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 the Bachata. But first, here’s why you need it.

When you talk about social dancing, Latin dancing is one of the most popular styles. And, 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 type 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 for a night of great dancing, you need to learn to dance the Bachata, too.

What’s it like to learn to dance the Bachata?

Bachata dancing is fun, sexy, and full of sensual movement. Some people learn to dance the Bachata very quickly, others find it a bit more challenging.

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.

learn to dance bachata

What about the music?

Your first task is to learn to identify the music that’s being played at the Latin clubs. Because the Bachata sound is very distinctive, you’ll want to get familiar with it. For some examples, Google “Bachata music” or listen to Romeo Santos here. Also, enjoy this Dance Safari post, “Bachata Musicians and Dancers to Enjoy Today“.

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?

When you learn to dance the Bachata, you’ll be taught how to hold your partner. The leader and follower will set up facing each other.  To achieve a good dance hold, the leader’s right hand is placed just below the follower’s left shoulder blade. The follower will put the left hand on the leader’s right arm.  At this point, the leader’s left hand will clasp the follower’s right hand, palms together. An alternative position is to face each other using a two-hand hold, like this.

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

Be sure to learn the basic steps of Bachata before you go to a Latin club.

The leader begins with the left foot; the follower with the 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 watch a video of a group class.

Is that all there is to it?

In and out of Latin clubs, Bachata is a popular and friendly dance, but there are a number of steamy, more provocative Bachata styles as well. We’ll cover them in another post. But, please remember they all begin with the basics listed above. Find a beginner’s class and get going. You won’t regret it!

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