MERIDEN — Music and dance are a big part of Latino communities. Below are some local schools that offer dance classes with Latin rhythms.United Rhythms Dance Studio
Located at 30 Powers Drive #3, the studio offers a variety of dance classes for children and adults, including Latin and Latin fusion, taught by Lyzbeth Ramos.
Latin classes include a mix of Latin rhythms such as bachata, merengue and salsa. Ramos said some weeks she focuses on one specific rhythm.
Latin fusion is a mix of Latin rhythms and hip hop.
“The kids really love that,” she said.
Latin classes are offered on Mondays at 7 p.m. for teens, Tuesdays at 5:15 p.m. for children ages 5 to 7, Wednesdays at 6:15 p.m. for children ages 7 to 10 and Thursdays at 7 p.m. for ages 10 to 13.
Students can pay a drop-in fee of $10 per fitness class and $15 per dance class. A monthly tuition option is also available.
Ramos, also a singer, was part of a merengue group in Puerto Rico.
United Rhythms was founded by Fernando Alers — a Meriden native with Puerto Rican roots — in 1991.
Alers has performed on The Arsenio Hall Show, Club MTV, Dance Party USA and more. He has danced in shows of artists such as Michael Jackson, Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, and C+C Music Factory. He also choreographed a commercial for Smilow Cancer Hospital, which was shown during the Super Bowl. Some of the teachers and students at United Rhythms have danced along with Alers in some of these shows.
United Rhythms also has a music studio with Anthony Windy Collado as the producer. Collado, who was born in the Dominican Republic, has played the guitar for a wide range of Latino artists.
For more information about classes and pricing, contact Moskow Alers, co-owner of the school, at 860-614-7337.Higher Movement dance school
The school offers zumba, a dance class that incorporates a variety of Latin rhythms.
Zumba classes at Higher Movement are held Mondays and Thursdays at 8 a.m., Fridays at 10 a.m. and Saturdays at 9 a.m. The school offers a low intensity Zumba class on Wednesdays at 10 a.m.
Drop in fee for zumba is $10 per class. A 10-class card is available for $65.
Kirby Shields, owner of Higher Movement, said zumba has been offered since she opened in 2015. A mix of people attend, including Latinos.
“You don’t have to know a certain dance step, you don’t have to know certain moves,” she said. “You can just come in and just do it and enjoy it.”
Higher Movement is located at 164 Scott St., Unit 12. To learn more about the school, visit https://www.highermovementdance.com.Wallingford Parks and Recreation Department
The department offers Zumba classes for adults on Thursdays at 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. until Dec.16. The fee is $42 for the entire season.
They also offer zumba on Mondays at 7:10 p.m. until Dec. 13, and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. until Dec. 15. The fee is $45 for the season.
All classes take place at David Doherty Municipal Building, 6 Fairfield Blvd., Room 15.
The Spanish Community of Wallingford has a dance program that has not been active during the pandemic. The organization plans to restart the program soon,