Bachata music originated in the Dominican Republic and is popular there. It has European, Indigenous, and African musical elements. Bachata used to be called amargue which means bitterness, bitter music or the blues. It is influenced by Bolero and Son music.
Characteristics of Bachata
A bachata group usually consists of 5 instruments: lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar, bongos, and güira. The lyrics are about heartbreak, longing or sadness. Girls do not wear skirts that are too short or a dress that flows. Men dress casual during the dance but stay away from bright colors and make sure the pants are comfortable.
Some famous bachata artists are Anthony Santos, Raulin Rodriguez, Romeo Santos and Prince Royce.
Dance moves or step variety strongly depend on the music (such as the rhythms played by the different instruments), setting, mood, and interpretation. Unlike salsa, bachata dance does not usually include many turn patterns. It is a basic dance sequence in a full 8-count moving within a square. The dance sequence consists of three steps and then a tap step. Some dancers in the West accompany the tap with an exaggerated "pop” of the hips. Bachata can be danced on the 1st beat of the musical phrase, with the tap on the 4th beat, but dancing on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th beat is also common. The tap is done on the opposite foot of the last step, while the next step is taken on the same foot as the tap. The dance direction changes after the tap or fourth step.