Some dance historians claim that the Merengue was named after the dessert – because it was a light dance that required a great deal of effort, like beating egg whites and sugar into a merengue. What you can’t dispute is that the Merengue is a simple, elegant dance that features complicated framing, turns, and hip and leg movement. When you add Merengue songs, the dance and music create a mood of joy, freedom and sensuality.

At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, our instructors can teach you the basic steps, then help you polish your performance. Our professionals have mastered the Arthur Murray system and can help you master the Merengue.

What Is The Merengue?

Merengue consists of the following elements – the couple face each other, and hold hands to create a frame. The man, who leads, begins with his left foot, while the lady starts with her right. They hold one leg straight, while the other is bent at the knee. This enables the partners to move their hips in the Merengue’s pattern of turns and twists. One instructional video claims there are 37 separate moves to the Merengue. At Arthur Murray, the teachers will simplify to help you catch on as quickly as possible.

The dance originated on the Island of Hispaniola, which is divided between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Both nations claim to have developed this dance. In the 20th Century, Trujillo, the President of the Dominican Republic, decided the Merengue was the National Dance, and helped spread it from the rural areas to the major cities.

What To Wear To Your Lesson

At this point, you may wonder how to dress for a Merengue class? When you are learning the Merengue, wear comfortable clothes. The pace can be quite fast, and you will work up a sweat. We also recommend pants, allowing both the student and teacher to see how the legs move. Skirts can bell out with turns, and obscure the view in the studio mirror. One writer stated in the 1920’s that when students are going to learn the Merengue, the hostess should provide towels for the guests. Absorbent shirts and pants will be just as good.

Shoes are another important item. Dancers do not need to wear high heels, but should purchase dance shoes with flexible, thin soles. All Arthur Murray studios have stores, and the instructor can help you choose the right pair of dance shoes. If the shoes feel a bit uncomfortable, you can get a pair of orthotic insoles from your local drugstore.

The Arthur Murray Approach

Since the Merengue is a popular dance at parties, Arthur Murray offers weekly parties, where students can come to practice what they’ve learned. It’s important to take dancing out of the studio and into the ballroom. Furthermore, students get to socialize with other students. The Merengue has a fast beat, and expresses the joy of the Caribbean region – from the Dominican Republic to Haiti and Cuba. At Arthur Murray’s weekly Ballroom social, you’ll grow in confidence as you try out new moves and new partners. The Merengue is a partnership between two individuals, so what can be better than getting together every week to meet new partners, and practice with other students, not just your teacher?

For Arthur Murray, we want a lot more for our students than to learn the Merengue. Dance encourages confidence, healthy social interaction, and an overall better quality of life. Who wouldn’t want that for someone you care about? .Our studios understand the difference between a ‘one size fits all’ and a dance studio that meets an individual’s needs. The weekly dance socials are a deliberate attempt on the part of the studio to vary instruction, and provide an alternative to classroom learning. At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we believe human relationships are the foundation of good dance. That’s why we offer group classes, and socials for our students.


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