How common is bachata?

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

  1. DJ ElGringo Latino

    DJ ElGringo Latino New Member

    Well this post has a lot of replies and I havent looked through all of them but to answer the original posters question....as a club DJ I can say that Bachata (here in NY) is almost as popular as Salsa or Merengue, mainly because it has gotten a lot of radio and club play over the past several years here as its popularity continues to rise. Dominican's love it because it's from their country but I can tell you that people from all over Latin America and right down to the typical "white person", such as myself :D , enjoys it just as much. Even the hardcore salsero's enjoy hearing and dancing to a few bachata's once in a while. I find it's one of the easier dances. We have a dance instructor at the club who does a workshop on Bachata every so often and gives private lessons to anyone that inquires on learning it. I think what most people love about Bachata is the catchy rhythm it usually has and the lyrics are commonly popular to sing along to whereas Salsa the enjoyment comes more from dancing to it.

    Frank Reyes is my favorite Bachata artist and i've had the pleasure of standing up front (among many screaming girls) during one of his performances at a small club a few months ago.....truely amazing! Check out his latest Cd "Cuando Se Quiere Se Puede", almost every song on there is a hit!
  2. msjanemas

    msjanemas New Member

    Gringo I'm going to take your word for it and try and find it. Bachata can be wonderful, but unfortunately in my opinion most of what I hear on the radio is horrible. Many of the singers are actually whiners. The pitch is way too high and off 90% of the time or they just can't sing. The great recordings are rarely on the main local stations. I've seen Bachata danced by your average club patrons and I've seen a wonderfully older couple in their 60s dance it on tv and the way they danced was just beautiful.
  3. djpatricio

    djpatricio New Member

    I am 100% in agreement with this opinion. When I hear a great bachata it really sends me, but unfortunately the majority of bachatas I hear are cheesy and saccharine. That's why the exceptions are so wonderful! The genre lends itself to exaggerated romantic and tragic sentiments, and it's easy to take that too far and turn whiny. But, great bachatas keep coming my way and I do everything I can to play them as much as possible. Bachata is, I think, a real test of musicial aptitude, probably harder in some aspects than salsa.
  4. SalsaAmore

    SalsaAmore New Member

    Bachata is really popular here in SF like Rails and SG (Danceguy) said. We usually get along of people on the dance floor. But, it's a romantic dance so like a slow dance anywhere else, you won't have as many people doing it. But, the floor is usually full now when the songs come on 2-3x a night. I love the music and the style of the dance. It is so romantic and lovely to dance.

    Some may be intimidated to dance the Bachata, but all you really need to do is watch what others are doing, grab a willing partner and practice (1st version) shuffle/step side to side -- right 1,2,3 lift right hip and leg up -- then the other side. (2nd version) shuffle/step side to side -- right 1,2,3 shake shoulder/body/hip with right toe touch (all at the same time), then the other side. I prefer the shake shoulder/body/hip version myself. The shake/body/hip with toe touch movement is very much like the Elvis shutter or just shuttering when you're cold :lol: Then, when you are comfortable with that, work in the turn to right 1,2,3 and lift right hip/leg or turn 1,2,3 turn touch toe/shutter.

    Of course, in writing it's difficult to understand. But, once you get the idea, watch how others are doing it and just follow along. Nobody is technical about this dance. Just do it with feeling and fun. That's really how everyone learns it. Not from a class or anything. But, if you are interested in a class Rails and SG -- BL on Salsagang.com is starting to offer a Bachata class. Check it out on his website. (BL should pay me for mentioning this.)
  5. Salsaonone

    Salsaonone New Member

    Bachata songs

    I have no real knowledge of who sings which bachata song, but what I don't understand is when a dj plays a speed bachata....speed merengue..ok...speed salsa...ok...but speed bachata?? I dont know the song or who sings it...but it seems un-natural for bachata to be fast...takes the feeling out of the dance when you cant keep up...if you know what I mean?? nugde nudge wink wink!
  6. Salsaonone

    Salsaonone New Member

    I think bachata is about the 2nd easiest latin dance to learn. After Meregue of course....To learn the basic anyway....But I love dancing bachata, cant say the same about merengue.... :shock:
  7. djpatricio

    djpatricio New Member

    Re: Bachata songs

    Well, strictly from an observer's (dj's) standpoint, I'd have to say that the best dancers to "speed bachata" that I've seen do two things. 1) They make smaller steps to make it an easier, closer, more sexy dance, and 2) they have a way of splitting their bodies into two halves, upper and lower. Say it is a really fast bachata, 150bpm or higher...the feet go 150 bpm, and the upper part of the body goes at half-tempo, ie. 1/2 of 150=75bpm, which is really the same thing anyway. All of Latin rhythm is about syncopation anyway, being able to do two or more things at once, and in this case I'm not even talking about 4/4 against 6/8, it's just tempo against half-tempo. But that's just my little observation from the dj booth/peanut gallery. I have to admit, I'm not the greatest dancer, so I make it my business to know everything I can about the music and live vicariously through the excellent dancers I observe from my little ivory tower. And, this what I have observed about "speed bachata".
  8. SurfSalsa

    SurfSalsa New Member

    Bonjour Preko! I've been to the French Caribbean a few times, and i LOVE Zouk music!! What do you dance to it??
  9. burbujo

    burbujo New Member

    oh, well, i can only confirm that Bachata is very much popular in Italy, and the ratio between Salsa and Bachata is almost 1/1.
    People love it maybe because:
    - it's simple, figures are not needed, not required and not really effective in my opinion... you have only to adjust the hip and HOLD CLOSE :wink:
    - the timing is obvious and everybody can follow it correctly
    - if you're in the right mood with the partner , can be surprisingly sensual (really)

    Anyway, i prefer Salsa, and i think that Bachata is a little bit overplayed in here...
  10. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    Will have to strongly disagree. The very closed hold position, with legs practically intertwining makes it quite difficult for a beginner to do. I had very slight problems with that when dancing with my teacher, who makes every step amazingly easy for me. So I am guessing it's much more difficult for everyone else. Closed hold position in bachata is not a beginner's thing, IMO.

    Twilight Elena
  11. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    My experience was different, because, due to a combination of circumstances, I learned to dance in very closed hold position with legs intertwining, before I took up salsa.

    Even now, though I've been studying salsa for a few years - and I love the music, the rhythm, everything about it - I still find it somewhat too distant for my taste. Bachata and merengue, on the other hand, make me feel completely at home.

    I don't know which dance style you studied first, Twilight Elena, but if you started with ballroom, which I believe is danced with a fairly tight frame, then you might find bachata strange because it doesn't have so many 'rules.'

    I think, for many people, the first dance you do - I mean the one that gets you 'hooked' on dancing - is the one that you judge all others by afterwards.

    When I meet a salsero who's prepared to break the frame and hold me close (and I mean this in a totally non-sleazy way) I think 'Hallelujah!' But they are few and far between...

    Rosa :)
  12. Twilight_Elena

    Twilight_Elena Well-Known Member

    I started with ballroom and continued with salsa. I did bachata and merengue with my salsa teacher. I've done very close position when I did tango with my ballroom teacher, so I had some experience on it and thus had no real problems with it. But other beginners kept some distance between their partner. Those who didn't moved very, very awkwardly.

    Twilight Elena
  13. Sagitta

    Sagitta Well-Known Member

    I am here. When in the right mood, of course. :wink: :)
  14. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    I have no immediate plans to visit NYC. But if I do, I'll certainly look you up, Sagitta! 8) :D

    Rosa :)
  15. Rosa

    Rosa New Member

    In the end, I think it comes down to personality. There are people who prefer to keep others at arm's length and there are people who prefer to embrace others. Then there are all the gradations in between...

    As we dance, so we are.

    Rosa :)

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