Bachata Classes at Dancing Through Life instruct people from all backgrounds on how to dance the Caribbean-inspired Bachata dance step. Bachata classes are available for adults (including children ages 13 and older). Our location provides a safe, comfortable place to learn and practice Bachata throughout Davie, Florida and the greater Fort Lauderdale area. Dancing Through Life Bachata classes are led by professional Latin dance instructors. We offer private classes, group classes, membership, and additional services to help anyone and everyone learn to dance Bachata.
Bachata is quickly becoming the hottest dance in the Latin dance scene. For more information on our classes and schedule, visit our class schedule.
All You Need To Know About Bachata
Bachata is a Caribbean dance step that features a distinct Cuban hip motion. With beautiful music, mesmerizing body movement, and a sultry sway, Bachata is a growing dance style that has spread around the globe. Bachata classes at Dancing Through Life equip participants with the skills to walk confidently out onto a dance floor and impress with a polished Bachata step.
What is Bachata?
Bachata is a sultry, heart-pulsing dance step that originated in the Dominican Republic. The dance consists of three steps with a hip motion, as well as a Cuban hip movement, and a tap on the fourth beat. With a fairly rich yet recent history, Bachata does vary significantly from style to style and area to area. Bachata is a wonderful dance that focuses on fluidity of movement of the lower body.
Although the upper body is not an area of focus, some do choose to move their arms and torso, but more for stylistic choices than the actual dance style. The mood of the music, the setting, and even the interpretation of the dance can shift the swaying and movements of the hips. Leading dancers have the choice of open or closed positions, and dancers use push and pull hand communication to ensure more fluid movement.
The entirety of the dance includes three steps with a tap step that follows. In some iterations of Bachata, the dance uses an eight beat tune, but others utilize just four. Differences in bachata range from place to place. Bachata is making waves in the dance club and night club scenes, often coupled with salsa and other hip-infused dance styles.
The History of Bachata
Bachata finds its origin in the Dominican Republic and grows out of emotions in Caribbean music like romance and heartbreak. Many see this dance style as one analogous to the blues in American music. Bachata grew out of a tumultuous shift from dictatorship, censorship, and cultural degradation, and blossomed when the veil lifted. Originally, the upper classes looked down on the dance style as “for the small people,” country folk, and the uneducated.
As the dance evolved and matured, it made its way through rough areas like brothels and bars. With an incredibly turbulent history, Bachata was the dance style that almost wasn’t. Popularity in the countryside increased, and the growth of the dance could no longer censored. As Meringue became the national and official music and began melding with Bachata, the dance style took off in all areas of the country.
Bachata slowly made its way to New York with the help of stars like Luis Vargas and Antony Santos. The dance that accompanies the music draws from the tumultuous history of it. Swaying emotions, hips grinding, and feet tapping to the beat are just a few hallmarks of the dance. Modern Bachata offers quite a bit of stylistic freedom and often includes accentuated movements, styling, sliding, and more.
Bachata is one of the most dynamic and historically interesting styles of dance and music in the world. The music itself is well-known for its electric guitars and a “grinding” nature, but dedicated Bachata dancers understand that the step is much more complicated than simple grinding. One of the more unique elements of the dance and the music is the inclusion of distinctive male voice accompaniments. Jose Manuel Calderon, Ramon Cordero, and Rafeal Encarnacion are just a few of the famous voices that influenced the popularity and trajectory of Bachata dance.
Styles of Bachata
There are a variety of types of Bachata. Development over decades has created distinct styles that are iconic to certain geographical areas. Due to increased popularity, there are consistently newer ballroom iterations of the dance that make their way into the dance world. Below are several of the Bachata styles popular throughout the world:
This type of Bachata dance is marked by a simple side to side pattern that was developed in the late 1990’s. The Western dance community created traditional Bachata. This dance type is often considered to be the standard and was perfected largely in dance schools. This is the form of Bachata that was popularized in the West, but is not actually the original step.
Dominican Bachata is the original form of Bachata that survived censorship, a dictatorship, and years of discrimination. The step consists of moving in a square with steps of side, side, forward and side, side, and back. Movement and stylization largely depend on the music being played at the moment.
In 2005, a new style of Bachata was developed that many label as “Modern” Bachata. Salsa, Tango, Zouk-lambada, and Ballroom style dance all heavily draw from the traditional form of Bachata. Generally, the more modern styles are known for their more accentuated upper body movements as well as a bit more exaggeration in hip movements as well.
Bachata Tango (also known as Bachatango)
Exactly as it sounds, Bachata Tango (also Bachatango) is a combination of the traditional Bachata dance step with the popular Tango. This style of dance is widely practiced, but is not well-known in the Dominican Republic and the greater Caribbean area.
In order to make Bachata a competitive dance style, Western studios developed the Ballroom Bachata style. This style is based on the traditional dance step as well as ballroom dances pop-ular in the professional dancing community.
How to Bachata Dance
- A steady back and forth or side to side movement
- Three steps coupled with four beats
- The right foot glides on beats 1, 2, and 3
- Touch left toe beside right foot on each fourth count
- Tap left toe in place apart from right foot
- Simultaneously make an upward left hip jerk with the left toe tap
- Repeat entire step with left foot
Reading how to perfect the Bachata dance step is not anything close to learning from a professional. Dancing Through Life’s expert Latin dance coordinator helps individuals learn the skills needed to perfect many types of dance. Becoming more comfortable with the music and the steps involved helps individuals walk into a dance club with confidence.
Group instruction helps students of dance learn to be comfortable with more people on the dance floor. With Bachata, however, it can be helpful to splurge on a few private instruction sessions in order to truly master the dance. Since the basic steps and movements are somewhat simple, the Bachata is a great option for beginning dancers both old and young alike.
Bachata has influenced and is influenced by dance styles from around the world. The more Bachata is featured in the US, South Florida and NYC specifically, the more it draws from different music genres and dance styles. The Latino influence in both areas has created a distinct culture that draws in those who desire a more sultry dance step.
Bachata has fused with many styles of music and dance over the years. Tango is probably the most obvious influence, even creating the new, unique dance step of Bachatango. Recently, the dance style has seen a heavy influence of R&B. As time goes by, more and more American “pop” influence has integrated into Bacahata. Although not nearly as popular, electronic music that features loops are filtering their way into almost all of Latin dance culture.
As Bachata increases in popularity worldwide, it is also making its way back into the limelight throughout the Caribbean. The sexy, sultry movements and spicy, electric music is taking Bachata to the next level. Dancing Through Life offers Bachata classes, both group and private sessions, for individuals interested in dancing the Bachata step.
Caribbean Flavor, Caribbean Nights
Bachata is a dance step with a distinct Caribbean flavor. Much like American blues music, Bachata music thrived and evolved through hardship and heartbreak. The upbeat, grinding dance is as sexy as it is upbeat. Originating in “houses of the night” in the Dominican Republic, Bachata just might be the most authentic Caribbean dance in the world.
There is truly an intangible element in the world of Bachata. As a sort of an underdog dance style, the development of the genre has created a beautiful style that is simultaneously sensuous and entertaining. As the music features more and more electric influences, the dance can also be a great way to get exercise with a Caribbean flavor. Burning calories on the dance floor is easily one of the most fulfilling ways to get exercise.
Although exercise is a major benefit of Caribbean dance flavor, the real focus is on the night club. Salsa clubs often host several Bachata dances, nights, and features each month. In South Florida, there are several Bachata dance clubs popping up. As Bachata increases in popularity, dancers who understand the ins-and-outs of the dance will be in demand to say the least.
Get ahead on the newest dance craze and perfect the sexy, gyrating Caribbean dance that is Bachata.