Merengue is a fun social and club dance with very upbeat & happy music, popular nowadays as well as Salsa around the world. It is probably the oldest Latin-American dance still performed, it dates back to the end of the 19th century, long before mambo, cha-cha or salsa came around. The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic.
There are many versions and interpretations of the origins of Merengue. Two of the more popular explanations of its origins are the following: one, is that the dance originated with slaves who were chained together and, of necessity, were forced to drag one leg as they cut sugar to the beat of drums. The second version claims that a great hero was wounded in the leg during one of the many revolutions in the Dominican Republic. A party of villagers welcomed him home with a victory celebration and, out of sympathy, everyone dancing felt obliged to limp and drag one foot.