How to dance bachata female
4 Basic Bachata Steps To Dance Any Song
As you should know bachata lives in the last years its golden age, as it has become one of the dances with more followers. A relatively easy dance for the beginners and where the most expert dancers have many possibilities to show their talents.
Emerged in the 1960s in the Dominican Republic as a transformation of the bolero to Antillean tastes, nowadays it is not missing in any dance hall or school with bachata lessons that boasts.
Its typical choreography was born in the 1990s, with two forms of bachata dancing:
- Dominican bachata: the couple usually dances with few figures and focusing on hip and foot movements.
- The urban bachata: the dancers get together and separate to be able to carry out different figures focusing the movements in the body.
For most experts, the main characteristic of bachata dancing is undoubtedly continuous hip movement, especially in the fourth beat (the rhythm of bachata has a four-beat beat, the dance of eight).
Bachata is a dance where personal style is fundamental. But what are the basic steps of bachata you should know to dance to any song?
#1. The basic step of bachata
The basic step of bachata, in fact, consists of three steps that are danced in the first three times and a touch with the sole of the foot that is performed in the fourth time.
When the sole of the foot touches the ground in the fourth period of time, the hip moves upward. A hip movement that is more marked in women than in men.
The basic step of bachata must be carried out in good style from the beginning of the learning process. A recommendation that is usually made to master it is to keep up with the music and keep your knees slightly bent. In this way, the movement of the hip will naturally arise.
#2. Turns in the bachata
One of the fundamental movements of bachata is the twists and turns. The most basic of all is the one in which the man raises his arm so that the woman can make a complete turn to the rhythm of the music. Then they both return to the normal dance without losing the rhythm.
The process of the twist in the man and woman would be as follows:
- The return of the man in the bachata
As she dances, she counts the times in her mind (1,2,3,4), and when she reaches the fourth beat, she begins to raise her leading arm (the extended arm) over the couple's head, starting to release the pressure of the other arm.
In beat 1 of the next measure, the pair will begin to turn by making a circle under the man's arm, gently holding onto the leading arm.
The turn will finish in time 3, so that in time 4 both the man and the woman are dancing in sync again.
The return of the woman in the bachata
In time 4, the (extended) leading arm of the man begins to rise. At that point, keep holding on to the leading arm, but remove the other arm from the partner's shoulder and move under the leading arm curve.
In beat 1, the woman turns in a circle under her main arm, trying to finish the turn in beat 3. The intention is to reach the normal dance position in beat 4 and start again together the steps in the opposite direction in beat 1.
Screw is a step of the bachata in which the girl passes in front of the boy. A position changed a little more complex than the previous ones, but without apparent difficulty.
In the coiling, the man advances and positions himself behind the woman. During the process, she will raise her left hand so that the woman can be placed in the screwed position.
In the course that the man passes behind the woman, she stays in the same place. This is how you get to the coiled position, with the man behind the woman.
#4. The waves of bachata
The waves are one of the main movements of sensual bachata. A dance that, as its name suggests, plays with the sensuality of the movements.
The wave is a very simple step to execute. You just have to step forward the body a little, climb up, lean back slightly and bring that tilt from the head down as if it were a wave that slides through the body.
The continuous repetition of the movement will be what makes us look like a wave.
As you have seen, the steps of bachata are not really very complicated or complex. But like everything else, it takes a lot of practice to be able to score and let yourself be guided to perfection.
Bachata is a dance in which people of all ages can participate and lately it sounds everywhere, so go ahead, sign up for bachata classes whatever your level. You'll have a great time!
Bachata Footwork: 9 Practical Tips for Quicker Feet
Share this article with somebody
Looking to improve your bachata footwork?
Bachata footwork might be fun and flavourful, but it can also be tough to do at speed. Fortunately, there are a few simple tricks that will allow you to dance quicker and with more control—and the best thing is, they’re easy to learn.
So, whether you want to hit all the beats in the instrumental mambo section, add stylish syncopations to your basic steps or simply keep up in your regular bachata classes, keep reading. This article will help you become a nimble-footed bachata dancer in nine steps. But first, let’s look at why you should polish your bachata footwork.
Why You Should Work on Your Bachata Footwork
It’s fun. In Spanish, bachata dancers don’t talk about footwork. Instead, they call it “a game of feet”, un juego de pies. This makes sense, because footwork is a chance to be playful and creative. Although it might seem intimidating at first, you’ll soon find yourself having fun with syncopations, slides and kicks.
You’ll develop your personal dance style. Want to look effortlessly cool while expressing your personality? Footwork will let you do that. And as you become more comfortable and confident with footwork, you’ll be able to combine it with hip, shoulder and arm movements for even greater style.
RELATED: How to Improve Your Arm Styling in Salsa & Bachata: 14 Tips
You can be more musical. You’ll be able to highlight what different instruments are doing, from the bass guitar to the güira. Bachata songs call for footwork, especially in the instrumental mambo section. And if you’re struggling to find the rhythm in traditional Dominican bachata songs, footwork classes will soon help you make sense of the different instruments.
Your dancing will become more varied. Want an easy way to expand your repertoire of moves? Take the basic step, and on the second half, add a syncopation on three-and-four. Then, in the next half-basic, switch the syncopation to two-and-three. Now, syncopate on one-and-two. Next, hit all the syncopations. Now dance to the bass guitar. All you’ve done is dance the basic for 24 counts, but each time, it’s looked different. And that’s without exploring all the ways you can vary your syncopated steps through taps, kicks, flairs, cross-overs and more.
You can enjoy dancing alone. Can’t find a partner for your favourite song? Listening to bachata music at home alone? Being comfortable with footwork means you can have just as much fun dancing solo.
Your dancing will become more polished, even when you’re not doing footwork. You’ll learn to dance with more control, musicality and style—and that will bleed over into all your dancing.
Convinced? Now let’s look at how to improve your speed and control when doing bachata footwork.
1. Take Small Steps
The rise of performance dance groups has led many dancers to take up more space on the dance floor. But when it comes to footwork (and crowded dance floors), smaller is better. Although your teacher might use bigger steps so the whole class can see what they’re doing, you should use small steps to help you move quicker and with more control. The faster the song, the smaller your steps should get.
2. Rotate Your Torso
This is pure physics. If your feet are changing directions, don’t try to keep your torso still. Instead, rotate it towards the direction you want your feet to go. For example, let’s say you want to tap your right foot in front of you to the left on beat one, then to the right on beat two, and then you move it behind your (currently) stationary foot to do a triple step on beats three-and-four. So, as you start to move your foot to the left, your torso will also rotate left. As you move it to the right, your torso should rotate right. And you can use the triple step to rotate your entire body in whichever direction you need for beat five.
Look at how Ataca y La Alemana rotate their torsos in this tutorial posted by videographer PhoThomas.
Here’s the same routine but at full speed. The chest rotation is slightly harder to spot because they’re moving really fast (especially from 0:22 onwards), but it’s still there—and it’s part of the reason why they’re able to dance such an impressive routine so quickly.
3. Bend Your Knees
Your dance teacher probably told you to bend your knees in your first ever bachata class. It helps you avoid locking your legs and having stiff body movement. However, it’s even more important when you’re doing quick footwork. You’ll find it increases your stability, allows you to extend your legs further without losing balance and lets you dance quicker.
4. Keep Your Weight Forward
Keeping your weight forward and dancing on the balls of your feet will keep your movement nimble. In your basic steps, you might use your heels to give you extra stability or hip movement. However, when doing footwork, transferring your weight to your heels will only slow you down. Of course, there are some exceptions. You can’t do a heel kick without using your heels. Generally speaking, however, keep your weight forward and your heels off the floor unless your dance teacher tells you otherwise.
5. Dance on the Inner Pads of Your Feet
This tip is particularly useful if you’re doing a lot of fast syncoptations, such as the pico-pico step that syncopates on one-and-two-and-three-four. Instead of connecting to the floor with the entirety of the balls of your feet, try to just use the inner pads. You’ll find you can move much quicker and extend your feet further. After all, if your feet are 10 cm wide, dancing on the outer pads means you’re travelling almost 20 cm more than you need to.
6. Wear Shoes You’re Comfortable In
You can do footwork in any type of dance shoe. However, if your shoes don’t fit you well or you’re struggling with the heel height, you won’t have the balance and stability required to dance quickly. Check out our guide to buying a pair of bachata or salsa shoes and knowing if they fit you correctly. You may also find you prefer practising in lower heels until you’re used to fast footwork.
7. Develop Muscle Memory for Common Footwork Patterns
We’re not being glib when we say that thinking takes time. If you’re stepping one-and-two-and-three-and-four, then you don’t have time to think about what you’re doing on each individual step. You need to memorise the footwork in chunks. Fortunately, there are several common bachata footwork patterns, so learning those will help you cut out thinking time and allow your muscle memory to take over instead. Keep going to bachata footwork classes and practising at home: it might take some time, but you’ll soon start recognising common footwork patterns.
RELATED: How to Go From Sensual to Dominican Bachata: Some Tips
8. Learn Common Bachata Rhythms
Some footwork patterns are designed to highlight specific instruments in certain moments of the song. For example, you’re more likely to hear loud instrumental syncopation on seven-and-eight than three-and-four. The bass step is designed to highlight the most common bass guitar rhythm in the derecho section of the song, i.e. the part most likely to be played during the verse. Breaks are more likely to happen on the fourth eight-count than on the third or fifth.
As such, understanding common bachata rhythms will save you thinking time. You’ll be able to better anticipate what kind of footwork will suit the rhythm. You can also stop thinking about footwork as a series of steps and instead think “dance to the bass guitar”.
To familiarise yourself with bachata rhythms, try attending musicality classes and using resources like Bachata Breakdown and eMusicality. The video below comes from Bachata Breakdown, and it strips away different instruments from Joan Soriano’s bachata song Su lado de cama. It’s helpful for familiarising yourself with the individual bachata instruments and the different rhythms you can play with while dancing.
9. Think About What’s Coming Next
If you wait until you’ve already finished beat eight to think about what you want to do on beat one, you’ll struggle to syncopate on beats one-and-two in time. Every time you start a new movement, consider how it’s going to end and what will come next. Let’s say you’re doing a syncopation on beats two-and-three, followed by two heel taps on five-and-six, seven-and-eight. As soon as you’ve committed to the two-and-three syncopation and no longer need to think about it, start thinking about the upcoming heel taps. You’ll find you can think further ahead as you develop more muscle memory for common moves, but thinking even just a beat earlier will help.
Bachata footwork is fun and a great way to develop your personal style, but there’s no denying that it takes skill and practice. Use these tips, from rotating your torso to learning the rhythms of individual bachata instruments, to help you dance quicker and with greater control.
Ella Baila is the alias of a bachata teacher. She dabbles in most Afro-Latin dances and is blues-curious.
How to dance bachata? Learning to dance bachata at home
Rehearsal bases, dance halls, recording studios
How to learn to dance bachata?
The ancestor of modern bachata is the dance of the inhabitants of the Dominican villages, which was their only joy after hard work. But times have changed, now bachata has turned into a passionate pair dance, built on the sensual and harmonious movements of partners. Distinctive features of bachata: the closest contact with a partner and plastic, even somewhat erotic movements. A man in a dance smoothly leads his partner, gently hugging her. The woman responds to his actions, accompanying each of her soft steps with plastic movements of her hips.
The answer to the question of how to dance bachata is quite simple. After a few lessons, everyone can master the basic movements of this dance and feel its rhythm.
Bachata dance technique
Bachata is easily recognizable by the characteristic movement of the hips. The basic step of this dance consists of 3 small steps accompanied by undulating body movements. The main element of bachata is the smooth rotation of the hips for women and the body for men, which is called "kick". This requires good mobility of the muscles of the lower back, back and hips. It is from these muscles that the smoothness, wave-like movements and, accordingly, the beauty of the bachata dance itself depend.
The question arises: how to learn to dance the Dominican bachata, if these muscles are completely undeveloped? For many who want to dance, it is precisely the fact that they feel completely unplastic and embarrassed to dance that becomes an obstacle. To begin with, it is useful for everyone to recall simple exercises familiar to us from childhood: the usual tilts of the torso in different directions and circular rotations of the body, slowly stretching the muscles. This will help your body get used to the stress. Those who regularly stretch and consider themselves flexible enough also often face the problem of stiffness during dance. This is because plasticity and flexibility are not the same thing.
Plasticity and flexibility: what's the difference?
The difference between flexibility and plasticity is that plasticity is achieved through the work of muscles and joints, while flexibility is achieved by stretching tendons and ligaments. For the plasticity of movements, it is important to have a good stretch of the ligaments, but flexibility does not guarantee plasticity, so you need to pay attention to the loading and stretching of the muscles.
To learn how to fully perform the basic elements of bachata, you need regular exercises to develop the muscles of the back and lower back, which are best performed at first under the supervision of a professional, using the dance hall hourly rental service, and then at home, on your own. Just before class, it is important to warm up the body with appropriate exercises so that it feels the rhythm and easily responds to any of your movements - this is a very important point in how to learn to dance bachata at home.
Basics of Bachata
Bachata captivates with its sensuality and emotionality. It is based on emotions and the ability to express them during the dance. It simultaneously reflects passion and tender love, perseverance and soft humility, the ability to feel a partner and resist him. Therefore, it is so important not only to learn the basic movements and repeat them, but also to tune in with your partner on the same wavelength and talk to him without words, expressing your feelings through body movements. This bewitching wave of togetherness of partners moving passionately to hot music creates a wonderful romantic atmosphere in the dance hall.
Let's summarize a few simple rules on how to dance bachata beautifully. Remember that bachata is a set of technical movements that must be performed in a relaxed and playful way. To do this, it is important to constantly improve your dance technique. Regular practice is the key to success. During the dance, it is important to completely relax and liberate yourself, helping your partner to do the same. Only then you and your partner will be able to feel each other and synchronize your movements, which will make your dance unified, lively and harmonious. Also an important role is played by the selection of a qualified teacher and a cozy dance hall for training. Hourly rental of a dance hall will allow you to plunge into the sensual atmosphere of bachata dance at any time and hone your skills with a partner.
Author: Hendrix Studio. When reprinting, indicate an active link
women are used to commanding, so in pair dances they have to break themselves
February 5, 2020 13:5000
Barnaul dance coaches - about the bacchan
photo: Arthur Howard. The picture shows Irina Pilipenko and Timur Gizatulin
The world has been dancing bachata for a long time. Russia has recently but actively begun to dance bachata. In Barnaul, this direction has just begun to develop thanks to the trainers of the LOS RUMBEROS dance school. About what kind of dance it is, who can dance it and what prevents a bad dancer, they tell school coaches Irina Pilipenko and Timur Gizatulin .
- Both of you started dancing as adults. How did it come about?
Irina : Yes, I was 40 then. Prior to that, she worked in the Gorelektroseti, in the contract department. Well, dancing, of course, was a childhood dream - dresses, rhinestones, shoes. Probably every girl wants to be a beautiful princess. And the dream must come true! One day I accidentally stumbled upon a magazine in which I saw an advertisement for a dance school for adults. I think I'll go. As a result, this magazine lay in my car for a year. Once I took it out again and decided - either now or never! I came absolutely zero, because I had never danced in my life and knew absolutely nothing. Therefore, I did not dare to go to a group - I was scared and ashamed, but signed up for individual classes. As a result, life turned 180 degrees. The family was in shock - they say, why did I suddenly get ready to dance in my old age. But after the first competition, which was attended by my husband, he came up and said dryly: “Okay, dance!”. Since then, I have never had questions about why I came home late, why I suddenly left somewhere for a festival even on New Year's.
Timur: Once my friend and I were on the set of the film When the Fern Blooms. And while we were recording several takes, one girl invited me to an open dance lesson. That day I had a boring birthday, I jumped off the bungee, injured my leg, then remembered the invitation and decided - why not. True, I spent the first lesson on the "bench" because my leg hurt. But then I started to walk and got carried away…
- How many years do you need to study to become a dance teacher?
Timur : As much as your conscience will allow.
Irina : Yes, it is. Today, unfortunately, there are cases when a person worked out for a couple of months and decided that his level was enough for teaching. Some don't even bother to go to dance school and learn something, just open YouTube and go!
Timur : Yes, this is especially common in big cities like Moscow, St. Petersburg.
How popular is bachata?
Timur : To begin with, at the end of 2019, bachata was recognized as an intangible heritage by UNESCO - both the music and the dance itself. But once bachata was banned. Now it has become a cultural asset. Bachata is one of the most popular social dances in the world. In Russia, this direction is developing by leaps and bounds - many festivals are held, many good teachers appear.
Irina : Bachata is no longer just street dancing, it's competitions with a capital letter. These are the world championships. And to get there, you need to go through a rather tough selection.
Photo: Julia Chekmareva.
- Do competitors play tricks on each other at bachata championships?
Irina : Maybe this is true in big sports, but people come to social dancing not from childhood, but quite consciously, so you don’t perceive a loss so catastrophically. Communication is more important here. For example, when you come to the championship alone from remote Siberia, you are supported as if only your relatives were sitting in the hall.
- Did you make a mistake on stage?
Timur : Yes. If you are not collected, relaxed, something can easily distract you. I remember that I had a case when I was just starting to perform professionally - I caught someone's eyes on me from the audience and started dancing for this person. In the end, I forgot everything at all, lost my way.
Irina : Yes, and at such moments a large black hole suddenly forms in the head. Once we were dancing at some event, and at some point I realize that I don’t remember what to do next. And, judging by the fact that there is no knowledge from Timur, he also forgot everything. Then - a second pause and you just start to improvise. The main thing is not to stand up like a pillar, to keep moving.
- Do you have a shortage of boys in your bachata classes, as in all pair dances?
Irina: Yes, there is a shortage. There is a ratio of 1 to 2. But due to the fact that we are constantly changing in pairs, absolutely everyone dances!
Timur : Bachata is a social dance, which is characterized by a change of partners. If in ballroom dancing there is a binding to a particular partner, then it is not here. For example, in Europe almost everyone dances bachata, there is no shortage of partners. It is not even necessary to know the language - you just come and dance.
- A man always leads the dance. However, modern women are very independent. How does this manifest itself in dance? How difficult is it for them to adapt to, let's say, the will of the stalls?
Irina: There really is such a problem. Many women are emancipated, used to command, including men, but in dance everything should be the other way around. Yes, there were cases when at first women feel out of place, even outraged - how so, I can’t be controlled! But then they get used to it, understanding the meaning - the partner is the main one because he sets the emotionality of the dance, movement, character. Of course, this is also a matter of trust - dancing, we learn to trust each other, which is very important. Many people miss this in life.
Timur : When I started pair dancing, my attitude towards women changed a lot. How would it be correct to say - I became less afraid, or something . .. Dancing, you want - you don’t want, but you touch each other, there is a tactile contact. And it can't be compared even with a heart-to-heart talk. It's something else. More. But at the same time, in the dance you define clear boundaries.
Photo: Julia Chekmareva
- Can anyone be taught to dance? Are there people who are completely unsuited to dancing?
Irina: If you want to learn how to dance, you should try anyway! Even if you have no hearing, even if you have some kind of limited ability ... For example, in Yekaterinburg there was a project recently in which people who did not hear and did not see danced. Some focused on vibrations, others - on tactile sensations. It was very touching. They wanted to and could! This once again proves that there are no restrictions - neither age, nor weight, nor lack of experience should stop you if you wish.
- They say that dancing is good for the brain? Have you noticed yourself? Suddenly, unexpectedly, they began to count examples from higher mathematics by two and two?
Irina : We certainly have not become smarter (laughs - author's note). Yes, and in dancing, you only need to count up to eight! But... When you start learning the basic step - this is the work of the legs, and then add elementary hand movements, then your legs just stand up like a stake. And at such moments, your brain begins to work actively - how to combine all this.
Timur : When the guys come for the first time, they can't even raise their hands, because the body stops obeying. Dance is, after all, a story not about the mind, but about the body, do you know how to feel it and cope with it. Often in the classroom, people identify clamps, we work them out and everything returns to normal. And when you bring the body to a harmonious state, then often life gets better - as they say, the effect on the head.
- Partners touch each other in pair dances – not everyone is ready to be touched by a stranger…
Timur : In dance, you define boundaries. Yes, you are touching, but you are not going to do any “illegal” actions…
Irina: Many people have the perception in their heads that another person is trying to touch you for some purpose – sexual, or, for example, for the purpose of hitting, etc. And in any case, if we expect soft and gentle tactile contact from relatives, then we expect something else from a stranger, we are afraid, we are very wary of this. But no one ever thinks that they will just dance with you without any background.
- What really hinders a bad dancer?
Irina : His laziness, unwillingness to achieve something.
Timur: Definitely not what you think! My head is filled with a bunch of different thoughts.
A selection of beautiful dancers
Not a day without dancing, not a minute without admiring glances. These girls fascinate with their movements and motivate to take classes in the choreographic hall. On International Dance Day, Komsomolskaya Pravda brought together the most beautiful dancers of Barnaul (more)
Age category of the site 18+
The online publication (website) is registered by Roskomnadzor, certificate El No.