[i][b]a complete step by step guide to learn bachata:[/b][/i]
History of Salsa Dance
Oozing with sensuous style, the passion and energy flowing about the dance floor as salsa dancers take to the scene is so contagious that you may certainly long to feel the liveliness they emit. Salsa is often a partner dance that usually moves to the beat of salsa music, but also has performance merit in its own right.
Derived from the Spanish word for "sauce," the dance is aptly named for the flavor or "spicy" technique it centers upon. With room for both partners to strut their stuff, this method of dance is becoming increasingly popular throughout dance institutions and afternoon school programs across the United States.
In a world where leg and arm work, mesmerizing movement, isolated body positions, shoulder shimmies and rolls serve as romantic, passionate displays of emotion, salsa dancing works with music designed with two bars consisting of four beats. Generally, the patterns of salsa dance highlight the use of three steps during the four beats with the skipping of one beat. Often, the skipped beat represents the natural shifting of weight from one foot to the next. As you start to feel the rhythm of salsa music, an intricate exhibition of percussion may showcase 120 beats per minute, while some of the fastest tunes include close to 180 beats per minute.
Brief History of Salsa Dancing
Over the years, the sounds of salsa and the steps of the dance migrated to the U.S. as early as the 40s, where further cultivation took place in the New York City Latin population during the 1960 and 70s. Cuban and Puerto Rican communities throughout Latin America and the United States are responsible for shaping most of the steps we see today. The culture surrounding salsa also takes cues from the styles of mambo and rumba. The typical instruments accompanying salsa dance includes the thumping of congas, blaring trumpets, cowbells, timbales, and claves.
Understanding the Steps
When beginning to explore the basic steps of salsa, you should know that the dance patterns follow various steps to a musical beat. In salsa, 4-beat patterns are used, which are counted in the following manner: "1-2-3-...-5-6-7-..." The leader will start on the first count by stepping with the left foot. During counts 2 and 3, the leader will then step with the right and left. When count 4 is reached, the leader will pause or electively tap the right foot. On counts 5, 6, and 7, the leader will respectively step using the right, left, and right once more. A pause falls on the eighth count. As a rule of thumb, each step is completed with full weight transfer.
As for the follower, they will initiate the same role, but their movements are shifted by 4 beats. This means when the leader's left foot is forward, the partner's right foot should step back. Many salsa styles show the leader starting with their left foot, while their partner begins on their right.
To familiarize yourself with some of the common steps of salsa, you might want to inquire on the Underarm Turn (also known as the Outside Turn), where the follower turns clockwise. The Spot Turn has one partner or both performing a complete counterclockwise turn (360 degrees), while remaining in their same spot. When performing the Windmill, the leader will guide their partner by using both hands instead of relying on their left.
Exploring Salsa Dance Styles
A variety of salsa dance styles are seen across the globe; all of which hold their own characteristics when it comes to movement, step timing, step patterns, turns, attitude, and style of dress. With Cuban salsa dance styles, this approach is met with an "on 1" or "on 2." A vital element regarding Cuban style is known as the "Cuba step" (or Guapea), which involves the leader completing a backward basic on 1-2-3 and a forward basic on 5-6-7. The follower will also do the same, which results in a mirroring effect of the two dancers. Some Cuban style salsa dancers will also incorporate circling around one another within their routine.
For a flashier salsa dance method, the Los Angeles style dates back to the later part of the 1990s to the early 2000s. Many 90-degree turns are utilized by the dancers, which have often received criticism for putting on more of a show than really dancing. But what do you expect? This is Hollywood we're talking about. Additional salsa styles to note includes: New York (showing directional changes during breaks); On Clave (following the 2-3 or 3-2 pattern of the clave); Puerto Rican; and Rueda, which hails from Havana, Cuba and involves dance pairs within a circle.
Dancing Tips for Salsa Enthusiasts
As you begin to explore the beauty and zeal of salsa dancing, there are many different ways to approach this fascinating world of self-expression. To make your journey easier, a few suggestions can be found below:
1) When it comes to being the leader of a salsa dance couple, it is important to remember that adjusting dance timing to their partners’ rhythm preference will improve consistency. So, if your partner seems to always dance “on 1,” the leader should adjust their timing to the same.
2) Finding the beat is also essential to salsa dancing because without it, you will appear disorganized on the dance floor. When the beat is captured, steps to the music become synchronized. It is the goal of salsa dancers to meld the music and dance into one entity.
3) When dancing salsa, onlookers are attracted to the positive energy that one gives off that sometimes borderlines a slight attitude. When dancing, make sure you are full of confidence, exhibit good posture, and appear in control of all your actions, facial expressions, and moves.
4) No matter how difficult a dance arrangement is, hand coordination can become the key to maintaining your balance.
Bachata Dance Music
Bachata Music and Dance Go Hand in Hand
Bachata music is a form of music and dance style that originated in the barrios of the Dominican Republic. Every culture has their music, and although
salsa, merengue and other styles of romantic music are prevalent in the Dominican Republic, Bachata is one of the more prevalent types.
Bachata Music History and Background
While other forms of music are about happiness and romance, Bachata is as well but in a different way. Bachata music usually speaks of heartache and
unrequited love; it has a bitter tone to it that comes from those who made the music in such a mood and it was not the type of music created or played
by those who were of high social status in the Dominican Republic, at any point in time. As a matter of fact, historically speaking Bachata music is the
music of peasants and servants who may or may not be fed up with their lifestyle.
Bachata music originally was forged in the early 1960s and many said it was inspired by some of the works of the Beatles. Even before that point in time,
the beginnings of Bachata music were being laid, with the combination of Latin guitar and merengue and salsa all combined into one. As a matter of
course, this is a type of music that female singers and musicians rarely take part in. Most of the people who create and perform Bachata music are
those of the male persuasion and this rings true even today.
It was not until 1961 that Bachata music received its very first form of official recognition. Jose Manuel Calderon is the first man to record a single that is
popularly regarded as Bachata in nature. Before then, bolero campesino is how every bit of music of this type was regarded. The then-dictator, Rafael
Trujillo, had a hold on the music industry but after his death, there was more freedom to express oneself when it came to music, and all of the ‘peasant’
musicians were able to come out of hiding.
These days, Bachata music is popular with Latin people all over the world, but it wasn’t always this way. It was just one of the rare forms of dance and
music that emerged from Dominican neighborhoods, but over the past few decades it has began to take shape and establish its presence in everyday life
and the music world.
Bachata music and Bachata dance go hand in hand, and that is as it should be. Just as Bachata music is simple and uncomplicated, Bachata dance is
as well with a series of the simplest of steps, moving front to back or side to side. While the foot movements and foot work are simple enough, it is the
upper body and the legs that add the flavor and style to the dance, if such is deemed necessary.
While men may perform the music, women and men alike take part in Bachata dancing. It is a dance of sensuality and seduction, relating strongly with
its roots in heartache and bitterness and unrequited love.
Bachata Music and New York City
When it comes to the Latin American culture in New York City, Bachata music and dance are extremely popular. Aventura is the name of one of the very
first official Bachata music bands, and they recorded their music in New York City, establishing a presence for this genre in the area. In the New York
version of Bachata music, the music is heavily influenced by American schools of music, like rhythm and blues and hip hop. At the same time, they
broke the mold by using a female singer for their songs, blowing the image of male Bachata musicians out of the water.
These days, there is a great deal that sets Bachata music apart from other types of music, but it is the dominance of the genre in the United States that
is beginning to help the genre get established. These days, Bachata music sounds different from salsa, bolero, and merengue when it used to be hard to
tell the difference. At the same time, the music and the dance still maintain their elements of Latin-ness that these other genres have managed to
Bachata music and Bachata dance are an important part of Latin American culture and a vital aspect of Dominican culture and history. While it has made
many changes over the years, it still remains the music of the Dominican Republic
Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn to Dance Bachata:
Have you ever wondered what kind of dance someone is performing? Or maybe, how do they do they move their body like that? If you're new to Bachata and have seen how amazing it looks, then you've probably asked yourself these questions. What most people don't know is that learning the Bachata can be as easy as listening to the music and letting yourself get carried away with it. The Bachata begins as a beat, which your body can hear and move to. It then becomes a musical score and you body moves with the flow of the sound...
The people of Latin America created the Bachata to release the tensions of daily life but the benefits are way more far-reaching than just that!
By learning the Bachata you learn the culture behind the music, the people who pored their heart and soul into it. The benefits are endless...
Social: Working with other people. Learning to dance this particular dance requires someone teaching you. Though many of the dances are choreographed for one dancer you will find that having two brings the heartache out even more.
Health: Exercising of any kind is always beneficial to your body and overall health. Dancing allows you start out slow using your entire body, or if you are looking for more of a workout you will find the beat can be changed as easily as that next step.
Confidence: Learning anything new creates confidence, learning to dance and dance well can bring you great pride and joy. By boosting your confidence in dancing, you will fin d that you have more confidence in everything else you do.
Learning a new skill: By learning how to dance, you are keeping not only your body but also your brain active as well. The brain is as much a muscle as any other parts of your body and learning the Bachata gives it a great workout.
Exercise: As I have mentioned, any form of exercise is good, dancing is one of the best. You use every muscle in your body, from the steps you take with your feet to the movement of your legs, hips and working up to your chest, arms and head. Dancing can also be attributed to lowering blood glucose levels in Non-Insulin Diabetics and helps the heart pump but more freely throughout your body.
Meeting new people is always a good thing for people. We start out even from birth needing the touch and feel of others around us. Studies have shown that people who are outgoing are healthier, lead more productive lives.
By combining Entertainment and fun, you get what your body needs without realizing it. Also any form of entertainment that requires more than just putting in a movie is heart healthy. Not to mention that the gyration of the hips while the dance is being performed can be extremely fun and uplifting.
Non-verbal communication: You may not realize how much your body truly tells people how you really feel. It is true though, by the sway of your body or the amount of movement you use can help you express what you fell more than anything else. If you pull away from your partner and begin to move on your own, you could be telling them that you are upset with them or better yet, come hither.
Coordination with your body: Hand and eye coordination is a very important part of everyday life. Dancing takes this farther by showing you how to coordinate not only your bottom half with the top half of your body. But how to use what you hear to cause each move you make.