The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. That is the only fact that we have concerning its origin other than it was probably born in that country and/or Haiti, the neighboring island. There are many tales of its conception. Stories are told of a Dominican Republic soldier that was wounded in one leg and could only shuffle sideways with a pronounced limp. The others, not wishing to offend the hero, copied him out of sympathy. Another story tells of shackled slaves working in the sugar fields cutting down the cane. They had to take small side steps as they worked down the rows. However it came to be, this dance was very popular in the Dominican Republic in the mid 1800’s. It is not clear just when this dance was introduced into the U.S. but it has enjoyed limited but constant success for many years.