The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic, and also to some extent, of Haiti. There are two well-known legends as to the origin of this dance. One story alleges that slaves, who were chained together, were forced to drag one leg as they worked to the sound of drums. The second story purports a great war hero had a leg wound that caused him to move with a pronounced limp. Out of respect and sympathy for him during a victory celebration, party goers began limping and dragging one foot during their dancing.
Merengue is a fast Latin dance that never slows down and is very easy to learn. It's the most popular dance at most Latin clubs along with Salsa. Generally one step is taken for every beat and the partners stay in constant contact through at least one hand-hold. Footwork is ball-flat throughout with a distinctive dip of movement on counts 1 and 5 when traveling sideways.