Merengue Essay

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Merengue Merengue, a style of Latin American dancing originated from the Dominican Republic, as well as Haiti, and is also popular though South America and the Caribbean’s. A dance which involves two partners one leading (usually male) and the other following (usually female). There is variety in tempo for Merengue music that range from a slow tempo to a quick tempo. There are two versions of rumors of how Merengue came about. The first story is told about slaves who were chained together and were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. The other story is about a hero who injures his leg during a revolution in the Dominican Republic. A victory celebration party was thrown for him upon the return of home, yet the villagers were sympathetic and felt obliged to drag their foot and limp around. Since the 1930’s, Merengue has been recognized as the national dance for the Dominican Republic and is known be the easiest dance to learn. Typically, Merengue is consists of paseo (which is walk), body and “jaleo”. Over time, the walk vanished, the body extended and jaleo replaced with insertion of exotic rhythms. Now, the Merengue is danced with a man holding a woman in a vals-like position and step to the side (paso de la empaliazda). They either turn clockwise or counter clockwise (merengue de salon) and individually perform turns while holding one hand of their partner (merengue de figura). Between strangers, this dance is typically kept at a distance, where a more intimate couple is more likely to be more intimate during this

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