Most of the time, when people start dancing bachata, they wonder what are the difference between Dominican Bachata and Sensual Bachata.
So, I’m gonna try to answer to that question with my experience, my knowledge at the moment, my researches. That’s why it won’t be very technical. I’m just gonna attempt to give you a quick overview of that 2 amazing styles.
Hope you will enjoy, let’s begin !
Dominican Bachata is born in Dominican Republic (obvious no? 🙂) in the 60s.
Bachata has several influences : bolero, son Cubano, and merengue. At that time, it wasn’t called Bachata but bolero de guitarra.
Bachata means reunion of friends. People used to gather to “bachata” : playing music, dancing, having fun with friends and family and forgetting about problems.
Moreover, Bachata is an expression of sorrow, melancholy but also joy and happiness… That’s why, when i listened traditional Bachata for the first time, something happened in my heart. Indeed, Bachata is all about feelings, emotions. It could be love, sadness. It could make you smile, cry. But, at the end, it just touches your soul.
Nowadays, in Dominican Republic, Bachata is a way of life, it’s part of the culture.
Have a look to that video which describes Bachata spirit in Dominican Republic :
And, if you want to know more about Bachata history, i would recommend you to visit Alex Alberola‘s website. You will find an amazing class about the origins of bachata and her development.
Description : how we dance it?
In Dominican republic
Bachata is danced on different timing on 1, 2, 3… There’s no rules. You just follow the rhythm of the music.
Around the world
Dominican/traditional Bachata is teached dancing on 8 counts with a tap on 4 and 8.
It’s more focus on footwork, using a lot of syncopations (time between the counts : and 1, and 2, and 3…).
The hips movement looks like a pendulum. The hip goes to the opposite direction of your foot (step).
The position can be closed, open or completely open. There’s no many turn patterns.
Music and rhythm in Dominican Bachata is generally quite faster than Sensual Bachata. However, it’s not a general rule ! You can find Dominican Bachata very slow too.
You have many famous Bachata artists like :
Joe Veras, Franck Reyes, Zacarias Ferreiras, Hector Acosta, Aventura, Romeo Santos, Prince Royce, Grupo Extra…
For example, Juan Luis Guerra, in the 80s, was the first artist popular in the radio. He spread bachata around the world.
Bachata rosa, is one of his famous songs :
What does bachata represent in Dominican republic ? Few answers in that video below :
Example of famous artists dancing Dominican Bachata (Alex and Desiree, Gaby and Estefy) :
Firstly, Sensual bachata is born in Cadiz, Spain around 2005. It was created by Jorge Escalona alias Korke. It was teached around the world with his partner Judith Cordeiro. And then, famous other artists : Alex Alberola, Chaves and Sylvia, Pablo and Raquel, Luis and Andrea…
Sensual Bachata was influenced by salsa, zouk, without dismissing the origins and the essence of Dominican Bachata.
It’s danced on 8 counts too with a tap on 4 and 8. The basic step looks like a circular hips movements more accentuated by the followers.
This dance is more intimate than Dominican Bachata. You can notice a smoothness in the movements and typical sensual movements from the hips, chest, a lot of body waves, cambres…
Most importantly, the follower, in Sensual Bachata is more in the centre of the attention than Dominican Bachata.
What about Modern Bachata?
In Modern Bachata, you will find a lot of salsa turn patterns, a play with the arms.
Also, it’s danced on 8 counts too with tap on 4 and 8, close, open or completely open position.
What’s your favourite?
Obviously you dance the style you like. But, most importantly, you dance the way the music tells you to dance.
In some songs, you can dance the 3 different styles.
For example :
- Sensual bachata for introduction, slow, smooth sections,
- Dominican Bachata for footwork fast rhythm, playing with the instruments like guitars,
- Modern Bachata for transitions.
Personally, i do have my preference but i love and i dance all these styles. I particularly need to improve my skills in Dominican Bachata because this is the style i master the least.
Finally, once you found your style, try to not forget about the essence of Bachata !
How to find your own style?
Listen to you
First of all, listen what you heart tells you, your personality.
I love Dominican music, love watching people dancing it, what Bachata represents. However, at the moment, my style is more sensual. This is the way i like express myself dancing.
Try different styles
There is a lot of other styles besides Dominican, Sensual, Modern like Fusion styles with R&B, pop rock, hip hop influences.
So, I recommend you to try these different styles to widen your repertoire. Especially, if you are a social dancer and you like to dance on every kind of songs and remixes.
And, if you haven’t find your class yet, i would recommend you to read this article.
Master the style you prefer
Once you found the style that touches you, after getting some knowledge in every style, perfect the style you prefer. And then, practice and practice and you will become a maestro in your style !!!
In conclusion, I hope you enjoyed this article, you understand more the difference between Dominican Bachata and Sensual Bachata. Why this is important to find the style you want to dance being aware of all the different styles of bachata. What about you, what’s your favourite style and why ? Do you adapt your dance to the music or is it still difficult? I would love to read your comments ! Thank you !