If you have any
interest in Latin music at all, you have an interest in bachata dancing!
Bachata dancing is the form of dance that accompanies bachata music, and
it, like the music itself are finding a vast international audience that
can't get enough of the strong beats.
Bachata music itself comes from an older style of love music known as
the bolero, though it quickly evolved and changed. Bolero songs
celebrated innocent, pure love and lovers who were unendingly faithful.
Bachata music, on the other hand, took root in the poor and urban places
where it was most often heard, and because of that, the songs became a
good deal more sensual and significantly raunchier. The music itself is
played in 4/4 time and it is the instrumentation that distinguishes it
from so many other types of Latin music. Bachata music uses an amplified
guitar, whether acoustic or electric, and in many of the more modern
songs, you can hear a distinct reverb or echo. Bongo drums offer a solid
percussive beat, while maracas are often used to keep the time.
In terms of dance, there were several influences on what is now known as
bachata dancing. Bachata dancing, both in form and attitude, takes a lot
from the meringue, but can easily be identified by the more sensual
accents as well as the faster pace. The basic figure for bachata dancing
is a sideways series of steps that is accented by a movement of some
sort. This is a very dry and factual recounting of what is an incredibly
fluid and dynamic process.
Bachata dancing is not for the shy or nervous! Bachata dancing involves
being quite close to your partner and moving together, with as much
harmony as possible. Bachata is a partnered dance, and while you can
learn most of the basics on your own, your partner should be someone
that you know fairly well and don't mind getting close to!
In bachata dancing, the best way to get started is to count the beats in
your head. Once you can identiy the beat, divide them up motion. The
first three beats are steps and the fourth beat is punctuated with a hip
motion. One way to count this out while you are practicing is to think
of it as step-together-step, touch, with the touch being the motion that
you've incorporated. Like so many other dances, the key to looking good
during bachata dancing is through getting the timing right. Once you
have the timing down, you can learn the steps, and if you happen to
falter during one of the steps, recovery will be a great deal easier
once you've learned when they happen.
There are lots of ways to learn bachata dancing; all you need to do is
find the one that suits you best. Most people agree that one on one
private lessons are the best, but that may not be possible for a variety
of reasons. One way to learn bachata dancing, after all, is to make sure
that you watch plenty of it. Whether this means that you go to clubs or
competitions or just that you spend a lot of time downloading videos off
of the internet, you need to see how its done. While the basic steps and
timing of the bachata dancing are relatively simple, keep in mind that
this is a dance form that is all about style and flourishes.
When you are thinking of learning bachata dancing, one of the best ways
to start is to get a few of the musical CDs. Identify the beat and get
very familiar with some of the songs. Before you even try to incorporate
the actual steps into it, try moving your body to the music. What
gestures seem natural and where do they go? Bachata dancing is highly
dependent on using the music to affect the motion of the dance, so let
the music guide you.
In terms of lively modern dance, it would be hard to find one that would
be more dynamic than the bachata. From its humble roots in the Domincan
Republic, bachata dancing has grown into an international sensation, and
it is easy to see why!