I was the biggest dummy in Bachata. I was the slowest dancer in learning to pick up the steps, and my turns were always off. Even years later, when I started to perform, I had some of the worst Bachata performances as everything was hard for me. But, precisely because dancing was hard for me, I dedicated myself to learning all the hacks and tricks, some of which will be shared with you in this post.
I want you to know you are no dummy. Dancing is challenging but rewarding, and Bachata is one of the most beautiful tropical rhythms, so stick with it, practice and make sure to have fun.
Here are the top three tips for dancing Bachata smoother and better.
Tip one: Turn as if your shoelaces are tied.
I wish I knew this tip, simple and useful. Turn as if your shoelaces are tied means taking small steps when you do your turns. So, one way to think about it is to imagine I was to tie your shoes. So your feet can’t go too wide and as you twist and you turn in Bachata, it helps you keep your center of gravity closer to the ground. The wider the steps are, the further apart your legs are and the higher you tend to be on the floor. So taking tiny steps when turning is a critical hack for dancing Bachata better
Tip two: Make sure you don’t cheat on the tap.
Despite the importance of tapping, everybody forgets it. Three steps and TAP, repeat with me, three steps and TAP. Tap means no weight applied to the foot you are tapping with. Once you progress to the intermediate level, you will realize that it is not a tap, it’s a football change of a weight transfer so you press in, but that’s something you will experience more clearly once you have your basics covered. This is Bachata dancing for dummies, so to keep it simple, remember when you take three complete steps, you have to make sure to tap with your toes with maybe two percent of your weight on it. So you know which direction you got to go next. If you say out loud three steps and TAP as you drill it over and over, your body learns it faster. Try. It
Tip three: Don’t worry about the hip movement.
One of the most common mistakes dancers make when dancing is swinging their hips around. As leaders or followers, they tend to exaggerate it. Instead, I want you to think of learning Bachata initially, more like you’re doing Merengue, a two-beat in-the-spot dance.
Dance small steps like a robot statically where everything is the same every beat. I want you to realize that when you try to move or swing your hips, it’s usually, first of all, not the right way to move because hip movement is a byproduct of weight transfer. But more importantly, you’re adding an extra layer of complexity when you’ve just barely got your steps down. So stand your knee upright, slightly bent, take three steps and tap and don’t swing your hips.
I promise you the hip movement, the sexiness, and flow come with time. And if you take classes at our school, we talk about that. But for now just take it easy. Enjoy the dance.Have fun, and remember, you’re not a dummy for wanting to learn all these tricks. And many more that we teach in our school.
Hope to see someday on a dance floor.
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