Learn all about Bachata!
Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It is danced widely all over the world but not identically.
The basics to the dance are three-step with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a hip tap on the 4th beat just like in other Latin dances (salsa etc.). The knees should be slightly bent so the performer can sway the hips easier. The movement of the hips is very important because it’s a part of the soul of the dance. Generally controlled full body movement is crucially important in the dance, but most of it comes from the hips. In partnering, the lead can decide whether to perform in the open or closed position. Dance moves, or step variety, during performance strongly depends on the music (such as the rhythms played by the different instruments), setting, mood, and interpretation. Unlike Salsa (the most traditional Latin Dance), Bachata does not require many complex turns; although they are very well used when the musicality is understood and interpreted correctly. The leading is done just like in most other dances, with a “pushing and pulling” hand communication. If this is done correctly, the follower should clearly understand the intended direction. Although there is a lot of body movement in Bachata dancing, the hand communication is better understood when most of the movement is performed by the lower body (from the waist down); i.e. hips and footwork.
The new Fusion Styles (mix of different dances) developed in US, Europe and Australia (Traditional, Modern, Urban, Bachatango, BachaBallroom etc.) is a basic dance sequence of a full 8 count in a side-to-side motion. The Original Dominican style basic dance sequence is a full 8 count moving within a square. Counts 1 through 3 and 5 through 7, when taken, generate a natural hip motion. Counts 4 and 8, consists of a tap and can include a “pop” movement depending on individual style. The ‘pop’ can also be executed by lifting the foot while popping the hip to the side opposite of the natural Cuban hip motion. Bachata music has a slight accent in rhythm at every fourth count, indicating when the ‘pop’ should happen. The tab or ‘pop’ is done in the opposite direction of the last step, while the next step is taken on the same direction of the tap or pop. The dance direction interchanges after every 4th count.
In social dance, the man can choose to change style within a song. This is usually done after a break or tempo change. Changing style is done non-verbally, by changing hand and body position.