Do you have a passion for dancing? There are so many different types of dance to learn, like the waltz, tango, foxtrot, ballet, and many more. Many dances come from Latin heritage, like the samba, rumba, jive, and cha-cha-cha. One of these Latin dances that you may not be familiar with is the bachata with basic steps.
What is the Bachata? How can I be a pro at it, and where can I learn this Latin dance? These are all the essential questions that we will gladly answer for you. Here you will learn what it is, the basics, the music of bachata, and where you can learn to dance the Dominican bachata.
What Is The Bachata Dance?
Before we give you the lowdown on where to learn the bachata, we should tell you what the bachata is. Originally from the Dominican Republic, the bachata is a dance that requires people to dance side-by-side. The dance was introduced in the 50s and 60s and started its own music genre of the same name.
Bachata dancing wasn’t favored by the dictator Trujillo. When the Dominican Republic was under his rule, he viewed the dance as offensive and a weak art form. He banned the dance, and it was only performed in brothels. Now, however, the dance is practiced worldwide in dance classes with many variations.
How Do You Do The Bachata Dance Including Variations?
Originally performed front to back, the bachata is now primarily performed side-by-side with a partner. The moves vary based on the music. The traditional way of dance requires a four-step pattern. There are six basic steps that bachata requires.
Step 1: Forward and Back In Place
The first move to bachata is forward and backward. This move requires the person to move their left foot forward while the other foot takes a step in the center. The right foot stays at the center. You then repeat this while facing backward.
Step 2: Forward Back Progressive
The forward back progressive is where your feet meet. Your left foot steps back, and your other foot will match with it. You will then continue this simple move going forward. You can also change angles while doing this move.
Step 3: Forward Back Progressive Pass
Unlike the last step, your second step will move past the first one. The left foot will step while your right foot will go past your left foot. You can do this step multiple ways. You can go across or do a triple step if you want to get fancy.
Step 4: Box Step
The box step has additional moves. You start with your left foot and take a side step where your feet will meet to do a box step. You then step forward with your right foot and then your left. From there, you go from the side again with your left foot and then your right. Then you will go back and repeat. When you do it, your feet should be making a box.
Step 5: Diagonal Box Step
Another move similar to the box step is the diagonal box step. Rather than putting your left foot forward, you want to put your left foot diagonally back. Your right foot should then go diagonally from your left foot. You then take a step with your right foot and touch your left foot. Then you go backward with your feet.
You are pretty much shaping the box shape differently with this move.
Step 6: Triple Step
The last step of the traditional bachata is the triple step. This move is also known as the cha-cha. Instead of doing a tap with your feet, you will do a shuffle step. You can do this move while doing the box step. Start with your right foot from the side, then tap your left foot on the side of your right foot. Then take a step forward with your right foot and then your left foot.
You will then tap your foot in place of the shuffle. You don’t need to do this technique in bachata, but I wanted to give you the steps if you’re going to learn it.
You can learn the traditional bachata either through videos or from dance classes. There are other forms of the dance as well that you can try out, like:
Before the traditional box step became popular in the Western world, this dance included side-to-side step patterns. The Western dance only had one basic dance move, the side-to-side step. The dancer can change the direction of each tap whenever they want to. The dance is similar to Ballroom Dance and is the dance that made the latin dance community bachata famous in dance schools across America.
Much like the Western dance, the Moderna requires the same step (side-to-side) along with some other movements from other dances. Moderna incorporates other elements from dances like the Salsa, tango, or ballroom dance styles. Another thing that sets Moderna apart is the hip movements of the dancers are more intense, especially for women.
Originating in Spain, the sensual style of dominican bachata was created by Korke Escalona. Inspired by Bachata music, he created his own dance titled the Sensual. The dance is similar to the Brazilian Zouk dances. The Sensual dance involves circular movements, body waves, body isolation, and dips.
There are other variations of the bachata dance that people do. Each has slight differences that a dancer needs to learn. While knowing the dance, it is also important to note the music played while doing the bachata. Each dance style is acceptable on the dance floor, so you can focus on your preferred style, whether sensual bachata, traditional style, or bachata moderna. The dance style depends on both the music and what you feel fits at the moment when you dance.
What Is The Bachata Music Like?
Bachata music has an interesting history. The genre gained popularity around the 20th century and mostly gets its inspiration from Spain. Here is a breakdown of the history of Bachata Music.
What Does It Sound Like?
Bachata music can be described as being upbeat. Bachata takes elements from other musical movements like bolero or Afro-Antillean genres like Son, cha-cha, etc.
What Are The Lyrics Like?
Most Bachata songs have lyrics that detail love, passion, and childhood. The lyrics are meant to express the importance of these three themes.
How Many People Play The Instruments/What Instruments Does Bachata Use?
Bachata Music has guitars, percussion instruments like bongos, maracas, guiro, and lead vocals. Two people usually play the guitars (electric guitars are popular in Bachata music). The guitars act as the lead instrument. A few (3 to 4) people play the different percussion instruments. Regarding the tempo, Bachata music follows four tempos. So, in total, four instruments are used, including a singer.
Popular Songs of Bachata Music
While there are plenty of Bachata songs out there, here is a list of some of the most popular ones.
Dustin Richie – Tú
Grupo Extra – Tengo Una Necesidad
Ozuna, Anthony Santos – Señor Juez
Now that you understand the origin/history and a little about how to do the dance Bachata and bachata song, you now want to introduce you to where you can learn this Latin dance!
Where Can I Learn Bachata Dance?
If you live around the Montreal area, you can come to try out San Tropez! Founded by Sonia and Moris, we teach many unique dances to our students like Bachata, Salsa, Kizomba, and many others! We provide lessons dependent on where you want to learn. Or maybe you want to know more about our studio.
We have private and group classes, classes that you can do at your house, and classes for special events like weddings, bachelorette parties, and others. Joining our class is cheap as well. We require you to pay only $24, plus tax, to join our studio. With your $24, you’ll get:
- 7 days
- Over 10 classes available for one low price
- For absolute beginners
The studio offers an introductory discount for all new students wanting to try our group classes every month! We offer about 20 classes for the incredibly low price of $24 plus taxes. Throughout the week, you will get the chance to try dances such as Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, Ladies Styling, Body Isolations, and more!
- No Experience Required
- Your first Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, & Styling basics
- Easy turn patterns
- No need for a partner
- Fun music and new dance moves
Includes practice sessions
Much like any other dance, the bachata requires a little practice. It is important to note that the dance follows a four-step pattern. The pattern will help you understand the dance Bachata. Join now and learn how to dance bachata in Montreal this month. We hope you learned something about this dance!