I first became aware of it in 2009, when DJs at the salsa bars I frequented would play a few bachata songs between sets of salsa.
The basic steps looked easy enough, but I didn’t want to dedicate any lesson time to it, and while salsa bars often give away group salsa lessons to draw in patrons, the same can’t be said for bachata.
And without knowing how to do turns, it seemed boring compared to the salsa I was dancing at the time.
As a result, bachata songs became my cue to take a break from the dance floor and grab a glass of water.
Despite feeling like I’d never dance bachata, I continued listening to the music. It seemed like there was only one band that mattered.
Aventura was led by Romeo Santos, and their hits like Dile al Amor and Por un Segundo became instant favorites of mine, along with Prince Royce’s version of Stand By Me, which was played every night at The Salsa Room in Virginia.
With salsa, I’ve always enjoyed dancing to the faster songs, but if you want to dance bachata, you have to become comfortable going slower. Much slower.
A few months ago, I took a break from learning Cali style salsa to finally learn a little bachata.
After a few lessons, I got the basic steps down and began to feel more comfortable. The more time I devoted to bachata, the more I enjoyed it.
Juliana, my teacher, began introducing turns. Every time she’d introduce a new move, I’d laugh and wonder how I’d ever be able to remember it.
But with enough repetition during the lesson, I’d eventually get the hang of everything she showed me. The video above was taken after seven to eight hours of private bachata lessons at Santo Baile.
As much as I was enjoying the classes, I wasn’t practicing on my own, which is something I’d like to change in 2014 as I continue working to improve my bachata.