The Dominican Republic is known for Merengue, which evolved from Dominican folk to become infectious, mambo-inspired dance music. Dictator Rafael Trujillo, an avid Merengue dancer who, once of humble origins, had been barred from elite dance clubs, declared the genre as music of the people and required urban dance bands to include it in their shows. The basic rhythm– 1-2, 1-2 — is simple, straightforward and highly dance-able.
“If you can walk you can dance the merengue….” So says Joe, the distinctly non-Dominican narrator of this merengue instructional video, and from the looks of it, he appears to be right. Merengue rhtythms are very straightforward — count one-two, one-two, step-close, step-close and you’ll get it.
In his YouTube video, Joe relates three important rules for dancing merengue:
1) “You must keep time with the music”, one step on each beat. “It’s just like marching.”
2) “You must move your hips” — “it’s not the moves you do but how you move that’s really important’
3) “walk through all patterns and keep moving your feet and hips”: DON’T STOP THE HIP ACTION!
And of course there’s unwritten rule number four:
“Keep your multicolored disco ball spinning at all times.”
In All Around This World class we dance the merengue and, no matter what, WE DO NOT STOP THE HIP ACTION!