Salsa > Merengue - Which foot on down beat?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by DanceMentor, Oct 2, 2003.

  1. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I notice that many men a clubs step on their right foot on the 1 beat. Of course, at studios, the men start on the left foot. But I have rarely seen Merengue taught at a studio where it looked good for a club.

    A lot of times there is a dropping action on the 1 beat, and I think men like to do the dropping action on 1 because it is easier to "grind" with the lady that way. Am I right? Any Merengue experts out there?
  2. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Personally, I enjoy the more traditional, Dominican approach
    to dancing Merengue...just dancing!!

    Personally, I've danced for several groups in the NYC area
    and have been a part of some dance performances there
    as well.

    I've never really gone to a studio for classes and would not
    know the first thing about any structured instruction.

    I dance to it a bit more traditionally which is a step with the left
    and a "dragging" motion of the right, not a step. The dragging
    motion is not exaggerated, but is very typical of the way that
    merengue is traditionally danced...

    The story is that there was a dictator of the island that loved
    the music. His right leg was injured so he walked with a limp.
    So while he danced, he needed to step with his left, and drag
    his right leg due to his injury.

    Because no one dared insult him, they all emulated him and
    danced in the same fashion...

    So in keeping with that tradition, I dance it that way... =)
  3. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I save my merengue's for the new guys, since it's a pretty easy dance. I always ask a new guy -- 10 lessons or less -- for a merengue. So I end up matching whatever he's doing, and that usually changes a bunch of times during any given song! :lol: Although, in all fairness, I do use this as a time to practice my hip motion, torso motion, and ab contractions. I just match my feet to whatever the guy is doing.
  4. SwinginBoo

    SwinginBoo New Member

    That's really interesting. Is it true do you think :?:
  5. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I heard it was a Dominican General and he couldn't bend at the knee, so he used a dragging motion.

    My question: If you start emulating a Dictator-type dude, don't you think he might think you are making fun of him and send his secret police over to your house one night? :lol:
  6. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    Well, I'm sure the position of the person changes from generation
    to generation...So it could be a General, or a Dictator, or someone
    else altogether... :D

    As far as the story being true, I'm not sure. What I can say is that
    it's a very popular "urban legend" I guess, but I'm sure it has its
    truth somewhere...not sure if it's like that exactly...

    Dancementor, I think he took it as a compliment... :D
  7. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    Hi salsarhythms,

    Yes, I don't know if it is true or not.

    What about dancing with the right foot on 1 for the man?
    Does anyone really have a preference? Or does it really not matter all that much?
  8. salsarhythms

    salsarhythms New Member

    I really don't have a preference...I start with the left foot
    but I've never really paid much attention to it...

    The dance floors I dance on are usually so crowded that
    I hardly even take steps!! Just a lot of hip motion...
  9. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    With merengue here in NYC, you step with whichever foot you hear the first bang. It really doesn't matter at all in my opinion. When I walk in to dance a merengue what ever foot happens to be on the air when the bang is about to hit, that is what I use...
  10. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    You guys are no fun! :lol:
    I was hoping to get the "definitive" answer, and I got "whatever I feel like doing". I don't know if I could teach a Merengue class that way, but I don't really teach <erengue too much anyway.

    So a follow-up question...
    How often do you see Merengue lessons?
  11. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Personally I've never seen a merengue only class. Most of the clubs around here teach a quick merengue lesson at the end of the salsa class.

    Also, as I've seen it taught here, in the clubs, the man starts on his left foot.
  12. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Yes, SD, the only times I've seen merengue taught it has been a five- or ten- minute add-on at the end of a salsa class, sort of an afterthought. And the man usually starts on his left, so I follow and start on my right.
  13. redhead

    redhead New Member

    Believe it or not, but I've seen one guy taking a PRIVATE lesson to learn meringue. :shock: Left first
  14. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator


    I hope this doesn't sound like 'one-up-manship', but I've seen people compete in both Silver and Gold level Merengue at dance competitions. I can tell you it definitely didn't look like anything I've seen at a club. :lol:
  15. redhead

    redhead New Member

    That guy was taking a lesson in CLUB meringue. Yep, competition style is quite different, agree with you.
  16. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    What's even scarier then said students, however, is that some instructors actually think that this is merengue. To each their own I guess...
  17. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah. There are some pretty cools silver merengue steps. Fun! But I'd look quite strange doing them at a club. :shock: :lol:

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