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Ambiori&Yonlenis from Santo Domingo dancing Bachata. This is the way how Dominicans dance bachata in Santo Domingo, relaxed and natural. It looks simple, but contains a lot of styling issues. The structures used are square and stationary. The result is beautiful, because LESS IS MORE. The simplicity has brought award winning 581 000 visitors.

Bachata Ambassador® Vesa explains the
Authentic Bachata®

Authentic Bachata (=the way Dominicans dance bachata) is a dance genre of it's own and shouldn't be confused with International Bachata (=the way non-dominicans dance Bachata Moderna, Fusion Bachata, Bachata Sensual, Urban Bachata or in general International Bachata). International dancers cannot necessarily dance successfully with Dominicans, because the other bachata brands are not directly compatible with authentic. The Authentic Bachata has a different structure, patterns and practices. The structural rules of authentic bachata are commonly known among Dominicans and therefore they can dance well together. If the authentic bachata wouldn't have well-known structure and common practices Dominicans wouldn't be able to dance with each others.

Dominicans call it BACHATA

The word BACHATA means internationally too many things and needs qualifier to identify the exact dance genre. DR festivals calls "the way Dominicans dance bachata" outside DomRep as Authentic Bachata®. In DomRep we call it simply Bachata, because most of the Dominicans don't know other bachata brands to exist. However they know that tourists "cannot dance" bachata or they dance some kind of "funny bachata". In our DR festivals, Dominicans are really surprised to see our international participants to dance like Dominicans and we constantly hear them saying "look look, they dance like us (=like Dominicans), just better". Some people call authentic bachata as traditional bachata, real bachata, Dominican Bachata or DR Bachata.

Calm basic level Bachata&Merengue dancing in Home Run, Santo Domingo.

The basics are simple to learn

It's relatively easy to learn the Authentic Bachata basics and enough to dance with Dominicans. The full theory and philosophy is really complicated and just a few people in the world do serious research on it. To become an advanced authentic dancer involves years of practice in DomRep. The Dominican instructors are priviledged because they have Bachata in their blood. They just need to learn the philosophy, theories and logical teaching.

There are very few international instructors who can teach authentic bachata structure, musicality and practices. Unfortunately there are huge amount of international instructors claiming to know how to teach authentic, but in reality they teach too limited or exaggerated set, even tricks that Dominicans don't do and omitting the most important skills. You shouldn't espect an international instructor to be able to teach authentic if he or she hasn't been enough long time in DomRep doing an extensive study on how Dominicans dance.

Pipo&Carolina: These people are driven by the music. Their advanced footwork and body language has a musical flow.

Authentic is Fun

Authentic Bachata is surrounded by debates and opinions. Instead of getting confused, it's better to visit Dominican Republic, learn authentic bachata and dance it with Dominicans. Being able to dance successfully with Dominicans means you have self certified yourself being able to dance at least the basics of authentic. All the beginners and adventurers have easily learned to dance in our DR festivals. DR festival instructors have in total hundreds of years experience in authentic bachata dancing, which means they have the highest possible knowledge to teach the advanced dancers and instructors around the world.

Yocasti&Jean Carlos in Fula River Bonao. This is one of the best and most authentic video of Autyhentic Bachata

Dominicans know the structure

Wouldn't it be nice to see a formal, unambiguous and detailed definition of the Authentic Bachata (=the way Dominicans dance)? Imagine! If it would exist, how on earth the millions of Dominicans would have read, understood and learned to dance according to the formal definition paper? As you can easily imagine, the exact definition does not exist, because bachata is evolution based nationwide dance. The written definitions are meant for competition dances, not for Authentic Bachata. Although the written exact definition does not exit, Dominicans widely know the structure, elements, patterns and practices. Widely known is based on the fact that bachata is part of the everyday life in DR and they must learn the rules (from the other Dominicans) in order to have bachata dance fun together.

Yocasti&Yonathan: Bachata swing

The structure, elements and styling

Authentic Bachata is an architecture and set of structures with a limited set of elements, patterns and commonly used practices. The styling and decorating varies and therefore it looks like every Dominican is dancing differently.

While International bachata has hundreds of elements, authentic has only 10-20 elements. Dominicans use all their life to learn the styling for a few elements. International dancers try to use hundreds of elements in a short practice time. The result looks in most of the cases awkward compared to Dominicans. International dancers try to do too much, while Dominicans concentrate on feeling good, cool and having smooth and elegant styling with a flow.

Rodolfo&Yanervis: Authentic Bachata hasn't changed much in 90's, 00's and 10's. Here is Rodolfo 2007

You will easily learn the basics of Authentic Bachata. First you have to learn the most important elements, some leading&following rules, connection, musicality and unlearn the disturbing elements of the other dance genres. The advanced level involves months or years to create your own smooth and elegant style.

Social Dance

Dominicans dance authentic bachata as a social dance in colmadon, car-wash, sports bar, cabaret, club, restaurant, discoteca, home, patio and everywhere in Dominican Republic. Competitions and exaggerated choregraphies are not part of their social dance parties. Exceptions apply, but the main stream is just social, having fun, feeling good, pleasing your partner and searching for a partner. Nearly all of the International bachata parties are organized by dance schools and the audience is dance school students. Dominican parties have nothing to do with dance schools and party people have newer taken any kind of dance lessons. It's mindblowing experience to see the natural authentic dancing in Dominican Republic.

Vesa in a remote village Guerra, DR. It took over 25 years to create the extensive knowledge of Authentic Bachata.

The common mistakes in dancing Authentic Bachata

• You are not supposed to bring salsa, kizomba or other dance genre elements to authentic bachata

• Authentic bachata is a social dance. Using the small dance floor as a presentation stage for an advanced choreographies is generally against the cultural expectations.

• Competing in a serious or aggressive manner is against the cultural expectations, but you can show your skills e.g. in a Colmadon.

• Use small steps, the long ones are regarded offensive, brutal and ugly.

• Dance relaxed, too rigid position and too much power distroys your authentic bachata.

• Search for a flow, piquete and soft patterns. Avoid international routines. Copy the Dominican flow and gestions.

• Concentrate on patterns you know well. Don't do the complicated patterns you don't yet master. Enjoy of what you do.

• Dance on music. Make an extensive study on the musicality of authentic bachata.

You'll quickly learn bachata in Dominican Republic

The fastest way to learn Authentic Bachata is to participate DR12 Bachata Festival in DomRep. DR12 has 20 workshop hours which is more than enough to learn the Authentic Bachata to dance with Dominicans. DR12 has tons of parties in the local clubs to dance with Dominicans. When you finally have chance to get to DomRep, dance with Dominicans and look carefully how they dance. I'm pretty sure that they don't dance as you expected. Dominicans don't do exaggerated footwork, they dance smoothly with small steps.