Salsa > How common is bachata?

Discussion in 'Salsa' started by rails, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. rails

    rails New Member

    The other night at one of the big clubs in San Francisco the DJ played a bachata song during the band's break. Dozens of couples started busting out bachata moves as though they'd been doing it for years. Frankly, I was surprised considering how little bachata I hear in the clubs. I was wondering how they'd gotten so good when there are almost no classes here. I guess they picked up moves from people who had learned elsewhere or maybe they were just making things up (the way everyone does with merengue).

    A pair of instructors, Richard and Maria, had been teaching it Saturday nights at a place called Maiko in Berkeley. I took one of the classes, but I don't think that's still going on. It would be great to learn more of the dance, but there's very little going on around here. I've heard other people express the desire to learn more bachata. Maybe I should suggest to R&M that they organize an all-day bachata workshop or something. I'll bet it'd do well.

    How about where you all live? Do you hear much bachata when you go out dancing? Are there classes in your area?

    The day I learned bachata was symptomatic of what a dance addict I've become lately. I had spent all day at the Frankie Manning workshop weekend - 6 1/2 hours of lindy hop classes. Then I went over to Maiko for an hour's worth of bachata class, then 2 hours dancing salsa before I finally had to call it a night and get some rest.
  2. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Bachata is played at the Latin nights where I am. There are no classes though. They are a couple useful threads in the forums on this topic...

    Name that dance


    What is bachata?

    Everything that I have learnt in bachata was self taught. I first learnt to move to the music and then took moves from salsa, swing...everywhere and adapted them to the dance. I personally would never take a lesson in bachata, or merengue. However, if you read the threads you'll find that some people post good reasons for doing so.
  3. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    And what is the difference between Rumba music and Bachata music. I can't really tell. The studio I work for actually has a Bachata Syllabus :D . Could this be a sign it is getting more popular?
  4. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Hi Rails,

    I go out Salsa dancing several times a week and I've only heard Bachata played a few times. Usually only once, maybe twice a night, or sometimes not at all. I think its a very beautiful dance personally, and I really want to learn it. I've never seen lessons Bachata lessons offered in my area, it seems to be one of those dances that you pick up from your friends.

    On a side note, which club where you at in SF? I was at one down there this past Friday and the same thing happened, a Bachata came on and the floor was packed with everyone dancing to it, it was really beautiful to watch.

    That would be funny if we were at the same club. :wink:


  5. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    I've never seen classes for it. It's a pretty simple dance so making up moves for it is very, very easy. The clubs around here play a bachata once or twice a night.
  6. DanceMentor

    DanceMentor Administrator

    I totally agree. I laughed when I saw it on the syllabus, but maybe it's good for beginning dancers to learn and gain confidence.
  7. Estella

    Estella New Member

    I really love bachata... :bouncy:
    In Europe it`s getting quite popular now... especially in Italy or Spain.... every 5th song they play is bachata... in Germany unfortunately only 2-3 songs for the whole evening! :cry:
  8. dancin_feet

    dancin_feet New Member

    Never heard of it before I joined these forums.
  9. Estella

    Estella New Member

    Believe me, you´ve missed a lot!
  10. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    For sure! :wink:
  11. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    I've got to learn this dance. Next time I'm out, I'm asking the DJ to put one on and I'll find someone to teach me. No more messing around here. :p
  12. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    Too bad does not have a video clip for the Bachata. :(
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately I'm not musically talented, but there this ta, ta, ta, ta - what I call the tripping beat -- that almost always is there in bachata and I don't hear it in rhumba. Perhaps someone else can explain the instrument that makes this sound.
  14. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I'm late as I had a non-dancing night out with a dancing friend!! :) :wink: But, since you are another bachata lover, I cannot resist. :D Welcome to DF Estella!! :D I'm curious. What are the popular bands, songs for bachata where you are?
  15. rails

    rails New Member

    SG, it was Friday. It was Roccapulco (where else?) I'm sure we were watching the same thing. I think the most bachata one can find around here is at Maiko on Saturday.

    Well, that's the thing. I don't know how simple it is or how complex it could be. If I didn't know salsa and someone showed me the on 1 basic I'd probably say it looked like a simple dance. That's not true, of course, and I wonder if the same thing could be said of bachata. Maybe there's a world of interesting patterns that they do in the Dominican Republic that I don't know about.

    In the drop-in class I took, Rich showed us a traveling outside turn and a spot turn. The traveling outside turn was not like any outside turn I'd done in salsa. I do spot turns in salsa, but the bachata version he showed us had a different feel. We came in very tight to the followers with our right foot and knee between their legs. It was a slower, more sensual turn than I'd been used to in salsa.

    As people have said here I can always toss in moves from other dances and make things up, but I tend to get curious about the history and traditions of dances down to the technical level. Looks like I'll be making a return trip to Maiko to ask Rich and Maria about this stuff.
  16. danceguy

    danceguy New Member

    Cool, we were at the same place, I figured as much. It was my first time there and I was a little intimidated to say the least...I'm used to the smaller venues in my area but it was a very educational experience. It'll be a while before I go back though...

    I was surprised how many people were doing Bachata...most people tend to sit down when one comes on where I go dancing. I'm definitely going to learn it though, it looks like a lot of fun. :p
  17. youngsta

    youngsta Active Member

    It's not about the patterns (same can be said about salsa). Bachata is rooted in the Dominican Republic's poorest citzens/sections. It has many unacceptable social features attached to it (illicit sex, seedy brothels, heavy alcohol use). For me it makes the dance simple...very primal. I'm sure somebody could throw a syllabus at it and make formalized moves...but I think that would defeat what it is at the most basic level.
  18. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Bachata Rumba...
    I'm assuming, DanceMentor, that you mean Bolero by Rumba, not guaguanco, Yambu, nor Columbia.

    Bachata will always have the loudest beat be on the one. A big TA followed by slow ta ta ta. The bachata is driven and mainly danced by the bongo. The bongo's most audible slap comes on the 4th beat where oringinally the little hop was done in the dance. In NY City the hop is actually on the 1 instead of the 4, but is also very popular to be done on the 4. When you become proficient you can actually hear the bongo and how its union to other instruments cause you to accentuate either the one or four. So if you ever hear a song, and you don't know if it is a bachata and or a rumba. Try out loudly saing ONE, two, three, four, ONE, two, three, four... Then listen for the bongo hit the 4 with one slap. If you hear all those babies you'll know it most likely is a bachata.

    Rumba is like a very very slow salsa. It will have the ta ta ta tata in it just like the clave of a salsa but done to a one measure(bar). The first beat will have the first "ta", the two will have a "ta", the three will have a "ta", and the four will have a double ta (ta..ta). Just like salsa but much slower and not as much a dominant sound. For that matter a rumba will most likely be played by a salsa band, where as bachata won't be. Associate rumba with salsa bands and bachata with merengue bands and that might give you a lead.

    Musically speaking, I forget what instruments drive each music. :cry: But once you notice the difference, there is no confusing the two. I'm sure loo can be of much better help that I can on this. Hope that poor example helped.
  19. borikensalsero

    borikensalsero Moderator

    Here in NY city you can stroll into any non-salsa dance hall and find bachata. It is very popular, in fact there will be more bachata played at a latin club than salsa, that is, if the owners of the place aren't rican.
  20. Spitfire

    Spitfire Well-Known Member

    From the descriptions given in another thread Bachata sounds like it is very simple. I don't know if it's done here; I've never heard it mentioned and only seen it listed along with other dances on a flyer for a latin band that plays at a club known as El Parador.

    Anytime I've asked about it no one has any familiarity with the dance itself.

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