Bachata Traditional Fundamentals


Bachata is a 4/4 music, meaning that the beat goes 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4. For teaching purposes, instructors usually teach the count to be 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8. Regardless, a traditional (or Moderna) Bachata step can start on the 1st or 5th count.

Basic Side Step Dancers step either to the left or right on the first count. On the 4th count, a hip movement is added by tapping on the same foot. One-Two-Three-Hip/Tap. Dancers will travel a short distance in order to complete the 4 steps.
Front Step Similar to the basic side step, the only difference is that dancers move forward or backwards starting on the first count.
Stationary Step Similar to the basic side step. The only difference is that dancers do the steps on the spot, focusing more on body isolations and hip movements.
Close connection Standard close connection starts from the knee to the upper thigh of both dancers. No need to connect by the belt area as all of the close connection moves are led by the knee and upper thigh and not by the hips as many people think.
Thigh lead All close connection moves should be lead by the knee and upper thigh.
Open hold Both dancers face each other, holding both of their hands on standard and relax hand hold.
Basic Turn In 3 counts, the dancer will complete a full turn (turning inwards the line) travelling the same distance as the standard basic side step. The hip/tap movement on the 4th count remains the same.
Reverse (Basic) Turn Similar to the basic turn, the only difference is that the dancer will turn outwards the line.
Around the world Or also known as 360 turn. Lead dancer connects with the follower and in 3 counts; both dancers complete a full turn. This move requires close connection, frame and tension from both of the dancers. The leader’s right foot on the 5th count should be use as the pivot point for the entire turn.
Tap (cheat) step The dancer uses this step to match the partner’s direction of travelling (ie. Both dancers are facing the same direction). On the 2nd count, a tap step is added; the hip/tap on the 4th step remains the same. One-Tap-Three-Hip
Cuddle position When both dancers are side to side (shoulder to shoulder) facing the same direction. Leader has his arms wrapped around the followers. NOTE: the leader’s front arm should not be close to the lady’s chest, as the distance between the front arm and the lady’s chest is used as leverage for other moves.
Caminito Starting on a basic turn performed by the follower, both dancers finished side to side, on a cuddle position.
Hip rotations Hip rotations are either clockwise or counter clockwise. Lead by the thigh, both dancers complete a full hip rotation in 3 counts plus the hip on the 4th count, or a full hip rotation in 4 counts.
One count hip The side basic step is removed and replaced by hip movements. One count hip starts as soon as the hip on the 4th count is performed. One-Two-Three-Hip-Up-Down-Up-Down (up/down represents the hip movement)
Double count hip Similar to the one count hip, this time the hip movement is accentuated on every count (the up/down movement is done in 1 single count, 2 moves in one count)One-Two-Three-Hip-U/D-U/D-U/D-U/D (U/D represents the hip movement)This move is also known as the “Chihuahua” move

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