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.
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
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.