Notes: National Dance of the Dominican Republic: Merengue

The Merengue is known as the national dance of the Dominican Republic and this Latin dance is a great addition to a basic social dance repertoire. It is simple to learn. Driven by the beat of its music, it has a 4/4 tempo which is like a March in Classical music.

Here is a simple set of instructions for this fun dance:

  • Partners face each other and the lead puts is hand at the followers back at her shoulder blade. She places her hand on the lead’s shoulder. There should no space between the couples arms. The follower puts her right hand in her partners left. This hold creates the frame work for leading and following.
  • The partners mirror each other and step on the beat, lead steps on right and follow steps on left. This creates movement in the hips.
  • With the frame and the steps the couple can move forward, back and side to side. Phrases of movement should be done in eights – eight steps side, eight steps forward, etc. After a time of getting comfortable with these directions, turning can be added.

The Merengue is part of the social dance repertoire that is leaned in Social Arts 101 and built upon in Social Arts 102.

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