In the preparation for the bachata boot camp of this Saturday 7th of May, Ditte Kimps wrote this text:

Different styles of bachata

European style: This is the basic bachata from left to right, with turns from left to right. The pattern goes back and forth sometimes as well. All 8 counts are used. There is little variation in footwork. The open position is default.  This is perfect for beginners.

Bachatango: This is obviously a mix of bachata and tango. It often includes more acrobatic and bigger, but elegant movements.  It has a lot of variation in timing with ochos etc. The closed position is used for good leading, but it is never sticky because you need to maintain a frame. For improvers.

Dominican bachata: The original bachata has a lot of footwork on the spot, open and closed positions.  It shows a minimum of turning, but a lot of syncopations (e.g. chacha). It allows more individual movements (shines), because you're not moving from left to right.  In general, beginners don't prefer to start with the 'pure' dominican style, because it is more difficult to lead the different footwork etc. It is less visual, often perceived as too sticky.... For improvers.

Fusion style (Jorge Elizondo):  This is a mix of European style with Dominican flavors. So it basically combines the turn patterns of European style with footwork and closed positions from Dominican.  It has the best of world words, really. It allows you to do many turn patterns (even adapted salsa turn patterns), and it gives you skills to show variation in your basic step and to play with the music.  This the current main stream bachata style. For beginners/improvers/advanced.

Madrid style: Its basic step is different and more dynamic than the European one. It is still to the left and right, but diagonal with twists, and not necessarily with a step on 4 and 8. They incorporate European style turn patterns, which look rather different, because of the appearance and restrictions of the Madrid basic. For improvers.

Bachata Mix (Paul Baarn): This is a mix of Fusion style, Bachatango and Madrid style. It plays a lot with the different timings like in bachatango.  It doesn't have the spectacular movements from tango, though. But it requires smooth and clear leading. The Dominican influence is rather small, apart from tiny footwork. For improvers/advanced.

Australian style (Juan Ruiz): This is a mix of European and Bachata mix, but without the Dominican flavor. It has elegant, but rather big movements. These combinations are often difficult to do in clubs.  For improvers.

Rotation style (Gaetan Collaert): This style is a mix of Fusion, tango, salsa and Bachata mix.  In general, it uses turn patterns from the European style and salsa. However, it is more often in closed position with tango techniques. What is different from the rest is that there are lots of rotations, i.e. lady and leader turn around the same axis. This is perfect for social dancing in small rooms. In general the movements are kept small, and because of the turns in rotations it is often more advanced. A good spot and balance is needed. For improvers/advanced.

Ditte Kimps

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