With the growing popularity of Bachata, I have seen, and also been involved in a lot of discussions within the dancing community regarding the different styles of Bachata currently being danced and taught around the world, and which style is considered to be the “correct” style to dance.

The evolution of Bachata begun with a change in the music itself, let’s look the past few decades… In the early 90’s, Luis Vargas and Antony Santos, both from the Dominican Republic, started to popularize Bachata to the Caribbean market. These guys decided to include the use of electric guitars, something that was not done before. In 1992, Dominican born singer Juan Luis Guerra won a Grammy for his album “Bachata Rosa”, his Bachatas blended the traditional romantic Bachata sounds with Bolero. The popularity of his music helped raise the profile of Bachata music throughout the world. When Aventura was formed in New York in 1994, they started blending rnb, hip hop and reggaeton tunes to the Bachata rhythm. This new rnb/hip hop infused Bachata was, and still is, a major factor in what makes Bachata music what it is today.

Notice here how the music evolved!

Similar to the music, the dance itself has evolved from its origins As the music is from the Dominican Republic, of course this is where Bachata dancing was born. As the music spread across the globe, so did the dance. Different cultures around the world have embraced Bachata and they have created their own interpretation of the dance, creating a beautiful fusion of different styles into the Bachata steps. There is no written evidence of this ‘evolution’ to date however, we can all witness the evidence ourselves when we attend dance events and even the vast amount of material on community sites such as YouTube (Keyword “Bachata dance”).

Without this evolution and the various creative interpretations from the various talented dancers and performers, Bachata would not be experiencing the growth and popularity it is today. Nowdays, there are 3 major styles of Bachata danced around the world: Dominican Style, Standard/Traditional Style (being the most popular) and the Moderna Style. I’m sure this is only the beginning, as we will see more instructors and dancers create new dance forms and new dance steps based on the basics of the Bachata steps (lately, Bachatango being a famous style in Europe).

If it is changing, it is because it’s growing and it is because it’s alive! If it’s not growing, then it’s dying. Bachata is changing, Bachata is growing, and therefore Bachata is alive!

Let’s embrace this evolution! Let’s collaborate and support all performers, dancers, instructors and promoters that want to share their love of Bachata to the world regardless of which style they teach or dance. I encourage you to try and learn all different styles of Bachata, and then, make it your own.

Bachateros from all over the world respect and are thankful to the Dominicans for creating such a beautiful dance and rhythm. I don’t think Dominicans imagined how popular Bachata was going to become. So, THANK YOU for giving Bachata to the world!

PS. If you know of more variations of Bachata, I invite you to share it with the community! The more we work together on this, the bigger Bachata will become!

–           Wikipedia “Bachata Music
–           Wikipedia “Bachata Dance
–           Juan Luis Guerra – My Space Page
–           History of Bachata – IASO Records
–           The History of Bachata – Ezinearticles.com
–           It’s History – I love Bachata

Written by – Juan Ruiz. Juan is the director of Bachateros Online Magazine and a bachata instructor, pioneer of the Bachata Moderna style