Dominican Bachata

Joriet Alcocer


What is Dominican Bachata

Dancing Dominican Bachata is not to be confused with other bachata dance genres, such as modern, sensual or bachatango. Often the terminology Dominican Bachata is used from many Instructors and from different dance schools wrongly without really knowing what original Dominican Bachata looks like. Because Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic this might therefore be the reason why many call Bachata "Dominican Bachata".

Dominican Bachata is very rich of footwork; we have to bear in mind that there is no clearly defined sequecence in the footwork. It is more a question of improvisation and interpretation of the music. This is by no means anything resembling Salsa shines.
In fact, here they are only decorations on the basic footwork, which is the result of playing and improvising on the sharp rhythm. It is more or less like toying with the rhythm. Therefore, to me it means purely "free interpretation of the music".
This is the reason why my focus is to make sure you'll learn how to listen to the music properly and, above all, how to pick the nuances of the syncopations and the breaks.

Due to its peculiarity of being rich of footwork variations, this make learn Dominican Bachata at an advanced level harder but at the same time it's more fun because you really toy with the rhythm;
there are doublesteps, sidetapping, forward kicking, triple steps, variations of tapping. These are just a couple of example of the footwork skills by advanced dancers.
Just to give you an idea of what it can look like at very advanced leves, have a look at the footwork of these guys here:


Here are just a couple of examples of Domincan Bachata danced with the partner

To me, it is like playing a solo with an instrument, say a guitar, on a basic background. Here the background is the music, the basic time is that dictated by the music and your feet are the instruments with which you play your solo.
As far as my teaching method is concerned, I like to combine elements of the different Bachata styles but my core focus is the Dominican style.
As in the case concerning 'the right music for Salsa Cross body Style', which is completely different than Cuban style or Columbian Style, here again it is necessary to differentiate between the different Bachata music styles.
Therefore, the music apt to Bachata Dominican Style is a completely different kind of that suitable for, say, Bachata Sensual style. The Dominican one is much more rhythmic like that you can hear in the examples-videos on youtube I posted above.

We shouldn't forget that the bottom line is that we dance to the music. If the music is not apt to the dance, we won't be able to enjoy the dancing.
I'll give you an analogy: you can't ride a sport bike off-roading. For that you would rather need an enduro motorcycle to have fun and viceversa.

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