Bachata Dance Styles

You are looking to learn Bachata, maybe you have seen a video, and not sure where to start. Good news, we are here to break down for you the 3 most Bachata Dance Styles. We are going to break this down in order of popularity and what you will see most on the dance floor.

Modern/Moderna style (2005)

Modern Bachata is the style you will see most around the world. It is most known for its slotted style of dancing. Modern-style Bachata figures emphasize the use of “the slot” (like in Salsa) but also incorporate circular figures that allow couples to travel and use more dance floor space. This style puts a larger emphasis on upper body (ribcage) movement on counts 1-2-3, while keeping the signature “hip pop” on count 4.

Distinguishing characteristics of Moderna style Bachata are the use of many turn patterns (similar to salsa turn patterns). There is much more body movements, isolations and arm styling for ladies, which is not common in the Dominican or Western Traditional styles of Bachata.

Dominican Bachata

This is the original style of Bachata. The basic step moves within a small dance space (a square) with syncopated steps to express the music (guitarra). Embraces in Dominican style bachata vary greatly from Cuban style open hand hold to a very tight closed embrace, depending on the dancer’s mood, familiarity with their partner, and nature of the song they are dancing to.

Distinguishing characteristics of Dominican style is footwork – playful syncopated steps – and strong hip movements on all counts (not just on the 4th or tap step). Dominican style, which we know today, is the style that experienced Bachata dancers will use for the faster, more “punchier” Bachata music. Strong percussive beats and guitarra lines lend themselves to the strong, syncopated style of Dominican footwork.

Sensual Bachata

Sensual Bachata developed as an offshoot of Modern style. By its name, it takes inspiration from Zouk, Hip Hop, and focuses more on musicality in intimate ways. It’s not as common and popular as the other too because in part of it being new but also the level of comfort you need to have with someone.

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