The Merengue is the national dance of the Dominican Republic. There was a Republic soldier who was wounded in one leg, was at a social dancing event, and could only shuffle sideways in a pronounced limp dance style. Other patrons not wishing to offend the hero, copied the soldiers movements. Another story tells of Dominican shackled slaves working in sugar cane fields cutting down sugar cane. As they walked down the rows they had to take small side steps to cut down the sugar cane because of the shackles. However this dance came to be, it became very popular in the Dominican Republic in the mid 1800′s. It is not known when the dance actually came to the US, but it has enjoyed constant success for many years.