Bachata Dominicana vs Bachata Sensual vs Bachata Moderna vs Bachata Fusion

Today, we look at the differences between Bachata Dominicana and Bachata Sensual. And we want to shed light on what Bachata Moderna and Bachata Fusion are.

Bachata Dominicana, the traditional Bachata, has experienced different evolutions of its dance. Because of its history and global influences from artists, several modern styles developed.

Differences between Bachata Dominicana and Bachata Sensual

Bachata Dominicana, having its roots in the Dominican Republic, is footwork-centric. You dance a huge variety of steps and your feet follow the rhythm of the guitar. But a common misconception is, that Bachata Dominicana doesn't include much bodywork. This is definitely wrong! Although centered around the feet, hips, shoulders and whole-body movements are always present. This is what gives the traditional Bachata its flavour and style.

Dominican Bachata isn't known as sensual but looking at lyrics and how it's danced, it is full of emotions. An intimate connection. In the Dominican Republic, people will dance it with everyone: partner, friends, or aunt. Although people dance Dominican Bachata everywhere, it is harder to dance at events. This is due to the basic knowledge of footwork patterns from most dancers.

Bachata Dominicana is a great Bachata style, very rhythmical and lots of fun if you take the time to learn foot patterns and practice it.

What is Bachata Sensual?

Bachata Sensual, founded by Korke and Judith in Spain, is going in a different direction. The dance trend lives through the interplay of Bachata rhythms with pop music. Influenced by the Brasilian Zouk, it has a much stricter system of leading and following. The idea is to use the body of the follower to interpret the music. The dancer achieves this by using isolated movements, waves, dips, and circular movements. The traditional rhythm becomes less important than the figures compared to Bachata Dominicana.

As the name suggests, the sensuality of the dance plays a more important role. Close movements take over and you will have a much closer dance position with your partner. Typical music for this type of Bachata is the remix portfolio from artists like DJ Tronky or DJ Khalid.

Bachata Moderna vs. Bachata Sensual

Developed by Juan Ruiz in 2009, Bachata Moderna includes more turn patterns like you see in Salsa. You don't focus on the side-to-side basic step but move around with more freedom. Typical and fundamental movements of Bachata Moderna are:

  • Caminitos
  • Quick turns
  • Exits and cross
  • The around the world
  • Round combinations

The aim was to add more musicality to the dance by introducing more patterns but still keep a core concept. Juan Ruiz' thoughts were as followed:

"My aim was to find a way to create more intricate turn patterns and add more musicality to the dance. These fundamentals were based on the basic steps of Bachata, as I wanted to make sure  the essence of Bachata was/is always maintained."

Bachata Fusion, Bachatango and co.

Now we looked at Bachata Dominicano, Bachata Sensual, Moderna, and their differences. But there are newer developments as well, although they usually have specific cases.

Bachata Fusion, for example, is a trend developed for competitive dancing. Usually only meant for competition, it includes extreme hip movements and Ballroom figures. That's why people also call it Ballroom Bachata. Something that doesn't work during social dancing.

Bachatango is another trend, that mixes elements of Tango into the Bachata dance. Or rather the opposite. With a focus on tango steps and its specific rhythm, Bachatango is now danced to Bachata and Tango music.

Other interpretations of Bachata have been also seen mixed with hip-hop elements.

What Bachata style is the best?

I hope you have a better understanding of the main Bachata styles after reading this article. If you know ask yourself what the best Bachata style is, there is no winner. All 3 styles include nuances and movements of the others. When you start diving into all variations of Bachata, you will likely enjoy Bachata even more. It is likely that the knowledge of another Bacha style will also improve your main dance style.

Many Dominicans do not see exaggerated hip and shoulder movements as Bachata. They say it gets away from traditional movements despite the musical development. I would say that evolution is nothing bad but an inevitable step to attract new generations. Bachata Sensual and Moderna are obvious signs of a more sexualized and open society.

And despite you will hear people say Bachata Dominica is the real Bachata. And that Bachata sensual is only an urban adaption, make up your own mind. You need to decide what style suits your own taste more but in the end all variations are worth dancing.

 For the love of the dance!