Thousands of people visited downtown Providence this weekend for the city’s annual arts and culture extravaganza: PVD Fest. And this year, organizers sought to break an obscure world record: largest choreographed group Bachata dance.
The record to beat is 370 dancing couples, set in 2016 in Greece.
In Providence, participants started gathered downtown Friday evening. Dance instructors from Mambo Pa Ti studio in Providence hyped the crowd up and encouraged passersby to join in.
“Happy to hear that the line for people registering is wrapped around the back,” organizers shouted to participants. “That means the numbers are increasing, we’re getting bigger.”
Instructors reassured the assembling crowd that past Bachata-dancing experience was not necessary. They led the group in a quick how-to for the Latin-American dance, originally from the Dominican Republic.
Dancer Sylvia Quezada offered up tips to her fellow participants.
“It’s actually very simple,” said Quezada. “It’s three simple steps and then you just put your own flavor into it, make it your own.”
She and her cousin said their parents might be surprised to see so many young people taking part in the event.
“It’s country music from the Dominican Republic, which actually just recently had a revival with young people our age.”
Organizers painstakingly arranged the couples to be counted for the world record.
As the sun set, the crowd continued to grow, and by the time they were ready to start, 520 couples had registered. According to Guinness World Records, it can take several months to verify the evidence and confirm whether the record was broken.