Meredith & Harold

ROUND DANCING — CHOREOGRAPHED BALLROOM

EDUCATIONAL ARTICLES

MAJOR SECTIONS: Figures | Articles | Links | Alph. Index | Search | Home

BROWSE
Figures in the Smooth Rhythms
Foxtrot
Quickstep
Waltz
Viennese Waltz
International Tango
American Tango
Two Step
Five Count
One Step
Polka
Rhythm
Figures in the Latin Rhythms
Cha Cha
Rumba
Jive
Single Swing
West Coast Swing
Lindy
Hustle
Bolero
Slow Two Step
Mambo
Salsa
Samba
Argentine Tango
Merengue
Paso Doble
Dance Articles
Articles Home

Dance Figures

Dance Rhythms
Lead and Follow
Dance Styling
Fred Astaire Album
Other Sections
Dance Links
Music Clips For Each Rhythm
Search Site/Web
Sources
Contact Me

Merengue Notes

by Ralph & Joan Collipi

The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and also to some extent, of Haiti, the neighbor sharing the island. Not only is the Merengue used on every dancing occasion in the Dominican Republic, but it is very popular throughout the Caribbean and South America, and is one of the standard Latin American dances in the USA.

There is much variety in Merengue music, and most South American bands play it well. Tempos vary a great deal, and the Dominicans enjoy a sharp quickening in pace towards the latter part of the dance. Normally, the most favored routine at all the clubs and restaurants that run a dance floor is a slow Bolero, breaking into a Merengue, which becomes akin to a bright, fast Jive in its closing stages. Ideally suited to the small, crowded club floors, it is a dance that is easy to learn, giving rhythmic pleasure in its movement. It is gaining steadily in popularity.

Music: The music is written in 2/4 time: two beats to a bar of music, each step taking one beat. The tempo is 55-60 bars per minute. However, for convenience, cue sheets are usually written as if the music were 4/4, at 28-30 bars per minute.

Hold & Footwork: The hold is similar to that in Rumba, though Merengue is sometimes danced in a closer hold. The footwork is ball/flat throughout.

How to learn the dance: All the figures may be preceded and followed by the Basic Side Step and may commence with the man facing the wall and the lady backing wall.

The Basic Movement is typically Latin American in character, with a soft and attractive hip action that belongs to the music. Knees and hips are kept relaxed, with the shoulders steady.

The man's left foot is first placed to the side without weight, the knee being slightly bent, while the weight is carried on the straight right leg, with the hips pushed slightly to the right. The hips initiate the transference of weight to the left foot, moving over to the left as the leg straightens, and the right foot is brought almost to close with the left, without weight. The hips swing to the right again; weight is taken on the right foot and the movement is repeated with side step to the left.

Keep those hips in motion, and you'll be the "hit" of the dance floor.


From clinid notes prepared for the URDC annual convention, 1999, and reprinted in the Dixie Round Dance Council (DRDC) Newsletter, May 2018.


dingbat




If you would like to read other articles on dance position, technique, styling, and specific dance rhythms, you may visit the article TOC.



If you are not a member of DRDC, do consider joining. The group sponsors triquarterly weekends with great dancing and teaching, and the newsletter is one of the most informative available.

Past DRDC Educational Articles archived here.



Alphabetical Index to
Figures
and Technique
Dance
Figures
Dance
Articles
Dance
Search
Dance
Links
Dance
Home
Glossary of Terms
and Abbreviations
Fred Astaire
Album
Reader
Comments
Dance
Videos & Books
Sources Harold Sears
Home
Online since 2001 İHarold and Meredith Sears, Boulder, CO, harold@rounddancing.net. All rights reserved.