I have been fortunate to be a Bachata instructor for a while now. Therefore, I can say that the most significant improvement you can make in Bachata if you want to become a skillful dancer will always come down to having a strong foundation. These tips might not be the sexiest, but they’re going to help you move in sexy, smooth and just amazing ways when you’re dancing Bachata on the dance floor.
So here are the top three tips on how to improve Bachata dancing.
Tip #1: Sit back.
One of the biggest mistakes at the beginning of my career was thinking that my weight should be on my toes when I’m dancing. Leaders and followers make this mistake because there is always energy and a continuous movement forward and back and side to side.
A good exercise to avoid falling into this habit is to sit down on a chair or a bar stool with your back straight. Your posture should be chest out open while shoulders are down as you’re sitting back. Get up off the chair from this position, remembering how your back sat. Then, as you are standing, bend your knees, slightly pull your butt down back, and lean back.
Now, go back and sit down on the chair and lean forward as if you’re on your cell phone. Can you feel the difference? You can probably note this is not the posture you need when dancing.
Go back to the first position and feel where your weight is. As you’re doing Bachata, your weight should be seated from the ball of your foot down to your heel instead of leaning forward placing your weight on your toes.
Tip #2: Quarter, quarter half then TAP.
The most underrated move in Bachata, is the single turn. So don’t miss this information because even advanced dancers still make mistakes when they do their turns.
Whenever you’re dancing Bachata, and you find that at the end you have to rush for your tap or you’re just making it on time, it’s because you don’t twist enough at the beginning of your turn.
Bring your feet together to start a Bachata turn. On count 1, either with your left foot as a leader, or right foot, as a follower, twist but make sure that your torso, your belly button, twists a quarter of the way. So think 90 degrees from where you are facing. Twist quarter turn, rotate another quarter turn and continue with a full half turn. Your exits for turns should always be on count 3 or 7, whereby you are tapping while already facing your partner.
This advice is the biggest hack because single turns are the most used move in Bachata and both leaders and followers need to know how to execute them. Single turns make Bachata unique, and you will feel great satisfaction when you get yours down.
Tip #3: Breathing relaxes.
It might not be the tip that you were expecting because there are so many more I can give, but it’s the one that I wish I knew. Bachata brings the feeling of being at the beach with friends; the sun is setting. There’s a bonfire. You know, there are some drinks and food. Everyone is having fun. There’s no work tomorrow, and no one rushes you.
Despite this is the mood Bachata transmits, whenever I would dance I would always be tense because I was focusing on getting the moves right. Of course, the relaxing feeling of Bachata doesn’t flow well when the body is tight. As a result, your moves don’t come out smoothly. But, the more I danced, the more relaxed I felt and taking a deep breath before I asked someone to dance helped me even further. This little ritual caused one out of every ten girls to ask If I had a long day, and I replied no, no. I’m just trying to remember to breathe. So breathe and relax because the more relaxed you are, the more you will flow and feel like you belong when you’re dancing Bachata.
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