Intro to Bachata

Hey peeps! I wrote this short intro article on Bachata, cos personally Bachata is a dance that is very close to my heart. And I just wanted to share this with anyone who’s wondering what Bachata is all about. ;)

Bachata music comprises mainly the guitar, accompanied usually by other instruments such as claves or bongo drums. The end result is usually a very catchy and danceable tune. It is very easy to identify a Bachata song. Other than the distinctive strumming of the guitar, the music is in counts of 4. Bachata music also has an overall romantic feel to it. This is not surprising, since many of the songs speak of romance and heartbreak (According to a Puerto Rican friend who translated some of the songs for me).

Bachata originated in the 1960s in the Dominican Republic and did not have a very prestigious start. Since it came from the rural areas and countryside, Bachata was usually associated with poor rural migrants residing in urban shantytowns and negative cultural value implying rural backwardness and vulgarity. However over the years, that negative association faded, replaced by one that depicted fun, merriment, get-togethers and romance.

This popular partner dance is probably familiar to Salsa and Merengue dancers. Even in Singapore, one can hear a number of Bachata songs being played in Union Square every night. Bachata can be danced with an open hold or in an embrace. There are no complicated steps or turns in Bachata, just that dancers need to synchronize their body movements, if not they would look like they are struggling with each other. There is some degree of intimacy involved in the embrace, since the lady has to stand with her legs in between the man. Therefore, unless the ladies are comfortable doing the embrace, I would recommend that the guys stick to the open hold.

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