As someone that has danced the Bachata, I can attest to how encapsulating and rapturous the dance can be hence the excitement surrounding it.
But what exactly is Bachata? Where did it originate from and more importantly, what is the essence and purpose of Bachata?
Bachata is a form of social dance that originated in the Dominican Republic and it was a popular dance at social gatherings, parties, and celebrations. The music used in Bachata tends to be a mixture of upbeat mellowness with a tinge of grooviness in it and it is undeniably catchy.
Bachata's sensual dance form is unmistakable and it stands out vividly from other close relatives, such as Salsa and Kizomba.
Bachata nudges someone to unconsciously explore and discover themselves on the dance floor with the aid of another human being that goes through the exact same process of self-awareness and discovery. And the process is uncomfortable at the start and with persistence, practice, and self-awareness, one is able to eventually melt into the dance form and let it guide them.
All of this might sound esoteric but it is evident if one has witnessed excellent Bachata dances in person. More than the complex moves that might be executed, the deep, intuitive connection that both partners share allows them to dance at a level where other people cannot help but be enamored.
At the fundamental core level, Bachata pushes the message of connection and it is a message that is much needed in this era where dis-connection seems to be the norm. In an era where loneliness is becoming more prevalent as people live their lives through digital gadgets, Bachata serves as a messenger to remind us about the simple albeit overlooked power of human connection.
To dance it normally, one only needs to know the basic moves which are relatively simple to pick up and one can have a blast on the dance floor.
Trying to decode the essence of Bachata by observing the mechanics of its dance is futile. What moves Bachata and makes it such a powerful form of dance is the importance it places on connection and trust between two people, often times strangers.
There is a lead and a follower role in bachata, where one dancer literally leads the dance while another goes along with it. Now, this is a simple breakdown and although it might sound simple, it is far from easy in reality.
- An exemplary lead has to have a solid connection with his follower and he is able to read multiple things about her at once, for example, body language, eye contact, level of comfort, and confidence.
- The lead then has to carry the dance in a form whereby both dancers are comfortable and confident in their abilities as opposed to trying to execute advanced moves with a follower whose still not fully sure.
The dance form is rather simple, yet the human dynamics that govern it are what give Bachata its purpose and direction. To be able to trust and surrender takes a good deal of mental and emotional awareness as well as self-confidence.
There are numerous psychological research studies that demonstrate the power of the human touch and how it has the ability to affect someone on many levels.
Chief among those is the power to trigger an uplifting emotional boost with a simple touch. And Bachata is undoubtedly a sensual dance where both partners dance in close proximity where their legs and bodies rubbing against one another. Although they might be strangers, it changes their emotional state.
That is the other beauty of Bachata. It fosters connection on various levels, from connecting with strangers to helping deepen romantic relationships.
It is hard to describe in words and has to be experienced through the dance itself. We also cover on learning tap dancing at home.