Well, that’s a complicated answer. The short answer is no. The long answer is anything can be cheating because when you’re in a relationship that you might not want to be in, I think you can use anything and everything as a form of escape from the person that you’re with. But I’ll just talk about my own experience.

When I first started social dancing, I was in a relationship. I was engaged, and when we first started dating, my partner said she felt uncomfortable, how close people were dancing Bachata with others. And so I told her, no problem. You know what? If we dance Bachata, we can just dance Bachata, not close with others and then close with each other.

The irony was as she started to dance and became obsessed with it. She kept dancing close with others in Bachata, and I was the one who had a problem with that instead of her.

The reality is that I was insecure, and I just would not feel comfortable with other guys around my partner, so here’s what I think. Suppose you are in a relationship with someone who is not a dancer. In that case, it just comes down to can they be a cheerleader for you and have the conversation of what they’re comfortable with and what you’re willing to trade-off to do the thing that you’re passionate about?

If you’re both dancers, this tends to be an easier conversation. For example, I run a dance school, so whenever I’m dancing with anyone but my partner, I keep apart out of respect for her, my students and the community, and I think that’s just a general rule of thumb that is good for anyone.

I think there is a misconception that Bachata is a super intimate dance. I think it’s like anything.  You can have a super personal conversation with someone; that conversation may be on the borderline of emotional cheating. Ultimately it’s just working on being in a healthy relationship, not only with your partner but with yourself and pursuing the things that make you happy.

If you’re in a relationship with someone who’s not a dancer and they feel insecure and uncomfortable, One of the essential things is listening to them and understanding them.

Personally, when I get into a new relationship with a dancer,  I  have this conversation. I say, hey baby, you know, I had this problem before where I would get jealous if my partner was dancing too close with someone else. I know this is something I haven’t fully worked through, and I need your help. I am fine with you dancing with anyone, as long as you’re not grinding against another partner. If we save that level of intimacy for each other, this relationship could work.

And in that conversation, as I would have with someone, it’s me being honest, vulnerable, taking responsibility, and asking for help. In the end, I believe communication is the most crucial thing and is the key to any relationship. So really, ultimately, no Bachata isn’t cheating.

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