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How to Dance Duranguense

If you’ve attended a Mexican party, or have observed one, then you will recognize Duranguense music. Duranguense music is a Mexican style of music invented in America. Most of the lyrics are about living and working in America and missing homes in Durango, Mexico. It is a very fast, loud and highly recognizable style of music. As with most distinctive styles of music, there is also a dance that accompanies Duranguense music.

Find some good Duranguense music. It won’t be hard to identify. It is basically the fastest, loudest and happiest Mexican music you can find. Imagine the Mexican version of polka sped up. That is what Duranguense is. It is mainly kick drum and horn driven. Most modern Duranguense music is carried by a synthesizer.

Find a partner. As in most types of dancing, males are customarily the lead (that doesn’t mean you can’t switch it up). The male traditionally leads the woman across the floor, just like in ballroom dancing.

Feel the rhythm. You will be moving to the kick rhythm, so try not to focus on much else. When you are more comfortable with Duranguense, feel free to enjoy the rest of the song. But the movement is always based out of the driving low drum. The beat will be fast, and you will have to move right along with it.

Move your hips back and forth to the music. Again, this is going to be highly physical. You’ll probably get tired the first couple of times you do it. But, remember, this is high-energy celebration music, so it helps to be in high spirits. Don’t break the rhythm for anything, especially if you are being led. It will be important for Step 5.

Go wherever the lead takes you. Just as in ballroom dancing, you will be holding on to your partner. The lead will wrap his arm around the back of the follower and the follower will place her arm on top of the lead's. Both will be holding hands. The lead and the follower must keep their hips moving in the same direction, so it is important not to lose the beat.

Improvise and have fun with it. The more Mexican parties you attend, and the more you practice Duranguense, the more fun you will have.

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