Merengue, bachata and raggaeton: the famous dances of the Dominican Republic

Published on : 30 May 20222 min reading time
The Dominican Republic, a country located in the Caribbean, is not only known for being a dream destination because of its beautiful beaches and its numerous tourist attractions, but also for its colourful culture and traditions. Indeed, the richness of the cultural heritage has nothing to envy to the beauty of the landscape; in particular, the dances which are known and appreciated throughout the world. The Dominican dances are numerous and diversified such as the son, the mangulina or the salsa. However, if we had to choose a top three, it would undoubtedly be the merengue, the bachata and the reggaeton.

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The Merengue

Merengue is a musical genre that originated in the 1850s in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. It is almost the national dance of the country, widely acclaimed by the local population. But it is also a worldwide success. Moreover, it has been included in UNESCO’s intangible cultural heritage. Danced in pairs, this rhythmic and slightly sensual dance is not really difficult to learn. A few basic steps and you’re all set. You will sway to the rhythm of the most popular dance in the Dominican Republic.

The Bachata

An amalgam of merengue, Cuban son, bolero, cha-cha-cha and tango, bachata took root in the mid-twentieth century in the working class, in the slums. This is the reason why it was long disdained by the bourgeois class. Nevertheless, it has gradually won the hearts of all social and economic classes, both in the Dominican Republic and throughout the world, to become a true symbol of the nation. Found everywhere, in bars, clubs or at dances, it is a must. The notes evoke heartache, melancholy and passion. The major difference with the merengue is its particular rhythm, slower, more languorous.

Reggaeton

Unlike the two previous dances, reggaeton is not of Dominican origin. In fact, it originated in Puerto Rico towards the end of the 20th century, more precisely in the 1990s. Although the dance originated elsewhere, Dominicans have managed to make it their own. It is the trendy dance among young people. With its fast, danceable and urban rhythm, this dance, although generally very suggestive, is becoming more and more popular.

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