Arthur Murray Dance Centers

How to Differentiate Salsa Dancing vs. Merengue

Posted by Cheryl Cortez on Thu, May 31, 2012 @ 16:05 PM

Are you in the mood to spice up your dance routine, but you’re not sure which Latin dance is right for you?Salsa Dancing

While watching Latin dances, the dancers move very quickly and rhythmically, which can be intimidating to beginners making them hesitant to try Salsa dancing or the Merengue. To determine which dance speaks to you, let’s look at a little history of the Salsa and the Merengue:

The Merengue is believed to originate from the Dominican Republic. One of the historical theories  on the origin of the Merengue states its origin started started with slaves working in the fields. They were chained together at their ankles and had to walk by dragging one leg, side to side. This style of dance mimics the side-to-side movements of the slaves. The Merengue is a partner dance, which is danced to an upbeat, marching tempo.

The Merengue has a very basic step of one-two-one-two that is repeated throughout the whole dance. This partner dance uses small steps from either side-to-side or in a circle. The basic body movements that both partners mimic are the direction and the hip movement.Merengue Dance steps

The direction is based off of the simple one-two steps, while one partner leads the other. Depending on the skill level of the dancers, the Merengue can basically be a walking dance or a mix of slow steps and spins. This is a perfect dance for beginners to learn steps and gain confidence while dancing.

The Salsa  originates from Puerto Rico although it is strongly influenced by the Mambo which is from Cuba. Salsa dancing is a partner dance based off simple, repetitive, movements. The Salsa can be improvised based on the skills of the dancers or it can have a routine allowing for more intricate dance moves.

The basic Salsa pattern is different from the Merengue because it involves a few more steps and a different timing.Salsa dancing

Both of these dances are great social dances and are very popular at Latin clubs and parties. Arthur Murray DC Dance studios are specialists at teaching all of the latin dances. Call today to make an appointment to learn your favorite dance. 


Topics: Merengue, Salsa dancing