Our Courses

Cultural Inmersion Program

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Cultural Inmersion Program
La Experiencia Musical Caribeña/Caribbean Musical Experience
[Reggaeton, Bachata, Merengue, Salsa, Palos, Fusion, Son & more]

Dates: To be announced

Get into the vibrant world of contemporary Caribbean and Dominican Rhythms and dance, [to the tune of El Festival del Merengue] with this two-week program for music and dance lovers. This program considers Caribbean and Dominican music within a broad and historical framework. Dominican musical practices are explored by experiencing the many ways that aesthetics, ritual, communication, religion, and social structure are embodied in and contested through performance. You will be here in the center of the Caribbean immersed in the music and culture.


To make you discover the rich cultural diversity and absorb the unique history of the Caribbean and Dominican music and dance.

Caribbean folk and popular music are a mixture of West African and European (primarily Spanish) influences. West Africans who were brought as enslaved people to the islands of the Caribbean made music with percussion instruments such as drums, bells, and shakers: special tempo-setting rhythms (time lines) played by claves or bells, multi-layered and syncopated rhythms, and songs in call-and-response formats.

We will help you understand the phenomenon of popular music and dance by experiencing it from a number of perspectives through close contact with musicians, dancers and popular literature.

You’ll feel the rhythm with weekends and evenings full of Caribbean/Dominican Republic bustling nightlife that includes several top-notch Bachata, Reggaeton, Salsa & Merengue clubs, delicious restaurants, and the best beaches of the Caribbean.

Core Components

i. Sounds of drums and more… Two (2 days) with the maestros Edis Sanchez (El Gurú), Benedicto Angeles and Group Afro & Folklore of the Sangre Mulata Foundation who will help you explore the traditional percussion of the Caribbean. Experiences will include sectionals, ensembles, and arranging. Styles covered include Bachata, Son, Reggaeton, Merengue, Salsa, Rumba, Jazz, Palo, Salve and much more. Two days of everything you want to know about drums, maracas, guiros and the percussion instruments of the Caribbean.
ii. Dancing to Caribbean Rhythms… Dancing classes with dancing groups from Sangre Mulata and/or the Gaga of Palavé will make you an instant expert on the moves of Reggeaton, Bachata, Merengue, Gaga and Salsa, with extras steps on Son, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba and others.

The bachata is a rhythm and dance originated from the música de amargue (music of bitterness) in the shantytowns of the Dominican Republic in the early 1960s. At the beginning the bachata was considered vulgar and low class music. There are two types of bachata: the popular bachata and the middleclass bachata, also denominated techno-bachata or techno-amargue. (Fernando Valerio-Holguín).

iii. In the Land of Perico Ripiao: Three (3) days in the heart of the island enjoying the vibrant nightlife of Santiago de los Caballeros and meeting the leaders of the Merengue Típico Dominicano. You will taste the Caribbean environment and enjoy the cool breeze of the tallest mountains in the islands (nothing like dancing to a local band on the road)!

Perico Ripiao

Literally the expression means, “parrot’s meat cut in small slices”. The oldest style of Dominican merengue, distinguished by rapid movements and peasant flavor (Guiro, tambora & accordion).

iv. The musical-religious experiences – Two (2) days of Guloyas, Congos, palos, salve and more: You will listen and dance to the “toques” of the Congos del Espiritu Santo de Villa Mella. You’ll dance and enjoy the colors of the Guloyas of San Pedro de Macoris. Palos and Salves will be with you for the rest of your life after just four days of constant vibration.

The dance of the Guloyas of Dominican Republic was proclaimed by UNESCO as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Patrimony of Humanity”. The Guloyas, steeped in tradition and part of the dance and theater troupes founded in the country by the Cocolo –the late 19th Century English-speaking immigrants, perform in Carnival and other celebrations in the city of San Pedro de Macorís. The performances include music, dance, pantomime and characters of African origin combining dramatic intrigue, legends and heroes taken from medieval Literature and the Bible.

Congos de Villa Mella: The Brotherhood of the Congos of the Holy Spirit lives in Mata Los Indios, a tradition that has been maintained for generations was also proclaimed by UNESCO as a “masterpiece of the oral patrimony of humanity”. The Brotherhood is an African tradition from the Congo region where they believe in Calunga, the goddess of the sea and death sincretized in Villa Mella with the Holy Spirit. Congo music is played during the celebrations of the Holy Spirit and in the funerary rituals of members of the Brotherhood and other people who remained close to its music.
Dance the streets by day and dance the streets by night because there’s so much more to the Dominican culture than just tourist resorts. Experience it!