This article is for other beginner dancers out there who are reluctant to take that additional step in learning not just Bachata but other dance style. It is normal to be scared and most of the time these new dance styles challenged our values and belief systems…
I was new in the salsa world. I started taking salsa lessons and my classmates invited me to go to Establishment after our Tuesday class. I was reluctant at first because i was a new comer and although i know the basic steps i was overwhelmed by the thought of dancing with different men. I had this vision of men taking advantage of many ladies in the dance floor and i am not about to give them that pleasure. Let’s say i was very conservative and i will not allow someone to get close to me, nothing less than half a meter anyway. Finally the girls convinced me to come and i said to myself, why not take the chance. I have the most deadliest weapon in the dance floor, my heels, to protect me in case someone makes a sudden unnecesary move. Luckily one of the guys in advance team was there. I danced with him before and he knew how to handle me pretty well. My first dance was pretty good aside from me stepping on his foot and hit his forehead with my elbow. How embarassing, im already beating up my dance partner and it’s only halfway to the music. After the dance, my surroundings were spinning so fast that if he let go of my hand I will end up straight to the floor.
The next music played and it’s something i never heard before. Suddenly someone danced in front of me and i moved to the side and watched them. My eyes nearly popped out of what I saw. The words just came out of my mouth without realising it and said ‘what kind of dance is this? They should go to Four Seasons Hotel down the road and get a room. This two dancers danced so close together, so tightly wrap around each other. They were going sideways and the girls were definitely working their hips doing the number eight like belly dancers do. Then there was a body roll and sway moves, it was very sensual. Honestly, Bachata at first did not give me a good impression. I will ‘never’ dance like that and how can you possibly dance like this with a stranger? Where is the dignity of these women? See I told you I was very conservative. Looking back from when I started entering the Latin world, I felt like I was still in medieval times of how I perceive the salsa world. I left Establishment in a shock state, shaking my head and reasoning at the same time while heading to the train station.
Going to Establishment became our Tuesday night routine. I started to learn more about other Latin dance style. I began to understand Bachata too and the ignorance starts to rub off my system. I still did not dance Bachata but I started becoming more curious. I still rejected guy’s invitation to dance Bachata. One of my friends loves it so much that she wanted me to learn the basic moves. I refused at first but then she made a remark that made me think. She said ‘If you want to become a better dancer you have to put aside your assumptions and be open-minded. You have to open yourself to new things, new dance styles and not constrict yourself with the norms’. This was a very powerful remark and it really made me think on how narrow I become. This was an eye opener for me.
I started taking Bachata class and I was blown away by the dance style that I never looked back since then. I first danced Bachata in my group class. I learned the basics including hip movements which is my favourite movement of all because I can be so creative about it and become cheeky and fun at the same time. Of course I was nervous; my heartbeat was going 100 kph. After a few more dance class, I fell in love with the dance; it’s like seeing the person I love for the first time. The adrenalin rush was amazing and it became a celebration for me. This is a celebration of two unique souls, to express and go beyond the conventional movements. Most importantly Bachata is fun to dance and where else could you see men dancing with a little bit of hip movements?
This article is for other beginner dancers out there who are reluctant to take that additional step in learning not just Bachata but other dance style. It is normal to be scared and most of the time these new dance styles challenged our values and belief systems. It challenges us to the point where we become so engrossed of what would other people think if they see us dance like this? This is perfectly normal but keep in mind you have to keep pushing and keep learning, keep dancing and allow your body to express in the most creative way. In this present day, ignorance is not an excuse anymore. Ignorance will not allow you to travel far; it will hinder your development and your ability to become the best dancer you can ever be.
Written by Diana Secuya – Diana is a new Bachatera in town. You can find Diana at the Establishment on tuesday nights and dancing anywhere there is Bachata.