About the Dance
Merengue, the Nation Dance of the Dominican Republic, is extremely popular throughout Latin culture. The music has influences from France, Africa, & neighboring Haiti, & there are two main legends regarding how exactly the dance came about. One version credits slaves who were chained together & moved through sugarcane fields, cutting stalks in time to a drum beat. Another version attributes merengue to soldiers who were injured during battle. When the villagers celebrated their return, they danced with a limp to show their sympathy. Originally, Merengue was danced in a circle, like many folk dances, but evolved into a couple's dance with more hips & less limp.
Merengue is a great dance to start out with! Its distinguishable, steady, two step beat makes it easy to pick up for beginners. Meanwhile, advanced dancers can practice intricate patterns in slow motion using a merengue beat. Fun for all!