Merengue Dance Classes Jupiter FL (Palm Beach County)


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Both Haiti and the Dominican Republic claim Merengue as their own. According to Haitian lore, an earlier ruler of their country had a lame son who liked to dance. In order that this beloved prince would not feel self-conscious about his affliction, the entire populace took to dancing as though they all were lame. The Dominican’s version is that the dance originated at a fiesta that was given to honor a returning war hero. When the brave warrior rose to dance, he limped on his wounded left leg. Rather than make him feel self-conscious, all the men present favored their left legs as they danced. Merengue is a fusion of European and African cultures.

In both countries for many generations, the Merengue was taught and danced with these back stories in mind. When couples got up to dance the Merengue, the man favored his left leg and the lady favored her right leg; while flexing their knees a bit more than usual and at the same time leaning the body slightly to the same side. The Merengue is a vibrant Latin dance that is extremely popular in the United States and throughout the world. The Merengue is a fantastic dance for new dancers because it is very easy to learn! The Merengue is danced with “walking steps” with a step taken on each beat of music. While dancers typically use hip motions with this dance, the amount of hip movement varies with personal preference. This dance is considered to be in the same “family” as Salsa and is popular in the night club and social dance scenes.

From the start, Merengue dancing became very popular. It was easily accessible due to its simple and open nature. Originally, partners had the freedom to hold hands throughout the dance or separate while maintaining close contact. Dancers were able to add steps and their own individualistic dance style. The Merengue was first introduced to the United States in New York in the 1930s. It wasn’t until several years later that the dance became well known to North American audiences. Today, Merengue is a very popular dance throughout the world. It’s most known for it’s lively music and fun dance moves.

Authentic Merengue is danced to a clear and consistent rhythm. The dance is casual and when turns are used they are done to walking steps in as many steps as the dancer sees fit. Authentic Merengue dance styling is simple and there is no need for the exaggerated Latin vertical back and forth hip action. You can find Merengue dance in the Ballroom dancing world. It’s regulated with more rules and specific styling than the authentic style of Merengue. Cuban hip action is an integral part of all Latin Ballroom dances and Merengue is no exception. Ballroom dancers focus on posture and typically give reasonable distance between a dancing duo when in dance frame. Today, nightclub Merengue is probably the most popular. It’s similar to authentic Merengue in its casual feel, but incorporates more complex arm moves and wraps. The pretzel-like arm patterns from Salsa and Swing are often borrowed and done in Merengue with relaxed timing. Nightclub Merengue is danced both in open frame and more intimate closed dance holds. Nightclub dancers aren’t hesitant to throw in dips within their Merengue dancing to dazzle and spice up the dance.

Regardless of which style of Merengue is chosen, the dance is fun, lively, and accessible to everyone. It will continue to survive and soar in the dance world with its rich cultural history, upbeat nature, stress-free movements, and cheerful music.