In the Dominican Republic, bachata is a social dance from the countryside which was not a part of formal ballroom dancing… ‘bachata’ means to talk informally and romantically. But according to some sources it originally meant “to chat or speak casually” in Spanish.
Bachata began as a regional music and dance form. The dance itself is informal – where couples move around the floor with an emphasis on closeness and connection rather than formal patterns of steps.”
Types of Bachata dance
Today there are 2 main types of Bachata: Traditional bachata & modern bachata.
Traditional bachata is danced all over Latin America whereas modern bachata originated in DR (Dominican Republic). Both have different techniques.
In the Dominican Republic, Bachata is danced socially to modern bachata music and the dance style is the same as it was over 100 years ago. In most Latin American countries, they just have a social dance that is very similar to traditional bachata but with less showiness. Then there’s American Ballroom Bachata which has become popular in the USA in recent years…
It’s a mix of American smooth and Latin hip movements.
Since bachata is danced socially in clubs, bars and parties all over the world, to understand this beautiful dance style one must know its history. So let’s start from the beginning…
In the 19th century Dominican Republic, two types of music we’re playing in the countryside: Merengue and Son (also called “mambo” or “Sigiriya”). People think that Bachata derived from Merengue but after a closer look we can see that it actually evolved from Son – a very sensual type of song with 3 rhythm variations: slow-medium-fast which was very popular due to its earthy sounds full of drums, trombones,
How popular is bachata dance?
Bachata dance is extremely popular in Eastern Europe, South America and of course the Dominican Republic.
Some social dancers adore bachata because it’s very close and more connected than salsa since the hips do not move as quickly as they do during salsa dancing. That’s why beginners usually prefer to start with this type of dance.
Also, the Dominican Republic is a small country but people there live up to 150 years which means that they didn’t have much time to invent so many dances so bachata was simply adopted from African, Spanish and Taino culture…
Very few women can resist men who dance the Bachata well and know how to lead at the proper level 🙂 It is also said that those gentlemen look even better when dancing Merengue”, which is another type of Dominican dance.
Bachata got popular outside DR in the 1990s after famous artists like ‘’ Aventura ”, ”Prince Royce”, ”Don Omar” etc released their songs. So let’s say that was the time when people started travelling more and knowing more about different cultures so foreign countries began to notice this special type of dance.
It has also become very popular in Latin American countries where they play Son music (such as Cuba, Puerto Rico etc). Therefore bachata group lessons are gaining a lot of popularity there because it’s always better to learn how to dance traditional dances rather than some modern version if you want to travel or live abroad one day