Merengue

Dominican Republic

Origin

Merengue was made by the official music and dance of the Dominican Republic by Rafael Trujillo. The dance originated from the enslaved laborers working in sugar beet fields. These workers were connected to one another by a chain strapped to their ankles and had to walk in such a manner as to drag one leg.

Let's Dance

Partners hold each other in a closed position. The leader holds the follower's waist with the leader's right hand, while holding the follower's right hand with the leader's left hand at the follower's eye level. Partners bend their knees slightly left and right, thus making the hips move left and right. The hips of the leader and follower move in the same direction throughout the song. Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps. They can switch to an open position and do separate turns without letting go each other's hands or releasing one hand. During these turns they may twist and tie their handhold into intricate pretzels.
How to Latin Dance: Merengue - Basic Steps