Bachata is known as a genre of popular music that was born in the Dominican Republic and later expanded to many countries. Bachata combines merengue, son, bolero and other styles.
Musical instruments such as the güira (an idiophone), the bongó (membranophone), the guitar and the bass are used for the performance of bachata. Thanks to its rhythm, bachata is considered a danceable genre.
The etymological origin of the word bachata is in Africa. At the beginning of the 20th century, the notion was used in some Central American and Caribbean countries to name a party or a party. Over the years, in the Dominican Republic the expression began to be used to name a musical genre that emerged in poor urban areas from the combination of different styles.
Due to his recordings of 1962, José Manuel Calderón is considered the first musician to record bachata songs on an album. Other pioneers of the genre were Tommy Figueroa and Rafael Encarnación. Among the most popular bachata performers in recent years, we can mention Juan Luis Guerra, Romeo Santos and Prince Royce, who have sold thousands of albums and made very successful international tours.
The bachata dance is made up of simple steps that take the dancer from one side to the other or from front to back. As for the bachata lyrics, they stand out for their nostalgia and melancholy. For this reason, as a social expression, it is associated with tango.
Tips for learning to dance bachata
Since bachata is a dance with a certain touch of sensuality, its movements should be colorful but soft and passionate. One of its main features is that a basic version can be learned, ideal for the less skilled, but there is also a large space for experts to use their creativity freely.
The first tip for beginners is to get carried away by the rhythm to learn basic bachata without the need to take classes. Like salsa, this music is divided into eight beats, four per measure. The fundamental movement of dance is to move to the left, wait for a measure to pass, and then move to the right. Although purists despise electronic bachata, this modern version can be useful for getting started because its synthetic percussion makes the perception of rhythm easier.
By taking up the division of each measure into four beats, we can begin to add a bit of complexity to our steps. It is recommended to recognize each time and count them mentally. We can then decide to step to the left with the left foot on beat one, then follow it with the right on beat two, repeat the movement of the left foot on beat three, and lift the right slightly on beat four.
This movement of the right foot involuntarily results in a slight elevation of the hips, and this should serve as a starting point to get them to move them voluntarily by making an undulating and continuous pattern, something essential to dance bachata with ease and grace. Having come this far, it is advisable to repeat everything learned in the opposite direction, and then continue for a while until both the feet and the hips adapt to the rhythm naturally.
Dancing as a couple is the next level for a complete and deep learning of bachata, not only for the technical issues that are added to the basic concepts, but also for the cultural ones. One of the most difficult lessons is to accept a “no” with dignity and without feeling humiliated; Similarly, if we are invited to dance and we don’t want to, we should be polite and kind.