Bachata is a wonderful and unique dance with a very deep and very beautiful history. Humbly created by servants in the early days of the Dominican Republic, Bachata was simply known as a celebratory dance that would occur after they all were released from their daily chores, and had down time. Instead of diminishing into their own little huts by themselves, the workers desired community and would achieve and capitalize on these moments by Latin dancing!
Interestingly, the dancers would perform to music that was made by every day objects like garbage cans, fences, pipes, or anything that was readily available to them. This style of music is what inspired the very name of the dance itself, since the music was upbeat and lively. In fact, the word Bachata literally translates from Spanish as “a party” or “a good time,” so you know it was very well named indeed.
Before Bachata dancing gained mainstream popularity however, it was mainly found in low class bars and brothels, which attributed towards the dance being seen as one for poor people, and therefore the types of associations that were made with this dance style made it seem as a very taboo topic.
Sometime in the mid 50’s the dance was almost eradicated altogether. While at the time President Rafael Trujillo supported the Merengue dance – which was a major influence in the making of Bachata, the censorship of Bachata was enforced due to it being seen as a lowly form of dance which was looked down upon by a lot of the upper class citizens of the area. After his 30-year reign ended, the dance had only a small remaining group of followers left. Nevertheless, in the 1980’s, Bachata made a strong comeback and became overwhelmingly popular.
Today Bachata is known as a warm and romantic dance form. The harmonious and intimate movements within the steps draw many people to fall in love with it. The dance also now has multiple different forms including traditional, Moderna, Urban, Tango, as well as the Original Dominica Bachata. Each of these different versions carry the same basics steps but have also include varying techniques. According to the dancers of the area, this is what really gives Bachata its one-of-a-kind unique flair! So with all that’s been said and done, we can start to see a very rich and beautiful history unfold, a dance of art making its way through prosperity, censorship, eradication, and oppression, to be found today very alive, well and better than ever!
Like those who created the dance, what’s the first thing you want to do after a hard day at work? Is it get up and dance?! This was the Dominican Republic’s surprising answer, and it seemed to be a great stress reliever! Latin dance lessons are a great way to learn the ins-and-outs of this beautiful dance, and burn off some steam, while even re-connecting with someone special at the end of your long day. Come on into Dance FX Studios and together let’s begin your history of taking dance lessons here with us!