It was a warm summer night in Buckhead Atlanta, the year was 2004. Some friends and I traveled from Philadelphia to Atlanta and wanted to go out dancing at a Latin Club.  We were anxious to polish our budding dance skills.  We danced salsa and made new friends. We also danced the marching dance, very popular in the Caribbean called Meringue.  This is a dance you can do with anyone especially those who got 3 left feet.  It was here that something was borne.

After one such dance with a flight attendant called Junita she whispered to me, "I usually hate Meringue but the way you danced it makes me want to take classes." This thought has not taken root in my mind but the seed remained until Stephen Tirpak started its germination with his new CD "Deep in the Meringue".

This CD actually took me back to that night on the dance floor and opened a flood of questions as to why that dance was so special?  It became quite clear that he was able to link and decode the music in the same way that my brain and body did that night. This is still as challenging to explain as asking Tiger Woods to describe what makes his swing one of the best in the world.

Stephen in traditional style peeled the music back layer by layer, instrument by instrument to reveal the core truth that we dance to. Then in a progressive manner he paced through the composition in the same way a programmer walks an algorithm so dancers can anticipate the songs that they never heard before. I got one such comment from a dance partner recently, "You must have listened to this song 100 times as you know this song so well," but it was the first time I had ever heard it.  This is the kind of ear that Stephen develops.

Hats off to another wonderful CD and a masterful tribute to Meringue.  I have enjoyed, learned and teach concepts of this CD and would recommend it to anyone.

If you want more info on the CD or Stephen Tirpak click here to visit his website.

Stephen Choo Quan
Salsa in the City