Betty Peralta


 Bachata and Merengue  (Latin dance)

sometimes classes are on Tuesdays, please inquire (contact Betty at bottom of page)

Thursdays 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM

Please check with instructor weekly to see if class is on.

Merengue is a Caribbean style of music and dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. Not only is it the national folklore there and therefore, used on every dancing occasion in the Republic, but it is very popular throughout the Caribbean and South America. When Merengue was first introduced in the United States, it was in the New York City area. Not surprisingly, it is one of the standard Latin American social dances everywhere.  The tempos vary a great deal in this music and dancing it requires attuning the body to its pace changes. The instruments used in Merengue are typically a diatonic accordion, a two–sided drum, called a tambora, held on the lap, and a güira. A güira is a percussion instrument that sounds like a maraca. It is a sheet of metal with small bumps on it (created with hammer and nail), shaped into a cylinder, and played with a stiff brush.  Merengue is typically danced in a closed partner position, although many have performed single dancing shows on stage in a choreographed manner, as well as a mixture of both.   Because of the fun upbeat rhythmic movements, many Zumba instructors have also adopted the music and dance into their fitness curricula, allowing their clients to reach their fitness goals in much more creative and enjoyable ways.  


Bachata is a more sensual dance that also originated in the Dominican Republic. Although Bachata can also vary from fast paced to much slower, it is typically known as what would be considered the latin blues.  The lyrics usually discuss a heart break and romantic affairs narrated with passion and soul, therefore the dance interprets this in its movements.   The basics to the dance are three-step with hip motion, followed by a tap including an accentuated hip movement on the 4th beat. It is a full 8-count dance sequence.  The knees should be slightly bent so the performer can sway the hips easier. Starting in the 20th century, Bachata has evolved through many changes from its traditional dances up to today’s modern moves.  These new modern styles of bachata have become an international phenomenon, and today bachata is one of the most popular styles of Latin music, even overtaking salsa and merengue in many Latin American dance halls, especially after artists like Juan Luis Guerra and Anthony “Romeo” Santos made it mainstream.

Thursdays 9:30 PM to 10:30 PM

Please check with instructor weekly to see if class is on.


New! Hot-Cha Cardio-Caribbean  Mondays

note: no class on Monday June 11, 2018

Betty Peralta  (Bachata/Merengue instructor) will lead this Latin-cardio class on Mondays 5:30-6:30PM

about Betty Peralta

My name is Betty Peralta.  I am a bilingual educator and I was born and raised in Manhattan, New York.  I was born to Dominican parents and raised in the beautiful cultural melting pot of New York City.  I educate children and adults as my daily profession and purpose.  For over a decade to the present time, I have taught inner-city children with special needs as well as in the general education population.  I also teach dance, specifically Merengue and Bachata.  I have always been a dancer and therefore, took many dance classes throughout my education.  As a child I began with ballet for 5 years and branched off into Modern Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, and Salsa over the years.  I taught Bachata and Merengue in New York City privately and continue to teach privately now in Los Angeles as well.   I have had the pleasure of educating both men and women on health and fitness goals as well.  I have always been very health conscious and very physically active myself.  That allowed me the wonderful opportunity of working with “City Gym Boys”, a fitness company project, and partake in their ultimate bodyweight training and workouts book called “Get A Bangin’ Body” by Charles LaSalle, when I lived in New York City.  My passions have always consisted of engaging in and learning more about varied cultures, music, dance, health and fitness, and the art of teaching and learning. 

contact Betty



please contact Betty by email for rates and other inquiries pertaining to the class