Bachata originated in the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean during the early 20th century, and includes Indigenous, African and European musical elements. It became popular in the rural neighborhoods of the island, but was censored almost to extinction during the Trujillo dictatorship (1930-1961) for being a “backward, lower art form for country-people”. After the end of Trujillo’s reign, Bachata flourished again and quickly spread to other parts of Latin America and Mediterranean Europe. Equivalent to the Blues in the U.S., Bachata is a very sensual dance, often centered around subjects of heartbreak, romance, and loss or to express the romantic feelings one has for a specific other.

The basics to the dance are three-step with a Cuban hip motion, followed by a tap including a hip movement on the 4th beat. The movement of the hips is very important because it’s a part of the soul of the dance. Generally, most of the dancer’s movement is in the lower body up to the hips, and the upper body moves much less. Today, Bachata is a popular nightclub style dance which is widely danced all over the world, but not identically.

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