Origins of the Merengue

Merengue lovers can't agree on the origins of the name of this delicious-sounding dance. Some say it comes from the French meringue, a whipped dessert topping. Others argue it came from the Western African words for dance.

Merengue first became popular in the Dominican Republic during the 19th century. It exploded in popularity when Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo declared it the national dance at the beginning of his reign in 1930 and spread through South America, North American and the Caribbean.

First introduced to the U.S. in New York City, Merengue became more popular than salsa during the 1980s. Today it's still enjoyed by Latin dancers all over the world.

How to Merengue

The merengue is a rhythmic, African adaptation of the French Minuet, a ballroom dance popular in the early 1800s. This easy-to-learn Latin dance is performed to four beat music, the most common Latin beat.

During the merengue, partners hold each other close and always remain connected. The hip movements of the dance come from the knee, not from twisting like other Latin dances.

Learn to Merengue

This fast-paced, vibrant dance is a fun one to perform with a partner at your next social gathering.

Whether you want to learn how to dance the Merengue socially or competitively, Arthur Murray offers Merengue lessons for dancers of all skill levels.

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