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Salsa & Merengue Mash Up with Wally

Posted on August 26, 2013 by under Travel, Zumba.    

My first ever Zumba convention session was with Walter “Wally” Diaz, a Zumba instructor based out of Coral Gables, Florida. Wally presented the history and background of various rhythms such as merengue, bachata, cha cha, mambo, pachanga, boogaloo, and salsa. He demonstrated the basic steps and variations and then we did a master class. He is amazing! And his assistants (backup dancers?) were as well. I had a fantastic workout!

Besides getting a workout, the objective of the session is to give class participants the skill to identify the various rhythms and put the steps into practice. Once we identify the rhythm, we should listen to the song several times to identify the intro, musical phrase, chorus, musical bridge, and final cut (outro) to apply the Zumba formula. Here are some of the photos I took from that amazing session.

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MERENGUE
This is a two-step dance (almost like marching), but the knees are slightly bent and hips move side to side like a pendulum.

BACHATA
The basics to the dance are three-step with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap that is often accompanied by a “pop” of the hips on the 4th beat. Knees should be slightly bent so that you can sway your hips easily. The hip movement is an important part of the dance.

CHA CHA
Danced with two slow movements and three fast ones. It’s easier to demonstrate than describe in words. Just remember to cha cha cha.

MAMBO
Step touch three times then step back.

PACHANGA
A “happy go lucky” dance of Cuban origin with a Charleston flavor due to the double bending and straightening of the knees. Step, step, double kick (Charleston step).

BOOGALOO
You can use all rock and roll steps with the basic steps of salsa.

SALSA
There are eight beats, but beats 4 and 8 are pauses. The pattern is right-left-right-pause then left-right-left-pause.

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  • Replies to "Salsa & Merengue Mash Up with Wally"

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    Roberto Foster  on August 30, 2013

    classes with enticing, exotic rhythms from around the globe. Immerse yourself in the beat of a faraway locale — and learn fresh techniques, steps and routines that will impress your students and make your classes the talk of the town. All sessions are presented by accomplished dance-fitness professionals who are excited to share this amazing journey with you. Enjoy!

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