Bachata Moderna (or Modern Bachata)

Juan-Josie-ModernaWhat is Bachata Moderna? A lot of Bachateros have asked this question, as they think that Bachata Moderna is just a name given to plain Bachata but with Salsa moves. NO, it’s not that!

I developed Bachata Moderna back in 2009, after I was inspired by watching Inake Fernandez (read the article “More than just Bachata“). I focused on creating fundamentals in Bachata that could be use and re-used during the dance, and that we could create different variations of this fundamentals. My aim was to find a way to create more intricate turn patterns and add more musicality to the dance. These fundamentals were based on the basic steps of Bachata (read Bachata Traditional page), as I wanted to make sure  the essence of Bachata was/is always maintained. It does not use any of the Salsa fundamentals (as many people think this, and it’s wrong). Bachata Moderna is not just random moves put onto the Bachata step, Bachata Moderna is a proper dance style.

With Bachata Moderna your dance won’t be from side to side as the traditional bachata is, instead, you will move and flow on the dance floor with much ease!

Bachata Moderna is best danced to the new Urban Bachata bands such as Aventura, Domenic Marte, 4Ever, etc, the Bachata Moderna style started. However, nowdays, I dance Bachata Dominican, Traditional and Moderna all together in one, it is the song that tell me what to do and what style to use.

If you want to learn the proper Bachata Moderna, I have created 5 DVDs that explain in detail the different fundamentals of this style. Also, I have created a YouTube videos that goes into detail for each fundamental filmed after my Bachata classes at Tropical Soul.



Caminito is one of the basic moves in Bachata. It starts from a cuddle hold (where both dancers are facing the same direction) and both dancers move forward. However, there are a lot of difference combinations and variations that can be done from the Caminitos. Check Bachata Fundamentals – The Caminito video


This move is used to take the follower outside the “Bachata square”. The leader starts the move with a basic turn and on the 4th count, the dancer leads to an exit on1 on where both of the dancers step on the same direction where the lead started. So, if the lead started going to the left on the first count, it will continue going to the left for the full 8 counts. Check Bachata Fundamentals – The exits video


Similar to the standard around the world move, where the dancers do a complete 360 together, with the Open around the world, both dancers can do a 360 but finish in different positions.


A very exciting move as it is based on the basic turn. While the lady does a basic turn, the male changes directions, so at the end of the turn, both dancers are facing the opposite direction from where they started. The About Turn creates a lot of movement and motion out of the basic turn. Check Bachata Fundamental – About Turns video


One of the recognizable fundamentals. From a cuddle hold, the leader will lead the lady to step forward, whilst he steps backwards, creating resistance and a dynamic that the dancers will chance position on the following counts. Check Bachata Fundamentals – Quick Step Back video

ROUND COMBINATIONS (and the use of the quadrants)

A lot of combinations in Bachata can be done in a round / circular motion. However, in order not to loose you starting and ending points, we use the concept of the quadrants (north, south, east and west). With the quadrants then it is easy to know when are move should finish, rather than just guess. Bachata Fundamentals – Round Combinations


Caminito is one of the basic moves in Bachata. It starts from a cuddle hold (where both dancers are facing the same direction) and both dancers move forward. However, there are a lot of difference combinations and variations that can be done from the Caminitos. Check Bachata Caminitos Fundamental video.

When both dancers are facing the direction, and both dancers are moving to the same direction (not forward as the caminito) then one of the dancers is in the Shadow position (the dancer behind is shadowing the dancer in front). Many combinations and variations can be done from this position.

THE CROSSES (or Bachata Madrid Style)

On each count of the Bachata beat, except for the tap count or the last count (4th count and 8th count), you can do a cross. A cross means that you will cross one foot, either in front or behind the other.

Cross on1: The most difficult of the crosses as it breaks the standard step of the traditional Bachata. Instead of going 4 counts to the left and then 4 counts to the right, with the cross on1, the dancer can go 4 counts to the left and then continue another 4 counts to the left and so on. The same can happen on the opposite direction.

Cross on2: The easiest of the crosses as you keep the same left to right direction of the Bachata traditional. On the second count, the dancer does a cross either crossing one of the legs forward or backward.

Cross on3: The most elegant of the crosses as it looks like a tango step (“ocho”) even though it doesn’t follow the exact technique of the ocho. Instead of traditional step to going left to right, with the cross on3, the dancer moves backwards and forwards. On the first count the dancer will step to the side, on the second count, the dancer brings the feet together, on the third count the user crosses (either forward or back). The technique of the cross on3 can be resumed to: Step – Together/Direction – Cross/Lead – Heap.

Cross Over: the cross over is the move that the dancer takes to swap positions with the partner while stepping on each of the 4 counts.


Leading the lady to do a booty-pop, the leader can lead the lady to do a half left turn moving forward, instead of side. The move can be lead with either hand and on either end of the dance line, create patterns that go forward instead of side to side, and were the guy can quickly change position with his partner


Juan and Serena Bachata Moderna demo

Juan and Samantha Bachata Moderna social dance

Juan and Shade – Te Extrano freestyle