The appropriate use of merengue dance steps can help you master this exciting dance. Merengue is a music and dance style that originated in the Dominican Republic.
The dancing style requires 2 people to be close to each other. In
merengue the leader (normally the male) holds
the waist of the follower (commonly the female) using the right hand
while leader’s left hand holds the right hand of the follower at the
eyes level. This type of dancing is quite simple; it is a 2 step beat
and once the music starts both of the dancing partners have to slightly
bend the knees left and right. Doing that creates a continuous motion
of the hip moving left and right.
is typical of the
Dominican Republic, however, there is similar
type of dance called the Haitian Mereng which is an important symbol in
the Haitian culture. The Mereng developed as a result of the
combination of the Africans music and the ballroom dancing style of the
French. Some people suggest that the Dominican’s merengue is a
variation of the Haitians Mereng however most Dominicans do not feel
that the Haitian music had any influence over the creation of the
Dancing merengue requires the use of 3 basic moves: the side basic movement, the forward basic movement and backward basic movement. All of them together create the merengue dancing steps. As a general rule each move consists of 8 steps.
In certain situations you
from one movement to the other with a lesser amount of steps like 2 or
At the beginning of this
step the leader’s body weight is located on
his right side after the first beat the leader will step on the other
foot. In the middle of the first beat the leader drags the foot inward
and changes the weight of his body to the left. Once that part is done
the right leg is free to step on it. This movement continues for up to
8 steps and the follower mirrors them.
Another of the merengue
dance steps is the backward basic movement.
This requires doing the opposite of what is done in the
forward basic one. Meaning that instead of moving forward while
performing the side basic movement the leader will move backwards.
In the backward basic, the leader, at the beginning of the beat, will step on his left foot while taking it backwards. Then in the middle of the first beat, the person acting as leader will move his feet inwards, changing his weight to the left foot and then stepping backwards on the right foot.
One important thing to know about the forward and backward basic movement is that while the leader does one of them the follower has to do the opposite one. That means if the leader is doing the forward basic the follower must do the backward basic.