The Real DomiBachata Bachata Survival Kit
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Ambiori&Yonlenis dancing Bachata in Juan Dolio, DR. This is the way regular Dominicans dance authentic bachata in Santo Domingo. Look how relaxed and natural. Looks simple, but contains a lot of styling and decoration details. The structure used is simply a square and stationary, beautiful because less is more. The simplicity has brought award winning 500 000 visitors.

DR9 organizer Bachata Ambassador® Vesa explains
Authentic Bachata®

Authentic Bachata (=the way Dominicans dance bachata) is a dance genre of it's own and shouldn't be confused with international bachata (=the way non-dominicans dance e.g. Bachata Moderna, Fusion Bachata, Sensual Bachata, Urban Bachata or in general International Bachata). International dancers cannot necessarily dance with Dominicans, because the international bachata is not directly compatible with authentic bachata. The Dominican way has a different structure with preferred patterns and practices. The structural rules of authentic bachata are commonly known among Dominicans and therefore they dance well together. If authentic bachata would not have a structure and common practices Dominicans wouldn't be able to dance with each others.

Bachata Ambassador Vesa

Dominicans call it BACHATA

Internationally the word BACHATA means too many things and needs a qualifier to identify the exact dance genre. DR9 calls "the Dominican way to dance bachata" outside DR as Authentic Bachata, but in DR we call it Bachata and we rarely need to qualify it to be authentic (bachata auténtica). Dominicans are really surprised when they see DR9 international participants to dance like Dominicans and we constantly hear them saying "look look, they dance like Dominicans, just better". Some people call authentic bachata as traditional bachata, real bachata, Dominican Bachata or DR Bachata.

Rodolfo&Fanny: Look at the connection, leading and following.

Simple to get started

Authentic Bachata is simple to learn up to the level where you can successfully dance with Dominicans. Authentic Bachata full theory and philosophy is really complicated and just some people in the world do serious research on it. To become an advanced authentic dancer involves years of hard practice in DR. The Dominican instructors are priviledged because they have Bachata in their blood and they just need to learn the theories and logical teaching. There are very few international instructors who can teach authentic bachata structure, musicality and practices. Unfortunately there are huge amount of international instructors claiming to know how to teach authentic, but they teach the skills Dominicans don't do or they teach too limited or exaggerated set omitting the most important skills. You shouldn't espect international instructor to be able to teach authentic properly if he or she hasn't been in DR doing an extensive study on how Dominicans dance.

Pipo&Carolina: These people are driven by the music. Their advanced footwork and body language has a musical flow.

Authentic is Fun

Authentic Bachata is surrounded by debates and opinions. Instead of getting confused visit Dominican Republic, learn authentic and dance with Dominicans. Being able to dance successfully with Dominicans means you have self certified yourself being able to dance at least the basics of authentic. All the beginners and adventurers have easily learned to dance in previous DR festivals. DR9 instructors have hundreds of years experience in authentic bachata dancing, which means they have the highest possible knowledge to teach the advanced dancers and instructors around the world.

Dominicans know the structure

Wouldn't it be nice to see a formal, unambiguous and detailed definition of the Authentic Bachata (=the way Dominicans dance)? Imagine! If it would exist, how on earth the millions of Dominicans would have read, understood and learned to dance according to the formal definition paper? The exact definitions are meant for competition dances, not for the evolution based nationwide dances like authentic bachata. Although the written exact definition does not exit, Dominicans widely know the structure, elements, patterns and practices. Widely known is based on the fact that bachata is part of the Dominican everyday life and they must learn the rules (from the other Dominicans) in order to have bachata dance fun together.

Rodolfo&Yocasti: The chachacha stepping with a certain path and kneeing technic creates the natural body movements

Authentic structure, elements and styling

Authentic Bachata is an architecture (structure) with a limited set of elements, patterns and commonly used practices. The styling and decorating varies and therefore every Dominican looks like dancing differently. Dominicans maintain the common structure but vary the styling and decorations.

While International bachata has hundreds of elements, authentic has only 10-20 elements. Dominicans use all their life to learn the styling for the few elements. International dancers try to use hundreds of elements with awkward results. It looks like International dancers are trying to do too much without success, while Dominicans concentrate on feeling good and having smooth and elegant styling with a flow.

Rodolfo&Yanervis: Authentic Bachata hasn't changed much in 90's, 00's and 10's. Here is Rodolfo 2007

You will easily learn the basics of Authentic Bachata. First you have to learn the most important elements, some leading&following rules, connection, musicality and unlearn the disturbing elements of the other dance genres. The advanced level involves months or years to create your own smooth and elegant style which is compatible with Dominicans.

Social Dance

Dominicans dance authentic bachata as a social dance in colmadon, car-wash, sports bar, cabaret, club, restaurant, discoteca, home and everywhere in Dominican Republic. Competitions and exaggerated choregraphy are not part of their social dance parties. Exceptions apply, but the main stream is social dancing, having fun, feeling good, pleasing your partner and searching for a partner. Nearly all of the International bachata parties are organized by dance schools and the audience is dance school students. Dominican parties have nothing to do with dance schools and party people have newer taken any kind of dance lessons. It's mindblowing to see the natural authentic dancing in Dominican Republic.

Vesa in a remote village Guerra, DR. It took over 10 years to create the extensive theories of Authentic Bachata.

The common mistakes

• You are not supposed to bring salsa, kizomba or other dance genre elements to bachata

• Authentic bachata is a social dance. Using the small dance floor as a presentation stage for an advanced choreographies is against the cultural expectations (exceptions apply)

• Competing in a serious or aggressive manner is against the cultural expectations, but you can show your skills e.g. in a Colmadon in a humorous manner

• Use small steps, the long ones are regarded offensive, brutal and ugly

• Dance relaxed, too rigid position and too much power distroys your authentic bachata

• Search the flow and soft patterns. Forget your international routines, try to copy the Dominican flow and gestions.

• Concentrate on things you do well, don't do the complicated patterns you don't yet master. Enjoy of what you do

• Dance on music. Make an extensive study on the musicality of authentic bachata.

You'll learn quickly in Dominican Republic

The fastest way to learn Authentic Bachata is to participate DR9 festival. DR9 Santo Domingo 4 days has 20 workshop hours which is more than enough to learn the Authentic Bachata to dance with Dominicans. DR9 has tons of parties in the local clubs to dance with Dominicans. When you finally have chance to get to DR, dance with Dominicans and look carefully how they dance. I'm pretty sure that they don't dance as you expected. Dominicans don't do exaggerated footwork, they dance smoothly with small's mind-blowing to see the natural authentic bachata dancing.