I have always liked listening to Latin music and watching professional dancers dancing Latino and contemporary dances. Social Latin dances (Street Latin) include salsa, merengue, bachata, mambo, rumba, bomba, plena.
Today we will dance a little bit of bachata (technically speaking), so I can exemplify some elementary notions that I noticed in this dance, in case you want to experience the steps at your next latino night.
I was in the big paradise of the Dominican Republic when I decided to write this post, the place where bachata appeared for the first time. Honestly, in this place I found the playlist of my heart, which can now be danced all over the world. In Dominican Republic, the music is heard day and night, and bachata is the queen that gives the tone of the party. What is the beauty of this dance? I realized that the secret lies in the movements of the women’s hips.
In my opinion, bachata is very simple, and anyone can learn it. The basics of the dance are three-steps with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap including a hip movement on the 4th beat. First of all, you have to feel the music, follow the time and listen to bachata songs. Then, listen to changes in instruments, speed, and tempo. When you’ll be able to make the difference between these elements, you’ll be able to internalize this type of music so you can follow time almost without thinking about it.
They will lead you to the right technique.
I think that in bachata, once must be able to connect with one’s partner on a different level. For instance, this is a physical and psychological thing. Everything can only be possible if one is truly connected with their partner during a social dance session. I learned that the frame is the base of all the movements. If the proper connections are utilized in close and open positions then the partner should be able to follow the lead within reason due to the movement. Both partners should have a proper counter pressure.
When I did the analysis of this dance style, I learned that to make a specific rotation you have to be as relaxed and flexible as possible. Go with the flow and feel the romance of dancing in a pair. Engage your partner with movements, flirting, and more because otherwise, you’ll lose the connection that makes this dance so romantic.
I left below a video that explains exactly how you can do a pivot turn, which, in my opinion, is the one that defines this dance.
Learn how to move from one side to the other easily, and after that, you can declare yourself a native Dominican. Now, all you have to do is to see this video again and again, review it, study it if there is something that has not just come up, but first of all, practice it, because the more you practice, the sooner you get better.
I know you can do it too! Bachata is cool and trendy, and there are more and more people passionate for this type of dance. Practice your steps everywhere.
In the end, I’ll leave you a representative video with a romantic bachata dance that I really like. Also, this couple is one of my favorite. They have something special and you can see here the rhythm and the timing of their steps.
So, what I recommend is to keep calm and dance bachata! 🙂
PS: For best results, ask your partner for a dance as soon as possible. 🙂