bachata dance

Sensational Bachata Styles

Bachata has become one of the most popular Latin dance
styles all over the world.

Since originating in the Dominican Republic, Bachata dance has gone through many phases. As the Bachata sensation became an international craze several sensual versions of Bachata have also developed.

Basic Bachata Dance Steps

Bachata is a partner dance basically comprised of four steps, with a tap or pop on the fourth step [one…two…three…tap/pop]. This intimate dance positions partners close together using a closed or open frame, and contains natural hip movement. There is always a side-to-side motion with three simple steps taken during four beats of music. On the fourth beat, both partners tap with a hip motion. To start, Bachata partners face each other and they begin to dance:

Step 1:   leader steps left with the left foot
Step 2:   leader brings the right foot to meet the left
Step 3:   leader steps to the left with the left foot
Step 4:   both partners tap/pop (leader with the left foot and follower with the right)


Another way to think about the Bachata steps is “step-together-step, touch”. For each step, the follower mirrors the leader’s steps. For steps 5, 6, 7 and 8, the basic steps are the same, but in the opposite direction. In reality, this is a very factual rendition of an incredibly fluid and dynamic dance where partners move together in harmony. The key to Bachata dance is to get the timing right.

Types of Bachata Dance

Several types of dance influence Bachata, from bolero to merengue. However, the sensual accents and quicker steps distinguish Bachata from other forms of dance. Take a look at these five most popular Bachata styles:

Dominican/Original Bachata

This style of Bachata dance is the initial form created in the Dominican Republic. Dominican Bachata, also known as original Bachata, contains a side-to-side motion and is filled with lots of footwork and freestyle moves. With more bounce than other types of Bachata, dancers alternate between the close and open positions, and do not perform many turn patterns.

Dominica Bachata Video:

Traditional Bachata

Initiated in the United States and Europe, traditional Bachata is the most common Bachata style danced all over the world. The feature characteristic for this method is the small hip movement on the fourth count [1…2…3…hip]. A very romantic Bachata style, partners have a very close connection. This form also involves turn patterns and dips.

Traditional Bachata Video:

Bachata Moderna

Modern style Bachata is the next evolution of Bachata dance that incorporates other styles of dance, as well as the concept of crosses. The cross movement is done by crossing one foot in front of or behind the other.  With this type of Bachata, the cross can be done on the first, second, third or fourth count. Bachata Moderna has much more styling, slides, intricate footwork, accentuated movement, etc.

Bachata Moderna Video:

Bachata Tango/Bachatango

Known as a sub-style of Bachata Moderna, this style of dance integrates Tango styling. Characterized by elaborated kicks, embellished dips, magnificent turns and long pauses prominent in Tango, the position for dance partners is very close. Bachata Tango focuses more on sensuality and less on intricate footwork. This style is an unfamiliar form that is unheard of in Bachata’s homeland.

Bachatango Video:

Urban Bachata

Characterized as a fusion of Modern Bachata and Hip-Hop, Urban Bachata is a fast-paced Bachata with an urban flavor. This style of Bachata is danced in all directions (not just side-to-side) and integrates new elements of sharp musicality, turn patterns and urban attitude. One of the leading bachateros in the urban Bachata movement is Alejandro Rey Mendibles from LA.

Urban Bachata Video:

Bachata Rueda

Inspired by Cuban Rueda de Casino, this Bachata style is for a group of couples dancing Bachata in a circle with a leader calling out movements to be performed in unison. In general, the moves called out follow the music and tend to be less complicated. Bachata Rueda incorporates various patterns and frequent partner changes.

Bachata Rueda Video:

What’s Your Bachata Style?

There are many forms of Bachata for you to enjoy. You just need to find the one that suits you best, or enjoy all styles of Bachata dance. Just let the music be your guide and feel the Bachata Sensation!