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Latin Social Dance - Bachata

Bachata is style of music that features vocals and guitar. It is a style that finds its origins among the poor of the Dominican Republic. While only moderately successful for several decades, it has seen a resurgence of popularity in recent years

here are a number of distinctive types of Bachata. eg: bachata-bolero, cabaret bachata, sexual double entendre bachata, tecno-bachata, frontier bachata, romantic bachata, the New York School and vallenato and bachata

Bachata dance consists of certain simple steps that create a back and forth as well as a sideway motion. Salsa and Merengue are dance styles that have been known to be similar to Bachata but the three are quite different. It incorporates different steps, patterns, timings, movement on dance floor, attitude, dress codes, preference of turns and moves etc. Circular and sideway motions are possible; and there can be variation in choreography. The dance patterns of Salsa, Merengue and Bachata are alike but there are slight moves and patterns which differentiate the three.
Bachata is a form of music that emerged in the early 1960s as romantic guitar music, which is different from dancing guitar music. With time, Bachata’s rhythm was accelerated and a new dance step was initiated and thus, Bachata began to be classified as dance music..
he Bachata music has incorporated several changes and refined itself in its 40-plus years. Jose Manuel Calderon has been credited with the recording of the first Bachata single - Borracho de amor. This song is quite romantic and is closer to bolero.The advent of the electric guitar played a major role in making Bachata easier to get to. Although bolero remains the most significant influence, the two genres are quite distinguishable..
Bachata has been through a series of phases since its evolution The Bachata style of music was played by rural musicians and this made it synonymous with low quality; the musicians and the listeners were lowly looked upon and began to be referred as Bachatero. With time, the reputation of Bachata got worse.

Before the development of a Dominican recording industry and the spread of the mass media, guitar-based bands were almost indispensable for a variety of informal recreational events such as Sunday afternoon parties and spontaneous gatherings that took place in back yards, living rooms, or in the street that were known as bachatas. Dictionaries of Latin American Spanish define the term bachata as something which denotes fun, merriment, a good time, or a spree. However, in the Dominican Republic, in addition to the emotional quality of fun and enjoyment suggested by the dictionary definition, it referred specifically to get-togethers that included music, drink, and food. The deteriorating conditions of the Bachateros further degraded Bachata’s reputation. Although the instruments used for Bachata remained the same, the tempo accelerated and the lyrics started including drinking and womanizing. Consequently, Bachata became associated with unacceptable social elements like alcohol, violence, sex and the like.

The tempo is slow, typically 120 beats per minute. In some songs, the guitar melody is sad; in other songs merry.

The music is in 4/4 timing and is influenced by rumba and Son, while remaining of distinctive sound..
Bachata music has four beats per measure. Three steps are taken to four beats of music. As with salsa, the step timing is three steps and then a one-beat pause. The basic footwork pattern is three steps in one direction (side-close-side) and then a hip motion. Repeat going in the other direction. Some people call out the timing as "one, two, three, touch; one, two, three, touch." Some teachers call out the timing as, "one, two, three, lift; one, two, three, lift," while others call out the timing as, "one, two, three, bump; one, two, three, bump." The basic step is easy. As with all Latin dances, the hard part is getting the body action. Without the hip and body action, you are not dancing the bachata. Bend your knees and practice that hip bump!

Partners may walk sideways or circle each other, in small steps. They can switch to an open position and do separate turns without letting go each other's hands or momentarily releasing one hand. During these turns they may twist and tie their handhold into intricate pretzels. Other choreographies are possible.

Although the tempo of the music may be frenetic, the upper body is kept majestic and turns are slow, typically four beats/steps per complete turn.

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