After an entire summer of attending Salsa nights at a local Manhattan club, I finally began to recognize both the music and dance moves associated with bachata. Needless to say, bachata become one of my favorite dance styles. The basic steps are not complicated, and once you master them, you have the ability to add your own flair.
Bachata is a style of dance and music that originated in the Dominican Republic. The dance is generally performed in a simple side-stepping motion now rather than a small square when it was first created in the 1960s. The dance consists of 3 steps and a tap step that is normally accompanied by a "pop" of the hips and can be danced in an open or closed position.
Just like many other dance forms, bachata has evolved over time. The style that is performed in the Dominican Republic is often referred to as "Dominican bachata." Bachata has gone through various fusions with other dances such as tango, salsa, and ballroom. The music that accompanies the dance has not really changed over the years. It still has the obvious "accent" (the bass)in the rhythm that falls on the fourth count. The only changes that may have occurred in the music is the tempo. Bachata started out as a slower, social dance but has since evolved into a quicker, flamboyant dance.
I really enjoy dancing bachata. It reminds me of contra dancing in some aspects because it is simple enough that beginners can quickly pick up the basic step yet allows those that have more experience to add their own flair. Bachata, can even be danced solo, although it is much more fun to perform with a partner. I, like many others that enjoy bachata, can't escape the urge to dance once I hear the musical "accent" of bachata come across the radio.