Learn to Dance Bachata – Start Today!

Thinking about going to a Latin club to dance? If the answer is, “Yes!”, then it’s time to learn to dance Bachata. But first, you need to know a little about why you should learn it.

When you talk about social dancing, Latin dancing is one of the most popular styles. And, when it comes to Latin dancing, Salsa reigns supreme as the most famous of the Latin dances. However, if you’re going to a Latin club, you’ll want to be able to do more than just one style of dance. Believe me, with music this good, you’ll go nuts if you have to sit dances out. So, what dances will you be doing? Of course, Salsa and Merengue, but you need to learn to dance Bachata to guarantee a good night of dancing.

We touched on Salsa in the Dance Safari post, “Dance Salsa” and learned about Merengue in “Fun Easy Dance to Learn – Merengue!”.   Finally, it’s time to get an introduction to Bachata dancing.

What’s it like to learn to dance Bachata?

Bachata dancing is fun, sexy, and full of sensual movement. Some people learn to dance Bachata very quickly, others are slightly challenged. As a Bachata dance beginner, the important thing is to get started with some lessons. How you learn this dance is up to you. Whether you take private lessons, group classes, or video instruction, the basics will always be the same.

What about the music?

Your first task is to learn to identify the music. Because the Bachata sound is very distinct, you’ll want to get familiar with it. For some examples, Google “Bachata music” and listen to Romeo Santos here. To begin with, listen for the 8 beats of music and practice counting it out. The next step is to find the heavy accent on the “1” beat and a lighter accent on the “5”. The music may be fast or slow, but it is always very rhythmical. As a result, you’ll find it hard to sit still when you hear it.

How do we hold each other?

In this introduction to Bachata, you’ll learn how to hold your partner. The leader and follower will set up facing each other.  To achieve a good dance hold, the man’s right hand is placed just below the lady’s left shoulder blade. The lady will put her left hand on his upper right arm.  At this point, the man’s left hand will clasp lady’s right hand, palms together, at the lady’s eye level. An alternative hold will be to stand in a more open position and hold each other’s hands like this.

learn to dance bachata
Bachata dancing with two-hand hold.

And, the basic step?

No introduction to Bachata is complete without the basic step. The leader begins with his left foot; the follower with her right. The basic movement will involve stepping on 1, 2, 3 and tapping the foot with no weight on 4.  At this point, we step on 5, 6, 7, tap on 8 and repeat from 1. This pattern can be done going side to side, forward and back, in place, or rotating left and right. Click here to view a video group class.

Is that all there is to it?

Bachata is a popular and friendly dance, but there are a number of steamy, provocative Bachata styles as well. We’ll cover them in another post. But, please remember whatever style you’re dancing begins with the basics listed above. Find a beginners class and get going. You won’t regret it!

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