Dance the Bachata at Arthur Murray Dance Studios!
The Bachata originates from the Dominican Republic. It made its way around the globe, gaining influence from other Latin dances, like Salsa and Merengue, and from Western and European dance styles. Today it is considered a “fusion-style” dance and is not danced identically in any two places. However, its colorful roots are the foundation of every style and are mirrored in its always sensual motions. Bachata is a more intimate and close dance, with movements that are intentionally romantic with the person you dance with.
Though its reputation is sometimes steamy and exotic, you will quickly learn there is nothing embarrassing about these movements. Arthur Murray dance instructors encourage appreciation and comfort for all dance styles, because every dance holds a unique expression of our past. Bachata’s music is about bitterness, pain, a lost love, or unfaithfulness in a relationship. It was always very sad. The way it is danced reflects how couples let off steam: how do we cope? We cope through dancing. Deemed a favorite dance for many professional and recreational dancers, Bachata’s popularity cannot be denied.
The Bachata Defined
The authentic Bachata, from the Dominican Republic, is a box-step dance with a sequence of 8 counts. Western influence kept the same 8 counts, but altered the basic step with a side-to-side motion. The fusion-style of Bachata developed in the United States, Europe and Australia combines any or all of the Traditional, Modern, Urban, Bachatango, and Bachaballroom styles.
Steps one through three are a step-together-step, followed by a tap on count four. Changing direction, dancers repeat the step-together-step for counts five thru seven, and tap on the eight count. The tap on the four and eight count can include a slight or exaggerated “pop” movement with the hips, depending on the dancer’s style. With each Bachata step, the dancer’s hips mimic a figure-eight design. It is important to keep knees slightly bent to ease the sway of the hips. When you dance Bachata, the music follows the same 8-count pattern and the rhythm accents every fourth count, which is a good indication of when to “pop.” The tap and pop indicate which direction the next steps will go.
As a partner dance, the leader decides whether to perform in an open, semi-closed or closed position. The leader communicates with “pushing and pulling” hand gestures. The performance variations depend on the music, venue, mood, and interpretation.
History of the Bachata
Bachata dance developed with its accompanying music genre, also called Bachata. The first Bachata music recordings were created immediately after the 1961 assassination of Dominican Republic’s 31-year dictator, Rafael Trujillo, who had repressed Bachata because its social stigma was that of poor, rural and uneducated citizens. In the wake of his death, national pride gave birth to the Dominican music and dance industry that would eventually dominate the island. Like the period it came from, Bachata music and dance often tell a tale of heartbreak and sadness. The authentic Bachata was danced only closed, like the bolero, in a close embrace.
In the 1970’s, Bachata music was seldom broadcasted and was banned from high society venues. Bachateros appeared solely in bars and brothels, mostly in the poor, countryside neighborhoods. Thus, the music and dance were influenced by their surroundings: sex, desolation and corruption. The Dominican upper class considered it vulgar and crude. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that Bachata took on a more dance-hall sound with increased tempos, punchier guitar notes, and call and response singing.
Bachata gained popularity as more radio stations caught on to the upbeat rhythm. By the 1990’s, Bachata modernized further and emerged internationally as a music and dance for Latin dance halls. Dancers and dance schools adopted the Bachata and modified the box-step pattern to a side-to-side pattern. In 1992, Juan Luis Guerra won a Grammy for his Bachata Roja, which legitimized the genre and made it more widely acceptable.
How do We Teach Bachata?
Not only is Bachata fun, it is easy to learn. You can call today and you will be dancing tonight. Your first lesson is only $20, so take the first step and call to get on our schedule. Arthur Murray Dance Studios are open Monday thru Friday from 1pm-10pm.
Learning Bachata, we begin by getting a feel for the rhythm and beat, and the basic steps that accompany them. Dancing at Arthur Murray, you will dance with different people and try different dance styles. Depending on your dance goals, our highly trained, passionate and pleasant instructors will tailor lessons for different skill levels. Our teachers go at your pace and never quit until you’re ready to hit the dance floor.
What to Expect from Arthur Murray Studios
At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we take a personalized approach to teaching dance. We put our students in touch with today’s most specially trained and certified instructors. Our instructors are excited to meet students and learn what they are looking for. What is unique about Arthur Murray’s quality of certification is not only their dancing, but their instruction. We want to help you become the confident dancer you envision. We make that a reality for every student that walks through the door, as long as they are willing to put in the work. We will take care of you.
Arthur Murray Dance Studios offer both private and group dance lessons. Our instructors are always into teaching the newest, best thing. When you walking into our studio at the end of a long day, we make you feel comfortable and excited to dance. Our positive atmosphere will make all the stresses of your day drain away. Not only that, dancing at Arthur Murray is an excellent way to get a workout and learn something new. It is physical and rhythmical. Put a little fun in your life: try dancing!
Try the Bachata Today!
With different additions constantly changing Bachata, the evolution is what keeps it around. Different cultures take it, master it and then infuse their own steps. With more and more people around the world learning Bachata and liking it, it is going to be interesting to see where this dance will go. It is always good to appreciate the tradition of dance, but also to remain open-minded and try out different styles.
At Arthur Murray Dance Studios, we do both. We teach and honor the original dances while encouraging individual styles and movements. We look forward to dancing with you!