Bachata Music

The bachata music is a very popular rhythm of the Dominican Republic. It is quite common to see people dancing to its beat in many important areas of the country like Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Santiago de los Caballeros and La Romana.

The bachata originated in the rural areas of the country; it appeared at some point in the early part of the 20th century and has been gaining huge popularity since then. The music has a romantic tone and its lyrics are often used to express sorrow and bitterness towards love. The focus on the love bitterness was so strong that the original term for the music was amargue which literally meant “bitter music”. It wasn’t until its name was changed to bachata that the rhythm started to become more accepted among the population.

Brief history of Bachata

The popularity the bachata music has achieved in modern times is astounding, however, it wasn’t always that way. This rhythm used to be very unpopular and it was seldom played outside extremely poor areas. The music was also considered vulgar and associated with the criminal element a few decades ago. It wasn’t until the 1990’s that bachata began its meteoric rise. Some of the oldest musical instruments like the acoustic guitar, the maracas and the bongo were replaced by the electric guitar, the guiro and the tambora drum to adapt to the modern times.

Many bachata groups started performing in television and live shows. At that point the music genre was no longer associated with criminality and misery.

Juan Luis Guerra was responsible for the first hit called “bachata rosa”. His efforts contributed to the spread of the bachata worldwide. Later the group called “Aventura” revolutionized the music markets in many different parts of the world with their amazing melody.

The Bachata Dance

Learning the steps of the bachata dance is not hard as long you understand the basic footwork. The dance of the bachata music requires the use of 3 elemental steps that are combined with 4 beats of music. It is quite simple and unlike other dancing styles it does not require greats amounts of energy. The first thing you must do is to stand in front of your partner then the leader (usually the male) will hold the follower’s (normally the female) right hand with his left one and the left hand of the follower should be over the shoulder of the leader.

Next the leader should hold the follower’s back with his right arm in a way that his right hand is under the follower’s left shoulder blade.

Once both partners are set in their respective positions they can start following the music beats. First you bend your knees a little bit then after the first beat you step to the left. Pay attention to the beats at this moment as it is essential to avoid losing the rhythm of the bachata music. At the second beat move your right foot next to the left one. Do not forget to lift your leg and stamp it on the ground.

At the third beat you take another step to the left and when you get to the fourth beat lift your right foot a bit; at the moment you are executing this step remember to lift your right hip a little. This movement of the hip is the most distinctive aspect of the bachata dance. You can add a little extra motion to the hip as you master this dancing style. Finally after you are done with the hip move; put the feet on the ground and you can continue dancing by repeating all the steps.

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