Genre Introduction: Merengue. Ladies of Merengue

Today I am re-Blogging SantaJulia’s Latin Music for Gringos Blog because of her cool entry “Introduction to merengue”. I praise Merengue for being one of the Latin Music genres that has a had significant history of inclusion of women as performers. Merengueras are important and in are given the respect they deserve. Merengueras like Milly Quezada and Miriam Cruz have being a feminine component of Merengue since the late 70’s. We also have Fefita La Grande, to me the greatest exponent of Merengue tipico Dominicano who has a career that spans for an eternity, literally, no en vano la llaman la Vieja Fefa. Arriba el Merengue y arriba las merengueras.

Latin Music For Gringos

I would like to give my first genre introduction by starting with merengue, because it is one of the easier types of Latin music for me, as a gringa, to dance to. Merengue is a genre of Latin music that is generally associated with the Dominican Republic, but this genre really does not have any sort of precise history. This type of music really started to make waves internationally in the 1960s and 1970s, with an influx of Dominican immigration to New York City. Since the 1980s, merengue has been extremely competitive with salsa in terms of popularity, and even oftentimes more popular than salsa.

Especially while I was first getting into Latin music, merengue was a type of music and dance that stood out to me. The dance itself can be very simple, with the basic step essentially being a shift in weight from one foot to the other…

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