Merengue ( The singing dance)

A dance from both Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Both countries claim it as theirs and both have a story to claim its origins

Haitians claim an early ruler had a lame son who used to love to dance, so in order for him not to feel out of place the population took to dancing as if they were lame. The Dominican’s have a similar story though theirs is of a returning war hero who limped being invited to dance.

So as you can probably make out from the storylines the dancers performing this dance have an appearance of a slight limp.

It’s not really a limp…. The leader steps with the left leg, follower the right. The knee is flexed a bit more then is usual and at the same time the body is inclined in the same direction. Except for this the Merengue is danced with the same Cuban action as Mambo or Rumba.

The steps are neat and punctual each step taken on the beat of music, and most steps have the same even tempo. Though don’t think go a second that the Merengue is monotonous far from it when dances properly it is exhilarating and full of staccato.

All steps are quick with the accent on the odd count.

Basic Chasse

Leader starts on left follower on right foot.

Start feet together (follower mirrors leader)


  • Side left foot

  • Close right to left

  • Side left foot

  • Close right to left

The Cuadro ( the box)

Leader (follower mirrors)

  • Left foot side

  • Close right to left

  • Left foot forward

  • Right foot to side

  • Close left to right

  • Right foot back

  • Left foot to side

  • Close right to left

This figure once mastered can be turned

Dominican Side Break

Leader ( follower mirrors)

  • Left foot to side with flex knee

  • Right for steps on spot

  • Close left to right

  • Right foot steps on spot

Book a Basic Merengue session with PDS – only running on zoom at the moment. Text 07940088776 to book £35 per hour



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