Merengue and Bachata: Traditional Dominican music and dance

Merengue and Bachata: Traditional Dominican music and dance

Music and dance is like the lifeblood of Dominican culture. Before your first day in the DR is over, you’ll realize that Dominicans are passionate about their music and dancing. Just take a moto, and you’ll see. Or, head on over to a beach in Cabarete. Your blood will pump along with the rhythm of the local music booming from the speakers at a club there. If you’re a first-time visitor to the DR, and really want to get to the heart of our culture, one way is to get to know more about our music and dancing. The first thing you need to know is that there are two main styles: merengue and bachata.

The History of Merengue and Bachata


Merengue has its roots in the DR. The dance form spread to the rest of the Caribbean, as well as in Hispanic communities outside of the region. In fact, there’s a sister style in Haiti, called ‘Meringue’ or ‘Mereng’.

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