Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic and an extremely popular source of entertainment in island life. Merengue is a partner dance and is accompanied by big band instruments like the saxophone , conga drums, and diatonic accordion.
Merengue is said to be derived from the foot dragging movement of African slaves chained together at their ankles while working in sugarcane fields. The actual origin of merengue is unknown but experts agree that it dates back over two centuries. In the 1930s, Dictator Rafael Trujillo insisted merengue become the national music and dance for the island. With this lengthy history, it isn’t any wonder why Puerto Plata is home to some of the best merengue dancers in the world.
Many locals and visitors alike consider dancing a high priority, with many visitors wanting to learn or experience merengue dance during their stay in Puerto Plata. Merengue can be enjoyed in almost every nightclub in the city and is so incredibly popular that Puerto Plata hosts an annual Merengue Festival each October on the Malecón. Entertaining enthusiasts from all over the world while showcasing their talent, during the festival you can watch expert merengue dance couples display their best moves and they are more than happy to show others how to dance.
While in Puerto Plata reach out to your resort and they’ll assist you in coordinating merengue lessons. If you want to try out your merengue moves, hit any of the local Puerto Plata nightclubs. Two of our favorites are the Lighthouse Lounge and Disco on the Ocean World Adventure Park campus and Hemingway’s Café. Remember, when in Puerto Plata, do what Dominicans do – dance the night away!