Bachata is a sensual Dominican dance that is set, not surprisingly, to Bachata music, which originated in the Dominican Republic in the 1960s. Initially, this new form of music was distinct from guitar-based dance music, but as dance forms evolved to accommodate the new style of music, it became a new type of dance music. Because both Bachata music and dance had their origins in rural celebrations and folk culture, they met with resistance fromupper-class society; however, both have been gaining popularity, especially since the 1990s.Nowadays, you’ll often find Bachata songs mixed in with Salsa and Merengue music at clubs, so knowing the Bachata is a must.
Bachata is an 8-count rhythm dance that emphasizes side-to-side movement with a tap on beats 4 and 8, and if you listen to the music, you can hear the emphasis on these two beats. The styling of the tap may involve popping the hips or may be less dramatic depending on the dancers and the music. Bachata can be danced either in open or closed positions, though many Bachata dancers prefer the intimacy of the close embrace to give the dance a strong sense of connection.
Karl Ross describes Bachata music as Dominican blues because of its deep emotion, quoting Juan Luis Guerra, who won a Grammy for his Bachata music in 1992, as saying “Bachata for us is like the blues for los americanos." This depth of emotion transcends the songs’ lyrics and finds expression in the dancers’ movements. As in many Latin dances, the dancer’s connection to the song’s rhythm is absolutely essential. While Bachata instrumentation mayvary from song to song, often this form of music highllights the guitar, often times, the electric guitar. Often, Bachata music falls between 90 and 200 bpm.