What makes this dance recognizable? What is typical, distinctive or characteristic?

On the fourth beat of the dance is not just put a step, but the hip is whipped and short and diagonal diagonally forward. This movement is also replaced by a tap or kick with the foot that coincides with a sharper sound in the typical music.


Obsession - Avon Tura
Frio frio - Marlon

Burbujas de amor - Juan Luis Geurra


The original term used for this genre was amargue, which means bitterness. Later the term bachata became popular. A bachata in Dominican- Spanish means (disorganized) party or festivities.

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Bachata is a romantic genre from the Dominican Republic.

The music in four-four is played with a guitar, a bass, Guira and bongos. The artists are mostly male guitar players who with some wailing vocals sing tales of tragic love. We would therefore call Bachata the Latin American tearjerker.

In the Dominican Republic bachata has long been boycotted by the media, but the music flow did maintain itselves by selling cassettes and concerts. Only since the nineties bachata penetrated to radio and television stations on the island. Not long after this it got an international audience. Bachata is now undergoing increasing influence of merengue, pop, R & B and reggaeton.


Both on the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands Antilles bachata is often associated with the lower social class. The music is played loud at "cafeterias" (Dominican Republic) or ‘sneks' (Curaçao). These are simple bars, partly in the open air. The beer is served by waitresses generally also available to dance along. In some cases, there may also be prostitution. Hence the bachata has a dubious reputation sometimes. Since bachata also has broken trough in many countries outside the Caribbean, including the U.S. and the Netherlands, this kind of music has become part of the mainstream Latin music.

On the romantic and melancholic sounding bachata music is usually danced close. It is interspersed with few combinations so that the music can be enjoyed quietly.

It is an improvisational dance. The base is in principle always danced to 3 (of four) count. On the 4th beat a tap with a specific hip accent follows. In addition, the basic goes forward and backward, but mostly danced and twisted sideways.

At various places in the world bachata is danced in different ways. There are no strict rules. Broadly, three dance modes can be distinguished:

1. Dominican style. There is dancing at some distance. The partners hold each other's hands. Often there are many quick passes put between. The movements are usually spontaneous, improvised and adapted to the specific number. Turning are rarely made. Complex combinations of rotation (as in salsa) are never made​​. In recent years, the Dominican dance style is mixed with reggaeton influences. Dominican style seems to be the most advanced and creative bachata dance style.

2. Dance school style. At dance schools in the West bachata is taught in a classical dance posture where both dance partners dance closely aligned. The right hand is behind the back of the partner. There are usually no quick strides made ​​. By contrast, often some (disco and salsa -like) rotations are learned.

3. Antillean style. On Curaçao arose a bachata dance style at witch in each count on the fourth (last) beat of the measure the hip is lifted and a ‘hop ' is made. This has spilled over to the Netherlands and other countries. The older generation Antilleans tilt also sometimes on the shoulder. Wrongly is often assumed that such hop is an integral part of bachata dancing. In the home country, the Dominican Republic, it is not used.

The differences between the bachata dance styles are quite large. The deal is, if you did put on the first beat of the previous bar a step with left, put on the first beat of the next measure a step in the right. And the subsequent measurement is started again with left, etc...

In the Dominican style the intervening time will be filled creatively to suit the particular song.

In the dance school style, however, will always be given the same interpretation to the four beats per measure. In the fourth beat is possibly the Antillean hop used.

In dance schools is taught to start at he first count of the music measure (of four beats)witch coincides with the dance measure. Dominicans start except on the first count also on the second beat and sometimes on the third. This may depend on the bass line. The feeling is started on that count that best suits the song being played. The dance style varies between fast bachatas being danced separately (with only the hands), and romantic bachatas danced with more physical contact against one another.

Aventura is by far the internationally best known bachata group, but among Dominicans are the most popular artists Antony Santos and Juan Luis Guerra. Other popular artists are Raulin Rodriguez, Zacarias Ferreira, Frank Reyes, Monchy y Alexandra, Domenic Marte, Xtreme, Andy Andy, Elvis Martinez, Carlos y Alejandra, Leonardo Paniagua, Yoskar Sarante, Alex Bueno, Los Toros Band and Joe Veras.

Today, bachata is also danced very sensual and close and with Zouk features.

Another trend is a nice combination of two live dances: Argentine Tango and Bachata, also known as Bacha Tango. The basic steps and rhythm are bachata, the figures come from the Argentine Tango.