Learning Bachata Dance Steps

Bachata For Beginners

I’m of the opinion that learning Bachata Dance is one of the best ways to learn Latin music.  Why? I think that Bachata and Rumba are easier for beginners to learn, compared to Salsa, because they are both generally slower…therefore dancers have more time to think about what they’re doing.  Also the Bachata ‘break’, the “Quick-Quick” side to side movement of Bachata, is easier to do than the Salsa break ‘Rock-Step”. (Note:  “Break” means, in case you didn’t already know, a change in direction of movement and involves a weight change.) I’ve seen time and time again…. Beginning Salsa dancers almost seem to have a hard time doing the various ‘breaks’ smoothly in Salsa.  But they usually find the break in Bachata (usually on the 3,4 or 7,8) much easier to do, almost intuitively. I’ve also observed that most males, i.e. ‘leaders’, find it easier to lead a follower in the side-to-side movement of Bachata than the forward and backward movement of Salsa.  A follower can have ‘spaghetti arms’ in Bachata and it doesn’t much affect how well the guy can lead.  In Salsa, if the lady has ‘spaghetti’ arms ,it makes leading more challenging for the guy.

Teaching Bachata First

Another reason, I like to teach Bachata first is because the beat in the music is usually much easier for beginners to find, since there are less competing instruments.  Yes, it can be easy in Salsa…….but only sometimes.  If a beginner has to try to dance to the really fast, jazzy Salsa…They’re usually totally lost.  But, in Bachata, you just don’t get that kind of extreme tempo and the moves are often more simple too. Another example of why I think Bachata is easier to learn first is that, when you are dancing, it’s easier to see toward the side of you than in the back of you.  In Bachata, it’s much easier to be aware of who, if anybody, is in that peripheral zone.  Thus ‘accidents’ are much less likely. In Salsa each partner can only see just in the direction they’re moving but they better hope nobody moved into the area behind them while they weren’t looking because if somebody did, they’re going to get smashed. Another thing I like about teaching Bachata to beginners, and dancing Bachata myself, is that we don’t get as hot and sweaty.  Two hours of dancing Salsa and most people are ‘puring water’.  Two hours of dancing Bachata and…you’re engaged :-) Seriously though….I like Bachata and I think most dancers ought to learn it first.  It’s still an 8 count rhythm so the dancers aren’t losing a thing in relation to the Salsa count.  Plus, I think they have a better chance to learn the lead and timing with Bachata style.

Bachata A Latin Dance

For the longest time, Bachata was ‘that other Latin dance’ that you heard very little of.  And everybody did it the same old, music-box way.  But over the last 5 years or so, Bachata has exploded in popularity.  Bachata has really come into its own due, primarily because of the efforts of Bachata specialists like Jorge Elizando, Juan Ruiz, Rodney Aquino and others. It couldn’t have happened at a better time.  Bachata anyone?

Sample Artists / Songs:

Te Extrano – “Extreme”

Bachata Heightz – “me puedo matar”

Helctor Acosta – “Me Voy”

Toke D Keda – “Nada Mas Dificil”

JC feat. Erick Right – “Amantes

Bachata Heights Y El Torito – “Me Puedo Matar”

Prince Royce – “corazon sin cara”

Aventura – “el malo”

Yoskar Serante – “Entre tu amor y mi dolor”


Certified professional dance instructor/choreographer living in Newport News, VA Commutes to Richmond for over 15 years to teach. I enjoy helping people discover the power of dance in their lives. Regardless of your ability remember this, "anyone can learn to dance," and here's why you should say "Never": It can transform your life in ways you never thought possible. Introduce you to people you'd never meet and shape your confidence like never before.

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