Taking Bachata Lessons
“Most brand new dancers choose to learn Moderna style – the slotted, smooth style of Bachata made popular by Salsa dancers in North America.”
You went on that cruise (or to a resort in the DR) and you fell in love with that hypnotic rhythm and pure steam coming off the Bachata dance floor – you love that rhythmic guitar and the connection of two dancers sharing their own moment, completely absorbed in the music and each other. Now you’re back on Canadian soil and you’ve been in a Latin club, seeking out that same hypnotic music and while the night is mostly hard hitting Salsa tunes, finally you hear that telltale guitarra sound and you long to get on the dance floor…. but you find yourself executing the “1-2-3-tap” basic step on the side-lines, completely frozen to the spot and unable to ask someone to dance.
So, how do we get you off the side-lines and into the Bachata action?
It’s time for lessons.
With so many studios out there and different styles to choose from, where does a complete newbie start?
Most brand new dancers choose to learn Moderna style – the slotted, smooth style of Bachata made popular by Salsa dancers in North America. It is the most prevalent style in North America and a good place to start for basic Bachata steps and turn patterns. Eventually, when dancers become comfortable with Moderna style they might wish to diversify to another style like Dominican or Touch, which involves more footwork patterns and developing musicality.
Some dancers prefer to stick to one style for a long time; as with Salsa, it all comes down to personal preference.
Luckily, in Canada the Latin dance community is very diverse and you’ll find at least two or three styles of Bachata on pretty much any given Latin dance floor. The beauty of Bachata is that (unlike in Salsa) you can mix the styles – as you gain more experience and diversify your dance vocabulary, you will be able to “mix it up” by adding in Dominican style footwork patterns when you feel like it.
No matter which style you choose it’s important to stick to that style until you’re very comfortable with the fundamentals of timing, body rhythm and foundation move execution before considering “switching” styles (if you want to). Like any new skill it’s always best to focus your efforts into developing muscle memory in one discipline before moving on to another.
Once you embark on lessons be ready to commit time and energy to learning how to dance – in general it takes a complete newbie (i.e., someone with little or no dance experience) about 6 months of actively taking lessons and going out and practicing at least twice a week to get to a point where pattern execution starts to feel “natural”.
I can’t wait to welcome you to our big family, have you coming in 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].