Bachata Dance: Three Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you just started Bachata dancing last week or have been dancing for years, there are three mistakes we should all avoid. I call this “How can I make sure people don’t avoid dancing with me?!” You might also call it Bachata etiquette. It took me a long time to learn some of these, so let me shorten your learning curve and get you out on the dance floor. 

Embrace Your Partner Properly

Remember your partner is there to dance with you, they are not your life preserver. The closed embrace should be like a hug – not like a waffle iron. Leaders, put your right arm around the follower’s ribcage like you are hugging her and relax your wrist and hand. Followers, gently rest your left elbow on your partner’s elbow to ensure a good connection. So if you avoid being clingy while Bachata dancing, you will be smoother and more confident.  

Be Respectful

The Bachata Dance community is amazingly welcoming but reputation matters. And you don’t want the reputation of being rough, creepy, or forceful. The most important thing is to start a dance in an open handhold and if you’re dancing with someone new (or barely know), stick to a spacious closed embrace (rather than just going for that chest-to-chest connection). Save the big dips, body waves and super sexy moves for people you know! Earn a good reputation and you will never be short of partners when you go out Bachata dancing. 


If you’re just starting to dance Bachata, concentrate on improving your fundamentals and body rhythm. Like any dances that include closed embraces (Argentine Tango and Kizomba are other examples), the beauty lies in the connection, not in how many moves you know. Enjoy the moment, friends!

So avoid the mistakes I made and learn to hold your partner properly, remember to be respectful and relax when dancing Bachata. Both you and your partner will have a great time. Click here for more tips on Dancing Bachata.

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