Start with the music first. You can visit our YouTube channel youtube.com/results?search_query=toronto+dance+salsa and there are playlists for both Salsa and bachata. Put on some music while you’re cooking, while you are meditating, whatever you are doing, put on some Salsa and put on some Bachata and listen. Ask yourself, which music am I vibing with?
Some people automatically love Bachata. Bachata is smoother, it’s sweeter, it’s slower when compared to Salsa. Salsa is high-energy. Once you listen to each if you are still not sure which to pick, here are three deciding factors for you.
- Are you in a rush? Salsa takes longer to master than Bachata. When I started in 2009, I started in Salsa Level 1 and I absolutely fell in love with it but it took a long time for me to feel confident and start going to nightclubs and social dancing. In part, that is due to me being shy and anxious, but there is a longer learning curve to Salsa. So if you are looking for that quick fix and think “hey, I’m going on vacation in a month or two and I want to pick up some Latin dancing,” then Bachata is definitely the one you want to start with. Bachata is rhythmically even, while Salsa has quick, quick, slow, so Bachata is easier to pick up. Bachata also doesn’t rely on knowing as many dance moves compared with Salsa. So if you are in a rush pick Bachata.
- Do you like the beach or do you prefer to drive on a highway? When you take Salsa classes it feels like you’re on the Autobahn. Everything is coming fast. It’s exciting with a group of friends and a fast car and you are racing. I fell in love with Salsa for that reason. I had so much energy to burn. You definitely burn more calories dancing Salsa. Bachata is like being on a beach with friends. The sun is setting, there is a bonfire, the vibe is mellow. It’s playful but you are never in a rush with Bachata. So if you need some excitement in your life and driving on the Autobahn sounds perfect, pick Salsa. If you need to relax and unwind and the beach sounds perfect for you, pick Bachata.
- How close do you want to get? In general, Bachata is a much closer and more intimate dance. There are many different styles of Bachata. At Toronto Dance Salsa we teach Modern Bachata, but there’s also Sensual Bachata which is even closer. In Salsa, you tend to have more space between you and your partner.
If you sign up for Salsa Level 1 Nightclub at Toronto Dance Salsa it is a nine-hour class usually done over nine weeks. In the class, we do one hour of Merengue, one hour of Bachata and then seven hours of Salsa. We believe when you go to a nightclub you should never be sitting down because a different kind of song is playing. My biggest regret from when I started to dance in 2009 was that I obsessed over Salsa and I gave no love to Bachata. I wish I had done both at the same time.
Ultimately, my advice is to learn both. Why pick just one? Both dances are incredible. Each one has a different feel to it, a different personality, and a different community you get to tap into. Why limit yourself? We have many students that sign up for Salsa Level 1 and Bachata Level 1 in the same session.
So pick one or ideally pick both Salsa and Bachata, and I will see you in the place you #belong – on the dance floor.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in a week to week, having fun, connecting with new friends, and letting lose to amazing Latin songs. Click here to check our current schedule.
If you have any questions you would like me to answer here are some ways you can contact me: message me on Instagram (torontodancesalsa), on Twitter (#torontodancesalsa), on Facebook (Toronto Dance Salsa) or email me at [email protected].