How to transition to bachata?

Question By User pavizla

Hi guys, I once was a boy when I started with bachata but now I am a man. I forgot about bachata and lived salsa every day now I’m both frustrated and ashamed as to how I can’t dance the bachata, at nights, man I get frustrated. It seems super simple but I mess up with the turns, especially when it involves hand to shoulder + turn moves simply because the steps need to be PRECISE and in salsa, you can add or remove steps.

Hopefully, this is a little relevant because, at most social dance, they both play bachata and salsa songs. It’s just a little frustrating to learn another dance because they sometimes do 50/50 and I want to dance the whole night. So has anyone tried spreading into bachata? I like the idea of specialization, but they can only play so much salsa songs, and my older generation seem to prefer bachata more. How did you manage to learn the bachata, is it any different than salsa? What are your take aways?

(this doesn’t even include the cumbia, and sometimes cha-cha, but thankfully, they don’t play it that much)

Answers

User Arshia42 

I think the best way is to take a few classes so you get a better idea of when/how to lead the basics (hammer locks, left/right turns, etc..) It “looks” easy when watching someone else do it but there is a lot of little things that are easy to miss when trying to replicate it and can only really be explained through an instructor. I’m taking some lessons right now and it’s really helpful because I’m getting direct feedback and what I’m doing wrong (even if i’m doing it “mostly” right). Plus you learn a bunch of cool moves. I decided to finally take a few classes because the bachata I knew was what I learned through friends and social dancing, and even though I was doing it fine, I was getting hella bored of my moves and like you I want to dance the whole night. Glad I finally got around to signing up because after ~5 classes my repertoire has already like tripled and it’s much better if you take classes somewhere that plays 5 or 6 songs after each class to let you practice what you learned.

I also come from a salsa background- so footwork is much easier for us to transition into. Bachata’s rythm is generally much easier to follow than a Salsa one, so you have that going for you. Worth noting that I’m taking urban/sensual bachata classes (couldn’t find a dominican one) so what is giving me difficulty is the upper body and hip movement.

User Bento- 

We have so called 3-3-3 parties (3salsa-3bachata-3kizomba), so most of the regular party people can dance atleast two of these dances.
Its like in any other dance, take some lessons and learn.
There are so many small things you wont get by learning from a videos.

The first few lessons were pretty easy and straight forward (bachata sensual btw), but boy I had a hard time.
The Frame, the steps, the bodyweight transfer(!!!), the connection, waves, …
You generally have slower music, but less margin for “cheating”. Breakstep (close position) ->slide,
but you lazy ass didnt do the weight transfer? -> chaos 🙂

User double-you 

The mechanics of leading and following are the same, as are of stepping and turning. The precision of figures depends on the figures, not the music or the dance. It is kind of weird to hear that salsa is not the more difficult dance, but I suppose the new sensual bachata has added a bunch of complexity.

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