Georgia Southern’s Latin Rhythm Dance Group is a student-led organization that celebrates Latinx culture through dancing.

The club, which has about 25 to 30 members, began in 2012.

Junior political science and Spanish double major Brendan Merritt is the president of the organization. He has been involved in the club since his freshman year.

“I’ll do a welcome to everybody, I’ll go check on everybody, then we’ll have a warm-up where we go through our basic steps,” said Merritt. “Then throughout the meeting, I’ll go over a basic set of moves.”

Merritt said former members of the club, who have since graduated, taught him everything he knows about the routines.

“I don’t know a lot, so I can’t say that I’m a teacher-teacher, but I do know enough that I can get someone through a social setting where they are doing those dances,” said Merritt.

Merritt said he discovered the club when looking for something to do that would be related to his heritage.

“My dad was raised in Panama, and my grandmother was from the area so I wanted to learn a little bit more about that,” said Merritt.

Merritt said he loves dancing and this club gives him the opportunity to do more of that.

“I believe this club is important because it’s very fun,” said Merritt. “It teaches other cultures. Personally, I joined it because I wanted to learn about my culture on my dad’s side, while on the other hand it gave me different people to meet and a different environment to learn in.”

He said it also gives students a change to learn partner dancing, which is normally only learned once in elementary school and never taught again.

Merritt said the club is trying to work with other Latinx organizations in order to expand and learn more about many different cultures.

Every semester the club hosts Noche Latina at the RAC Pavilion. It is a chance for anyone in the community can come to learn dance moves, socialize and celebrate the end of the semester.

Merritt said that there is no required skill level to join the organization because all different levels are taught at the meetings.

The club meets every Thursday at 7 p.m. in RAC room 2105. The first two meetings are free. After that, students can pay $3 per lesson, $20 for a semester or $30 for the year and get a T-shirt.

For more information and updates, follow the GS’ Latin Rhythm Dance Group on Instagram @lrdg_gsu.

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