Merengue originated in the mid 1800 in the Caribbean - specifically in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
The original dance was fast and staccato with a focus on footwork and shoulder shimmying.
When the dance traveled to the US in the 1950's it became slower and under ballroom latin
influences became focused more on an accentuated hip movement.
The Merengue is characterized by intricate turn patterns and the signature drag step - it often looks like a game of twister played to music.
It is an extremely versatile spot dance suited to all sized dance floors and is very easy to learn.
It can be danced at a range of tempos but is best suited to upbeat music with a steady, distinct and constant beat.
It can also often be used as a slower substitute for Cha Cha
where the music lacks an obvious syncopated beat.