Bachata a hot Latin dance of (unrequited) love


The Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. It was so widespread that it changed based on where it was being danced.

For the most part, it is a three-step dance with a Cuban hip motion. When dancing it as partners, the lead can decide if the dance is done open (apart from each other) or in a semi-closed position. The dance and the chemistry of the dance depend heavily on the music.

The Bachata music is straightforward but the words are about bitterness, like the men leaving the women in pain and heartbreak, about someone cheating or someone losing someone. Always very sad. So the dance reflects how you let off steam and cope with the situation.

I was introduced to Bachata for the first time in Puerto Rico. I had not seen it before and was surprised how intimate and romantic it was. I loved the music right away, because it seemed danceable and easy to pick up.

Bachata, like salsa, is a social dance, which makes it easy for people to learn and do. Teaching it is fairly effortless, because the rhythm and the basic elements are so simple. Because it is so easy to learn, Bachata is now becoming as popular, if not more so, than salsa. More steps are being developed, there are more variations and combinations, and more Bachata music is being produced. This dance is very interactive.

The modern Bachata is also infused with other dance styles like Salsa Bachata and Tango Bachata and is being danced around the world and implanted with many other styles.

Bachata is also now part of the competitive ballroom dance world, and more people are taking it to a higher level.

Although traditional Bachata is unique in itself, it will be interesting to see where the world takes the Bachata in the future.

Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom.

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