Bachata Classes: Three Things I Wish I Was Told Before I Started
When I first started dancing I started with Salsa. Bachata was just a side note. Honestly, I was intimidated. When I watched Bachata dancers they were so close, so smooth and so sensual. It looked very intimate. I felt uncomfortable and it didn’t really match my personality. Really, it was more a reflection that I still wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. As I started to dance more and started to go social dancing, I became more comfortable. But it took almost a decade before I was truly comfortable with Bachata in a genuine, authentic way.
So here are three things I wish I was told before starting Bachata. It would have been more fun and I would have explored Bachata earlier.
All Connection is Good Connection
Recently, Bachata has gained a reputation for being extremely sensual. People are pressing against each other, doing body waves and it looks very intimate. It’s beautiful but that is just one small part of Bachata. When I started to take Bachata classes, I felt intimidated by the closeness. I’ve had students call me and ask, “Hey, I’m in a relationship. I’m taking Bachata on my own, but I don’t feel that connection with people other than my partner. Can I still learn it?”
The answer is of course and that connection isn’t sensual. Sensuality is a small part of connection but it isn’t the only type of connection you can have. What I love most about Bachata is that the beat is slow, and the music is smooth, beautiful, relaxing, calming and sexy. You build connection during the four minutes of a Bachata song by slowing down with a partner and ebbing and flowing to the music, no matter how physically close you are.
At Toronto Dance Salsa, we teach modern style Bachata because that’s the Bachata that everybody dances. When you are vibing with someone and you feel good and safe, then you can get closer. The connection and closeness you build simply becomes an extension of how you feel with your partner.
Basics are More Important than Tricks.
When I was admiring all the cool Bachateros and Bachateras, I kept seeing all these crazy, fancy moves. Once I joined them, I realized about 70 or 80% of the moves they do are just basics and turns. You will usually use only four or five tricks in any song. So focus on your foundation, focus on your basics. Can you keep the beat? Are you consistently tapping on the correct count?
I wish I was told that it’s not about the tricks when taking Bachata Classes. You don’t have to know the newest, coolest dip or neck roll in order to feel confident. Really it is just you and another person vibing together. You are not trying to impress the other person with your tricks – you are trying to build a connection.
Build Your Community
The Bachata community is very different from the Salsa community. It is hard to explain. Even if you start dancing Salsa and then do Bachata, something shifts in you. It’s much more about hanging out before and after the socials or classes and grabbing some drinks and some food. I wish I was told that the Bachata world gets better and brighter the more you allow yourself to open up.
My advice is that if you want to have a better time in Bachata, come out of your comfort zone. Exchange phone numbers, create WhatsApp groups, Facebook groups, Instagram groups or whatever and build your community. For me, some of the best parts of Bachata aren’t always on the dance floor. It is off the dance floor with the people that have become my friends and my family.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in week to week, having fun, socializing, and letting loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodanceSalsa), on Twitter (#torontodanceSalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].