We decided to write a series of short articles about the different genres of ballroom dancing, elaborating about each genre’s style and character.
We can compare the variety of dance genres to the different shades of color, together they all make a bright white light, but they also stand alone. Ballroom dancing is quite the same, in the way that they all contain their own unique advantages, but the positive outcome will be almost identical. The way to get there is just slightly different in the way of expression. Now all that’s left is to choose the right color, meaning, the right dance style, for us.
Today we are dancing Bachata
Bachata came to us from the Carribean islands in general, and more specifically, from the Dominican Republic.
Assuming for one minute this is all we know about the dance, how would we imagine it to look and sound like? Close your eyes for just one moment. Well, when I’m doing it I imagen a bright blue ocean, coconuts hanging from palm trees, pineapples, African motives in the music, heat, closeness, joy, sensuality, hip movements, hugging, waving hair blowing in the wind, and steps coordinating smoothly to the sound of excellent drum play. Excellent.
Now put all the flavors, the sights, the smells, the sounds, and the voices in a blender and – Vuala! We get a magnificent latin dance. True, this description can apply to a few more Carribean or even Brasilian dance styles, however here, like in every winning recipe, we must consider the seasoning. In this case, let us add the following ingredients: Round, soft, and wavy melody, round and elastic movement, and a slight band in the knees. Mix them all up and there we have it, Bachata.
Bachata is one of the most flowing and soft latin dances. It is characterized mainly by round and wavy hip movements and round and large hand movements, mainly of the follower. It is often danced Solo, in an open embrace or a very close one, so close it can often seem like the dancers have emerged into one single body.
Like in every dance, the deeper we get to know it, we discover how complex, fascinating and layered it can be. We learn the different components of it, such as learning how to separate our different body parts in a manner that matches the melody, how to build counterbalance, stability, balance, and the understanding the importance of the connection between our body and the floor.
On the other hand, it is relatively simple to start learning Bachata. The basic steps are “user friendly”, allowing the student to quickly master an impressive movement-knowledge arsenal. Our nervous system learns quickly how to repeat the first steps and turns, soon enough you’ll feel comfortable moving on the dance floor to the sound of a soft, flowy and enjoyable Latine music. All these facts make Bachata an excellent dance style to start your journey of ballroom dancing.
What else can Bachata help us achieve? Like every couple dance…
Building our self confidence and deepening the inner connection to ourselves, finding qualities who often hide so deep within we never even knew they existed. Developing communication skills and the understanding of our dancing partner, along with the ability to understand the meaning of a respectful mutual space and communicating with the most important language in nature: Body language. These are skills that when converted to our daily lives – are the most precious skills we can acquire and apply in every field of our lives.
These qualities and more, both obvious and hidden, made Bachata into one of the more popular dances of our time on the dancefloor of the latin dance club.