Bachata Dance Basics

I will be able to teach you Bachata Dance Basics – steps and turns in five minutes or less. The learning curve for Bachata is much easier and faster than it is for Salsa. So, if you are looking to learn Bachata very quickly, read on.

Bachata Dance Basics – The Steps

Start with your feet together. Take your left foot and take a small step out to the left. Bring your right foot in. Then take a small step out again with your left foot. This time, when you bring your right foot in, make sure it is a tap with your toes instead of a step. So your weight is on your left foot. After you’ve tapped with your right, you go back home to where you started. So you do the same thing except you step with your right foot, bring your left foot in, step again with your right foot and now tap with your left foot. That’s it – you have done eight beats and you have just completed a Bachata basic step!

There’s also your forward basic. Turn your body 10-20 degrees so your left shoulder is forward and you do the same thing. Start with your left and do three steps and a tap. Go back by starting with your right and do three steps and a tap. Angling your body ensures your feet don’t pass each other, so it makes it a bit easier. There are no angles in Bachata – everything is forward and back or side to side when you are learning basics. Think of it like an old-school joystick – no angles.

Put on some Bachata Music and practice by saying out loud “Three Steps And Tap.” Trust me. Three steps and tap is the beat of Bachata. So you say “Three”, and that’s your one count. “Steps” – that’s your two count. “And” that’s your three count. “Tap” is your four count. Keep repeating “three steps and tap” over and over and over. By verbalizing what you’re learning you will instantly get it. Congratulations you now know your Bachata Dance Basic Steps.

Bachata Dance Basics – The Turns

The easiest way to learn to turn is to bring your feet together and stand in front of something – a painting, a couch, a mirror – whatever. You’re gonna take your left hand, you’re gonna place it on your belly button – trust me! And then, what I want you to do is I want you to turn and keep turning as you move across the room to your left. You keep turning until you are facing the painting or couch or mirror or whatever again. It’s something we used to do as kids. You spin through your room. Congratulations! You have done a basic turn!

The only thing you have to remember is that in Bachata, all our basic turns at the beginning are travelling turns. We always travel. You place your left hand on your belly. This tells you to use your core. You twist a quarter turn to your left on one, do another quarter turn on two, a half turn to face back to your mirror or whatever and then a tap on four. The tap is always key.

One quick hack to making turns feel natural is don’t have your knees locked. Imagine you put on some skates and you’re about to go skating. You don’t lock your knees on the ice or you will be wobbly. Bachata (and Salsa) are the same. Bend your knees and dancing gets easier. You want to unlock your knees and have your butt slightly back as if you are leaning on an imaginary bar stool. Congratulations now you know Basic Bachata Dance Turns.

I hope this breakdown was helpful. I believe everybody can dance Bachata. You just need a positive environment, some people cheering you on and simple instructions. So I hope at some point I get to be one of your instructors and inspire you. I’ll see you where you #belong on the dance floor.

I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you come in every week, have fun, socialize, and let loose to amazing Latin songs. Click here for 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].