Last year, May 2011, Bachateros released a Worldwide Bachata Survey. The aim of this survey was to better understand the Bachata community and its members. The survey focused on 3 main topics:

  1. Bachata history
  2. Bachata music
  3. Bachata dancing

There were a total of 346 responses from all over the world.  I’m happy with this number of respondents, as it was the first time something like this was ever attempted! So I believe it is an accomplishment by itself.

This was an unbiased exercise. The results of the survey are displayed below for everybody to see, as in contains very interesting information useful not only for Bachata singers and instructors, but for anybody that works and promotes the Bachata scene.

If you want a copy of the data collected, please contact me directly.

The major highlights are:

1.    93% of the respondents know that Bachata is from the Dominican Republic! And around 40% of the responded said that they confidently know the history of Bachata.

You might think this is a no-brainer, but there are still people there that don’t know much about the history of Bachata. So lets make sure everybody knows things like this

2.    Urban Latin Bachata (ie. Aventura, Xtreme, etc) is more popular than Dominican Style Bachata (ie. Luis Vargas, Frank Reyes, etc)

Urban Latin Bachata obtained 67% of popularity from the total number of respondents compared to the 40% of popularity that Dominican Bachata got.

This is not a surprised, as majority of people are introduced to Bachata music by the Urban Latin bands, as their music is played more in nightclubs and radios worldwide.

3.    Respondents relate Bachata music to “romantics times with partner” and “dancing and hanging out with friends” (56% and 50% respectively) instead of referring Bachata as a bittersweet music.

When Bachata started (back in the 50’s and 60’s), Bachata was considered a bittersweet music, as it sang about broken love, money problems and other life struggles. Nowadays, this conception has changed completely, and majority of the people relate Bachata to positive feelings.

4.    Word of mouth and free downloads are the most popular ways people get Bachata music

Only 16% of respondents said that they buy Bachata music CDs. Due to today’s social media trends and the easy way to share music, it is not surprising this low number of CD’s buyers. Artists need to think on different ways to distribute music (i.e. giving away free samples) to gain exposure, or sponsor Bachata dancers, allowing them to legally use their music for their shows.

Also, Bachata singers should consider different and more engaging type of live shows, as that will be the major differentiator between them.

5.    Majority of respondents said that they know how to dance Bachata Traditional and Bachata Moderna (both got 76%), compared to the 59% that said they are know Dominican Bachata.

Again, it shows the influence of the Urban Latin Bachata music, as people are introduced to Bachata through these artists, people learn the Traditional and Moderna style before they learn Dominican style. Think of Usher doing traditional Bachata steps at the Latin Grammys!

However, Dominican style is rapidly becoming one of the most common styles nowadays.

6.    Bachata classes are the number one option for people to learn Bachata.

67% of respondents said they took classes to learn Bachata, however, 45% were self-taught.  (Keep in mind; respondents could select various options in this question).

As an instructor, I am happy with the numbers here as it shows that people are giving Bachata the respect that is needed and that they want to learn the proper basics; as on previous years, Bachata was seen as a second class dance, meaning that you could learn the steps on the dance floor and forget about taking classes.

7.    People prefer experimenting and creating new moves with their dance partner instead of purchasing Bachata DVDs.

Only 15% of respondents said they watch Bachata DVDs in order to learn new moves compared to the 38% that learn new moves by watching videos on YouTube, Facebook and other sites. 61% said they create new moves with their dance partner.

This is not a surprise; once again we see the strong influence of social media here. As instructors, we need to use social media to reach a larger numbers, and the instructional DVDs should contain material that could be shared online, or use a hybrid type of online and video instruction.



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These are just the major insights of the data collected; I do recommend that you should look at the answers as you might find other insights as well.

Feel free to comment on this survey, and also, please share these results with the Bachata community, as the more we know about our community, the more we can help it grow.