Three Things Every Bachata Dancer Must Know
Whether you are a Bachatero or Bachatatera (Leader or Follower), there are some things everyone must know. At Toronto Dance Salsa we teach these foundational Bachata moves and more. You can always find our current schedule to sign up for classes on our website. If you are not in the Toronto area, check out our YouTube Channel to learn more about the moves. So here are three things every Bachata dancer must know.
Beginners: Body Trails
In the second class of Bachata Level 1, we teach body trails. At the very basic level, these are the most important connection points. You start first with an open handhold in Bachata, move to a closed handhold, and then right into those sexy trails. The most basic trail that Leaders must learn is when turning to their left on counts 1,2,3 and 4 they place their followers’ hand on their stomach. One tip for every Follower is to make sure to never break contact with the trail. This helps the Leader know where you are when they have their back to you. So beginning Bachata dancers need to know body trails.
Intermediate: Natural Tops
Have you seen the movie Beauty and the Beast? Imagine the scene where they are in the large hall, dancing and spinning to a Waltz. That’s called a Natural top, where the Leader and Follower lean away during a Bachata song and use each other’s bodies as anchors and spin. We teach these variations in Bachata Level 2 and one big trick as you are learning is to keep your pelvis close and upper body leaned away. Imagine you create the letter V with your bodies. For intermediate Bachata dancers, you need to know how to do natural tops.
If you are at the advanced level, then musicality is the most important thing. Musicality is when a Leader and Follower react to the changes in the songs (vocals, instruments) and adjust their tempo, energy, and moves to the song. A simple way of thinking of it is to go on YouTube and watch a great hip-hop dancer. What are they doing? They are using their body to express the song lyrics and music. That is what you have to do in Bachata. In our school, we call that Bachata Musicality and it’s more important than any trick (like dips, neck rolls etc.). It takes a lifetime to master but every time you do it, you flow more and more. So advanced Bachata dancers need to learn and constantly improve their musicality.
Body trails, natural tops and musicality are my three top things that every Bachata dancer must know. There will always be more to learn and ways to improve. That is the beauty of dancing. So if you don’t master them instantly, don’t worry – you always #belong on the dance floor.
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