Music in the Dominican Republic: Merengue

Best merengue dancers

The rhythmic melodies make you want to get up and dance. You can’t help but tap your feet to the music. No matter where you are, you just start smiling because Merengue has that kind of affect on people.


The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominical Republic, though people often assume it is of other origins. The Merengue is marked by very precise, quick moves, and often includes changes in tempo. Merengue often speeds up greatly at the end of the dance. Ballroom Merengue tends to be a little bit slower and uses more hip movements to create a more romantic feel in contrast to the very sexy nature of the faster Merengue style.

Merengue are fairly similar to salsa in that they use pairs of dances and usually contain fast steady rhythms. Merengue displays a lot of passion and flair and usually do not tell a complex story, but are rather a release of emotion and energy. Merengue dancing is very popular in clubs and offers performers and onlookers an entertaining time. Merengue usually relieve more general emotions and passion than other styles.

Merengue is considered to be more acceptable in the Dominican Republic, whereas Bachata is considered to be country or ‘low-life’ because it originated in the Dominican barrios. Regardless of their differences, if you are in the Dominican Republic and you hear someone playing Bachata or Merengue (even if it’s a car driving by), you are bound to see someone stop to dance. In the DR, music and dancing go hand in hand. Popular Merengue artists are Juan Luis Guerra, Fernando Villalona, Milly Quezada, Tulile, Wilfrido Vargas, and Amarfis.

 In Merengue, partners dance close together, slightly bending their knees (alternating between left and right) to create the sway of the hips. They can walk side ways or one partner can circle the other by placing one hand on their [the partner’s] hip and moving around them in small circles. They can also go into an open position in order to do turns. I always tell people, if you can step then you can dance Merengue. It’s just that easy.

Some of my Favorite Merengue Videos:

Happy Dancing!

About Sierra

I'm an accounting major at Texas State University with a passion for all things international. I'm going to learn Russian, Portuguese, Italian, and possibly German one day. I've been speaking Spanish for 8 years and my dream is to one day travel across Latin America. DREAM Act 2015!

Posted on March 18, 2012, in Entertainment, International and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

What do you think? I'd love to hear your views so please leave a reply =)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: