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Bachata, Dominican

Updated on March 23, 2013
Bachata | Source
Bachata | Source

Bachata is a style of dancing that is very popular throughout the Latin American countries. Bachata dancing originated in the Dominican Republic in the early 20th century. It soon spread throughout the Latin World and beyond. I live in Colombia and bachata is very popular here. I learned to dance bachata when I was living in the Dominican Republic. It is a more romantic dance that is danced to music with more romantic themes. It is a very beautiful dance. It is more difficult to learn than merenge, but it can be mastered with some determination and practicing.

In the 1960's the bachata really dominated the dancing scene in the Dominican Republic, only to be censored in the 1970's. The reason for its censorship was that it was associated with sex and criminal activities. I have a hard time imagining the Dominicans being so puritanical. But in the 1980's the bachata came roaring back as popular as ever. During its censorship, it was only danced in brothels and bars in very poor neighborhoods. If I remember correctly that was almost all of the country. In spite of its censorship the bachata remained very popular. For me, bachata is my favorite dance.

There are a number of performers that helped to make the bachata style of dancing very popular. There was my favorite, Frank Reyes, known as the Prince of Bachata. Aventura, an extremely popular group is known as the King of Bachata. If one looks for songs by Aventura in youtube, one will be amazed by the number of views he has had. Another favorite of mine is Antony Santos. The King of Bachata was an artist called Romeo Santos. There are many excellent bachata artists, but these are my favorites.

The Dominican Republic has been the epicenter for some immensely popular dance styles. The bachata and the merenge originated there. The Dominican people are all about dancing and music. The children learn to dance at a very early age. The dance skills that some of these Dominicans develop over the years is incredible. I was married to a Dominican, and she and her brother were the best bachata dancers that I had ever seen. Dancing seems to be an innate talent with the Dominicans.


The bachata dance steps are fairly simple. The hardest part to master is the hip movement that accompanies the dance. It all has to be done in a fluid motion. The basic step is 3 steps and a fourth hip movement on the 4th beat. The beauty of this dance is the hip movement. Women seem to master the hip movement much better than the men. The bachata is a dance that is very heavily taught at the all inclusive resorts in the DR. My bachata training was in Punta Cana at the Breezes resort of Bavaro. That was a magical place to learn bachata.

I would recommend anyone who would like to master the bachata, to take a trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and spend a week in an all inclusive resort. After starting the learning process, then dance around the country for a while. If you don't have the time for that, then view this excellent video that was made in the Dominican Republic. I highly recommend this video as a learning tool. Next download some bachata music from Frank Reyes and Aventura.

Now that you have some of the basics firmly in mind, I want you to view a video of a couple from the Dominican Republic doing the Bachata. It is called the best bachata ever. I prefer a more traditional style, but you have to see this couple dance. The guy has legs of rubber. Watch it and enjoy it.


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    • abrodech profile image

      Anya Brodech 4 years ago from 130 Linden St, Oakland, California, 94607

      I agree with you, the DR is one of the best places to dance bachata! I only had one bachata lesson here in Chicago before I went for a week long vacation to Punta Cana when I was 16 and ended up spending the whole week dancing around the hotel! It is important to note though that dominican bachata involves a lot more footwork and not so much "hug-dancing" as regular/more mainstream bachata

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 4 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      Thank you for the information -- the Bachata is a lot less well-known than the salsa dance. I like the historical notes you gave on the dance.