By Kelly Burch
---- — Dust off your dancing shoes and let your feet take you away from the February cold Saturday night at a Latin dance event hosted by the Lowell National Historical Park.
The free event will feature a dance lesson at 7 p.m., followed by social dancing to the live music of Alexander Faria & el Quinteto.
Participants are invited to learn the basics of bachata and merengue, two Latin dance styles that originated in the Dominican Republic.
“Bachata is simple and fun; the best introduction to Latin dance,” said p put what you learn to use.”
Medina taught Latin dance throughout college and says that although ark ranger Victor Medina, who will be teaching the dance.
“There won’t be any backflips, just the basics, and a chance to put what you learn to use,” he said.
Medina taught Latin dance throughout college, and says that although he has some formal training, love for dance has been passed down through his family.
“I’ll be on my feet all night if I have my way,” he said.
Medina’s passion for dance was the inspiration for the event, which is being hosted as part of the Lowell Folklife Series. That series aims to bring the energy of the Lowell Folk Festival to residents throughout the year by providing monthly cultural programs, said Maggie Holtzberg, director of cultural programming for the Lowell National Historical Park.
“At the Folk Festival this summer, I saw Victor dancing and teaching, and thought, that would be a great event.”
After the dance lesson, there will be live music by Alexander Faria & el Quinteto. Seating will be provided to those who just wish to listen, but participants are encouraged to get moving.
Medina said that the event is aimed at beginners, and suggested everyone give dancing a try.
“Bachata can be sensual or upbeat, intimate or not,” Medina said. “It’s different and fun.”
“Bachata,” refers to a type of dance, and a genre of music. It originated in the early 1900s in the Dominican Republic, but was initially banned from the radio waves. Despite the ban, the genre grew in popularity and quickly spread throughout Latin America and the Mediterranean. It remains a very popular form of dance today.
IF YOU GO * What: Latin Dance and Music Night. * When: Feb. 23. Dance Lesson at 7 p.m., live music at 8 p.m. * Where: The Counting House, Boott Cotton Mills Museum at Lowell National Historical Park, 115 John St., Lowell. * How: Free to public. More information at http://blog.massfolkarts.org/blog/ or by calling 978-275-1719.