Disclaimer: Don’t own. There’s a fragment for ya!
My initial exposure to bachata was through a local competition. It seemed unremarkable, just three steps and a tap. So, I brushed it off. That is until a very handsome student held out his hand at homecoming. Who was I to say no? It’s all in the context, isn’t it?
Normally, this would be the point where I’d tell you all I know about the dance. Unfortunately all my knowledge boils down to this: It originated in the Dominican Republic and is probably derived from Bolero. *shrugs shoulders* If I happen to have any bachata aficionados nearby, drop me a line. In my personal opinion, this dance is more accessible to beginners than salsa. It’s very relaxed. You can talk normally with your partner while dancing. Plus, I think moving side-to-side is easier to grasp than rock-stepping.
I remember the first time I stepped into a Latin club. I had already been dancing salsa for over a year, but seeing all the salseros whip through those complex patterns made me balk. The bachata in the club’s side room still had an intimidation factor, but the music soothed me, odd as that sounds. It’s accessibility isn’t the only thing I find appealing.
I was researching bachata’s origins, and as y’all can clearly tell by my cogent statement of knowledge at the beginning of this post (read: sarcasm), I didn’t find anything. What I did find was Howcast’s video entitled “What is Bachata?” I rarely watch Howcast, but I clicked it anyway. One teacher addressed the music and how angst-filled it can be. I’ve heard it called the “music of bitterness”. So, It wasn’t too surprising when he said the artists sing about loneliness, break-ups, illicit affairs, and heartbreak. What did surprise me was when he said that bachata was an expression of how to cope with it all. I never really thought about it until he said, but it seems painfully obvious now. Exercise does wonders for moods, and it’s that much more helpful when it directly addresses the problem.
Put plainly, bachata has helps me cope. Like any human being, I’m prone to loneliness and heartache. That’s when I go dancing. Mostly, it’s just to my studio. However, the real treat is when I go to a Latin club, and dance in the embrace of a handsome man. Of course, it has to be in good taste, or I’d leave. Dancing bachata lets me physically and metaphorically sweat out my problems, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Be My Baby” covered by Leslie Grace
“Corazón Sin Cara” by Prince Royce
“Frío, Frío” by Juan Luis Guerra featuring Romeo Santos
“One More Night” by Johnny Sky (This one mixes English and Spanish. I really like his voice.)
“No es una novella” by Monchy & Alexandra
“Loco” by Enrique Iglesias featuring Romeo Santos
“Promise” by Romeo Santos featuring Usher (Me encanta esta canción!)
“Stand By Me” covered by Prince Royce
“Te Extraño by Xtreme
“Te Perdiste Me Amor” by Thalia featuring Prince Royce
“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” covered by Leslie Grace
P.S.: This took a while to write, but I can’t get enough of this dance. I wish you all the best this year. Wherever you are, I hope you dance, be it literally or figuratively.