Tired of heading to MoCo or DC every time you want to get your groove on? Now you can learn to dance—or just practice your moves—every other Saturday at The Greene Turtle in Urbana. La Mezcla Entertainment began bi-weekly Latin dance lessons/dance socials on Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Wednesday events were met with excitement and enthusiasm, and all four socials were well attended.
However, customer feedback was clear: Attendees and would-be attendees alike would prefer the events to occur on Saturday nights, when they could be less rushed from work and have more energy to dance later into the night without worrying about having to wake up early for work the next morning.
La Mezcla, headed by Jojo La Peruchita and with the help of Greene Turtle Manager Shirley Murphy, listened to this feedback and decided to move the events to Saturday nights beginning in mid-June. In the interim, there will be a hiatus from dances while the team focuses on “creating a dance community,” said La Peruchita.
The mission of La Mezcla Entertainment, which translates to “The Mix” in Spanish, is to showcase all Hispanic cultures by providing ways for individuals to “learn, grow and dance” in a way that welcomes both beginners and dancers looking to improve and meet other dancers in the community.
La Peruchita, who used to live in the Frederick area, disliked having to drive all the way to Montgomery County or DC to enjoy a night of dancing. She had worked with local and regional business Seniõr Marketing, which is very connected to the Hispanic community and now runs all the media and marketing for La Mezcla Entertainment. La Peruchita was out driving one day with an eye out for a potential dance location when she noticed the still relatively new Greene Turtle and stopped in.
As it happened, Murphy has a lot of experience with these kinds of events from her years spent working at various restaurants in Texas. She had already been considering how to start a salsa night when La Peruchita came in. “It was a huge coincidence,” noted La Peruchita.
The first event was a big success with many attendees, and there have since been many repeat customers. The social dance portion of the evening is 18 and older, but the lessons are open to younger teens as well. The last lesson in March, before the hiatus and transition to Saturdays, counted teens in the majority. Attendees learned Bachata, a Latin dance from the Dominican Republic.
After alternating couples to learn the steps for the first portion of the evening, instructor Marsha Bonet taught “lady styling” to female participants. Lady styling is “the embellishment of the dance,” said Bonet, and usually reserved for women. It is when you add “your flavor” to the steps.
La Mezcla Entertainment invites you to join them for Latin dancing on Saturday nights starting in mid-June. The Town Courier will post an update when exact days and times for the events become available.