Video Review: Kent Jones “Merengue”

A fiftysomething man wants to know why he isn’t being let in the club. Kent Jones arrives and speaks to the bouncer. Jones touches his neck and tells him, “it’s okay, baby” and then he rubs the bouncer’s bald head. The bouncer moves aside and Jones follows the fiftysomething man inside.

A young woman, wearing a fringed silver dress, walks down the staircase of the ballroom. He takes off his sunglasses and starts to shuffle his feet. The young woman, wearing the fringed silver dress, waves her hands in front of her shoulders.

He leans against a baroque red patterned wall. People spin and dance on the neutral tiled floor. He puts his hands on a young woman’s head.

On the dance floor, a third young woman, wearing rose blouse and white miniskirt, puts her hands in his and they begin to move their feet. DJ Khaled steps out the elevator and watches as a young man spins the woman wearing the fringed silver dress. DJ Khaled pushes the young man aside and starts to dance with the woman. Several walk down the staircase and watch on their way to the bar.

He carries the young woman, wearing the rose blouse, on the dance floor. A fourth young woman arches her back and points her finger upwards as she dances by the wall.

While he and the young woman dance in the center, people cheer for them. He touches the young woman’s face and smiles.

Rating: 3/5

The merengue, which had seen in movies, had been something Kent Jones wanted to learn. While in the city, he passed by a Latin club, which also held lessons. He signed up and went every week after work for two months. At first, he stepped on his partner’s feet and went in the wrong direction. However, the instructor broke the steps down that he was able to master it.

He practiced the steps at home in front of the mirror for a month and then returned back to the club. As he waited, he saw the bouncer telling a fiftysomething man he was too old to get in and suggested he go the senior community center instead. Jones, irritated at the bouncer, tells him to leave the man alone. He pays the man’s cover charge and they walk inside together.

Over drinks, the fiftysomething man tells him the history of the club. It first opened in the 1970s. A salsa band would perform every weekend. He had met his wife there on a Saturday night while out with his friends. She taught him how to tango and he fell in love with her. The upstairs originally had a bar and restaurant. He and his wife ordered enchiladas whenever they finished dancing for the night. However, the restaurant closed back in the 2000s. The man thanked him for his time and said he was going to walk around for a little bit.

Jones wanted to dance. He started off slowly, shuffling his feet. However, the women were willing to help him. Some led him into the steps while others checked him out as they walked by. It was a young woman. wearing a rose blouse and a white miniskirt, who walked him to the corner and explained the steps to him again. He hugged her and spent the rest of his evening with her.

 

Director: Eif Rivera Year: 2018

 

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.

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