G092 Memories of Figure Names 19 – Merengue (English & Japanese)

投稿者: | 2022年5月17日

Since October 2011, I have been posting articles titled “Memories of Figure Names” on Facebook group “Ballroom & Latin Dancer Memory Lane”. I decided to leave those articles on this HP for record.
2011年10月からFacebookグループ”Ballroom & Latin Dancer Memory Lane”に「フィガー名の思い出」という記事を投稿しています。 これらの記事を記録のためにこのHPに残すことにしました。


“Memories of Figure Names No.19 Merengue”

I learned the word “merengue” from the “meringue action” in Samba’s Plate and Jive’s Chicken Walks.

Immediately looking up the meaning of merengue in the dictionary, there was a merengue of confectionery, but it is clear that it has no connection with the merengue of our dance. I kept thinking so at least for a few decades until I come across with the book “THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BALLROOM DANCING” that my colleague gave me.  I was surprised, and at the same time enjoyed, to find the following passage in it (image pasted).


The merengue dance indeed is very simple and easy to learn, but when it comes to the Latin American Merengue Action that we dance, it seems a completely different thing. I remember well that I had hard time to learn it.


[Postscript 2022/05/18] 

I would like to leave here a wonderful and useful comment received from Mr. Mark Parkin.

Hi Makoto,

Your posts are thought provoking as always…..


Putting labels on Latin American dances is problematic at best…. Meringue is one of the most simple of Latin Dances and is almost always associated with 2:4 timing, including one step per beat…in other words a kind of march or two step.


The merengue “action “ is probably an attempt by the dance world to formalise techniques. My first exposure to this was probably Walter Laird, who included the category delayed walks in his technical analysis.


It is always interesting to see how movements are perceived and developed in different Latin environments. Recently in Curaçao I visited a large social event where almost 300 people were dancing the same pattern. It was almost a “Cumbia with an obvious merengue action. Always worth remembering that different cultures develop alternative trends. Merengue is a great example where a simple timing has allowed the ”hustle” style from New York with it’s very complicated choreographic improvised style to flourish over a simple rhythm. If this is authentic Latin is debatable, but the genre continues to develop.


Best Wishes



「フィガー名の思い出19 Merengue」


メレンゲの意味を辞書を引くと洋菓子のメレンゲがありましたが、ダンスのメレンゲとは無関係なことは明らか ―― そう思いつつ数十年が過ぎたある日、職場の同僚から譲り受けた本 “THE COMPLETE BOOK OF BALLROOM DANCING” にこう書いてあるのを見つけました(上の画像参照)。



(1) 奴隷達が足に鎖をつながれたままドラムの音に合わせてサトウキビを収穫していたときの名残。

(2) 19世紀、戦から傷ついて帰還したヒーローを歓迎する祭りを開いた際、ヒーローの負傷した足を哀れみ、傷つけまいと、同じように足を引きずって踊ったことに由来する。


この楽しい起源説の次に、メレンゲの由来は ―― 





【追記 2022/05/18】

Mr. Mark Parkinより届いた有益なメッセージをここに残したいと思います。(原文は上)




ラテンアメリカの踊りにレッテルを貼るのは、よくても問題があります。メレンゲはラテンダンスの中でも最もシンプルなものの一つで、ほとんどの場合、1拍につき1ステップを含む2/4拍子のタイミングと関連しています。メレンゲの “アクション “は、おそらくダンス界がテクニックを形式化するために試みたものでしょう。私が最初にこれを知ったのはウォルター・レアードで、彼はディレイド・ウォークというカテゴリーを彼の技術分析に含めました。