles and $12 for couples. From 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. students can participate in the “Free Dance” for $5.

To purchase tickets, visit the Spanish club table from 11 a.m. to 2 the UC on Tuesday and Thursdays.

For more information, email Gemini Creason-Parker at or visit their Facebook page at 

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