Arguably, not as prevalent as other counterpart Latin dance styles, Bachata has nevertheless flourished with a mainstay of interest; particularly amongst couples and competitive dance partnerships. Originating in The Dominican Republic, the Bachata is famous for its story telling themes, predominately tied to romance and sensuality.
Description of Bachata Dancing Style
Considered by many to be an erotic expression of love through the medium of dance movement, Bachata commands both partners to be comfortable and fluid with each other as the premise of the dance requires the female and male partners to be physically and emotionally connected. For what the dance lacks in physical intensity it is made up for with feeling and passion.
The dance is a Four-step beat achieved with a walking hip sway motion broken by sporadic squat like dip, also known as a unique 'pop'. The dance is most commonly performed in 'closed position' describing the constant close body contact as opposed to 'open position' styles which feature minimal body contact. However both styles can be applied to Bachata.
The male leads the female with subtle communication using pushing and pulling on the hands to guide the direction in which to move or to hint on upcoming turns. The female may also provide communication using her left hand to indicate whether she is comfortable or not dancing in a closed position.
The basic dance sequence is a full 8 count in a side-to-side motion. although, traditionally it was a back and forth motion. Counts 1 through 3 and 5 through 7, when taken, generate a natural hip motion. Counts 4 and 8, consists of a "pop" movement. The "pop" depending on a person's style is executed lifting or tapping a foot or using stylish footwork 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.
Different Types of Bachata Dancing Styles
As with most traditional dances many variances are adopted and evolve into more modern adaptions.
Some of the most popular interpretations of Bachata are found in the following forms:
Modern Bachata - the new version of the traditional Bachata brought about through the younger generation of Bachata dancers. This style incorporates more free style moves. This involves intricate footwork of enchufles, slides and lock steps.
Rueda de Bachata - inspired by Cuban Rueda De Casion. A group of couples dance basic Bachata in a circle while a leader calls out set moves executed in unison by the whole group, often with partner changes. Originated in the Dominican Republic.
Bachata Tango - a style of dance incorporating Tango styling. It is characterized by embellished kicks, dips, turns and long pauses generally used in Tango as well as other popular Latin Dances.
Rueda de Bachata