Credit: http://www.orangecoastballroom.com/There are many hot Latin dances, salsa, cha cha cha, tango, etc. Some of them are harder, some are easier to learn. I myself tried to learn salsa a couple of times, but got frustrated because of its complexity. There is only so much effort one can put into learning something without getting fruits of labour. After all, I wanted to spend a couple of evenings studying the dance and then go to the club and have fun! Now, that may be the case with somebody, who has experience with other Latin dances, who has trained ears to can catch the rhythm of the new music easily. But I, as a total beginner in area of dancing, found out that it is much more satisfying to start with something that you can use in practice faster. Here comes Merengue. It is considered one of the simplest Latin dances, they say, "If you can walk, you can dance Merengue"
The dance has been popular in Dominican Republic since 1800s, it took its name from Meringue dish, changing one of the letters in the process. Meringue is a Spanish word, meaning whipped egg whites and sugar. Why is it so, is unknown. Probably because music is so sweet or maybe because fitness instructors recommended dancing to people who ate too much of it (this advice I can take!)
There are two popular versions of the origin of the dance, and they both explain its simplicity. According to one story, dance appeared among slaves, who worked on sugar plantations and had to move with one leg chained. Another story mentions war hero with wounded leg. As he attended party and danced there limping and dragging his leg everyone copied his movements out of politeness or to seem cooler.
When I heard it, I knew the dance was for me. Dancing as if legs are chained, or even better - one of them wooden? Ha, this is exactly how I felt on the dance floor!
Seriously, this sounds like really simple dance and it is, but it is also very fun and passionate one, its clear beat and constant rhythm allows dancers to relax and fully embrace the feel of the music. Despite its simplicity there are still plenty of elements, interesting patterns and cool turns. Learning Merengue may build good basis for studying other Latin dances, more complex ones.
So, if you are interested to learn Latin dances and shine on the dance floor, you can start with Merengue. Having said so much about its simplicity, I'd like to notice that mastering it still takes some effort and the help of qualified teacher would be very helpful. I wish you good luck in your endeavours. Don't hesitate to leave a comment to say how it goes!