How to get better at turning in BACHATA
Bachata basic turns are the most important things to get good at. Why? Because in a four-minute song, that’s the thing you’ll do the most with your partner.
All the other tricks and dips are fun to learn, but let’s focus on the right and left turns.
And so I want just to make it simple so that you can elevate your turns instantly. Practice this for a couple of minutes daily, and you will be one of the best dancers.
Tip one: Turn with your core
When my instructor told me to turn with my core, I asked, what is the core?.
He said it is difficult to explain, but I think it’s not. It simply means turning with your belly button, and I have a quick trick to turn with your belly button.
When practicing Bachata turns, twist with your belly button instead of leading with your feet.
An easy way to practice is to bring your feet together; tap with your left foot or your right foot. It doesn’t matter. But as soon as you turn to your left or right, let your belly button lead the way.
One quick way to understand the sequence of the movement is to think about your reaction when someone calls your name. First, you turn with your body, and then your feet come along.
The same sequence of movement applies to Bachata turns.
You’ll know you’re doing it right when it feels like the way you would turn around if someone calls your name.
And that’s how Bachata turn should feel.
Tip two: Don’t be late
The most common place where dancers have trouble keeping up with right turns is at the end because they are off balance.
The reason is that they’re not doing a deep quarter turn at the beginning.
A Bachata turn done right is a quarter turn, a quarter turn, a half turn, then a tap.
Usually, most dancers will step out with their left or right foot. Then they’ll start to turn on count two or three or count six or seven.
They do almost a quarter, but not really. So it should be a deep quarter twist.
Otherwise, as I always say, you’ll pay the price somewhere, which means being late or off balance.
So, let’s say you’re facing a wall or mirror. Bring your feet together and do that first initial turn.
Then make a deep quarter twist, a quarter turn, a half turn, and a tap. At the end of the turn, you should have end looking at yourself in the mirror again.
Tip 3: Look where you’re going
As they turn, most dancers look around the room instead of where they’re about to end up.
So instead, you want to turn your head over before your body arrives. So your body knows where it needs to end up.
Imagine it as if you’re driving. If you’re looking just in the front of your car, you can’t see what’s coming ahead. And so, to see what’s coming ahead, you need to turn your neck.
One easy way to practice this is to bring your feet together and stand in front of something super easy to spot: a TV, a mirror, anything.
And as you’re twisting and turning, turn your neck over by glancing your spot before your body turns that way. You’ll find that your turns get better.
Don’t let the fact that you might not be happy where you are as a dancer ever stop you from dancing.
Bachata has helped me feel more confident in my body, be more expressive, and slow down when I feel overwhelmed. Of course, you can experience that too.
Dancing is an eternal growth game. I’m still improving my basin steps and turns in Salsa and Bachata.
Keep practicing, and you will start noticing the difference soon.
But in the midtime, what’s more incredible than spending time with other people and having fun while you become the dancer you want to be.
Hopefully, I’ll see you soon on the dance floor.
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