What is Happening to Bachata?

en in dance • 3 min read

In case you see me dancing bachata, you are lucky. I dance bachata very occasionally. But there was a time when I danced bachata a lot, I even signed few times for a competition! It was a time when I was dancing salsa and bachata shortly (crazy, right?)—just a year after my introduction into salsa on1, I started switch to on2 or mambo (depends on how you want to call it) and started to dance bachata on the stage.

That on2 switch was hard. People in Prague like to dance cuban salsa and I already had struggles to keep ladies in a line, so adding different timing was even bigger challenge. I was a beginner and I was confused. I had a problem to properly find the first beat. I had a problem to dance mambo on timba. I had a problem to dance mambo with a cuban follower. My switch couldn’t start until I went to my very first festival, Šibenik. But bachata was safe…

Bachata was relaxing for me. I could just enjoy the dance. I could have fun. The beat was obvious and everyone was dancing the same bachata.

Then waves overtook our city. Sensual was soon everywhere and I didn’t like it much. What I hated more was the music. With a sensual bachata comes a lot of pop music mixed with bachata beats. I don’t enjoy it much.

Another problem is a close position. I already wrote about this problem I see. Interesting fact, it’s gender-balanced. Probably there are more men than women anyway, but I met few girls which tried a lot to be all the time in close position. Even sweaty one, ewww.

I slowly stopped dancing bachata until today when I don’t dance it at all. I don’t care about bachata anymore. It attracts more weirdos than salsa, to put it nicely. Sometimes it’s good not to be the mainstream. :-)

Anyway, some parties mix bachata with salsa, so I cannot ignore it. I don’t mind, I need some time for rest and drinks! Unfortunately, sometimes there is also some show. I saw one lately… I really don’t know how to describe it. It’s a lot of acrobatics where girl is some sexy bag without almost any clothes on. Girl is flying everywhere in the air and also cleans the floor. I would understand that leaders forcibly do that to them, but they do that even alone! Seems to me like bachateras have no dignity.

It doesn’t look like dancing show anymore. It’s competition who can put on as fewer clothes as possible and still have something on. Even men have its own style. You can recognize bachateros from a long distance. Lady has leggings, sometimes with “camel toes”. Man has uneven long shirt (I didn’t find better name!) with a large neckline. Or no shirt at all.

This is not limited only to shows. I don’t like Dominican bachata either, but at least people really dance on those songs. What I can see from the door in sensual rooms… well, don’t forget condoms!

I’m glad cha-cha-cha exists. DJs, please, use cha-cha-cha instead of bachata at salsa parties to relax a bit! Bachata doesn’t fit next to salsa anymore. It looks like different world now. (Uhm, was there even a fit sometime in the past?)

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