Bachata is a style of dance that accompanies the music of the same name. It has its origins in the Dominican Republic.
The dance is a four-step beat achieved with a walking Cuban hip motion, and a unique “pop”. The dance is performed both in open position and in closed position depending on the setting and mood of the partners. Similar to Merengue, dips are not original to the dance and turns are done infrequently.
The male leads the female with subtle communication using pushing and pulling on the hands to guide the direction in which to move or to hint on upcoming turns. The female may also provide communication using her left hand to indicate whether she is comfortable or not dancing in a closed position.
The style developed in Europe and US (Traditional, Modern, Bachatango) is a basic dance sequence of a full 8 count in a side-to-side motion. The Dominican style basic dance sequence is a full 8 count moving within a square. Counts 1 through 3 and 5 through 7, when taken, generate a natural hip motion.
Counts 4 and 8, consists of a “pop” movement. The "pop" depending on a person’s style is executed lifting or tapping a foot or using stylish footwork while popping the hip to the side opposite of the natural Cuban hip motion. Bachata music has a slight accent in rhythm at every fourth count, indicating when the “pop” should happen. Note: The “pop” will always be done in the opposite direction of the last step, while the next step will be taken on the same direction of the pop. The dance direction will interchange at every 4th count.