On Tuesday, November 5, hundreds of dancers gathered in Plaza España in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for a chance at breaking the Guinness World Record for the Largest Merengue Dance that was, until that point, held by Russia.
In June 2013, 660 people (330 dancing couples) representing the Buena Vista Social Dance Club danced merengue at Lenin Stadium in Khabarovsk, Russia to take this world record. This week, 854 people (427 dancing couples) set out to break that record, dancing merengue for 5 minutes and 18 seconds. Of those couples, five pairs were eventually disqualified, so the new record was set by 422 pairs of dancers.
Breaking the record wasn’t as simple as getting nearly 1,000 dancers in one place. To break the record they had to exceed the number of people dancing in the previous record by more than 10%, follow choreography, and be uniform, numbered and be in a well-defined area. The group danced to “El Merengón” by Joseíto Mateo to choreography by Marcos Taveras and Laura Ramírez.