A description of the more specialized dances from the Caribbean
Bachata: Bachata comes from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean where the music also was born from the Caribbean Bolero which is a Cuban invention.
The early slow style from where everything started in the sixties was danced only closed exactly like the Bolero to the early slow Bachata-Bolero music.
The basic steps moving within a small square is an evolved variation of the Dominican Bolero steps which again is a variation of the Cuban Danzón steps.
Danzon was danced in the Dominican Republic many years ago before the dance was displaced by Son and Bolero from the nineteen twenties and forward.
The authentic Caribbean Bachata is a new evolved dance made specific to the music Bachata and it's characterized by it's very unique dance structures with an unique Vuelta (individual full turn), an Enchufla (half turn together changing position), playful basis steps with syncopated steps and sequences with footwork.
This Authentic Bachata Dance is today danced all over the Caribbean and also in the most savvy Western Countries, it's dance in many different paces from the slow romantic and close dance almost without turns to the faster and much more playful dance with more turns, footwork and rhythmic free style moves alternating between the close, semi close and the open dance position.
Authentic Bachata is danced with natural soft African hip movements and a tap with or without a small "accent" with the hip on the 4th "step" (1, 2, 3, tab/accent), it can be danced with or without bounce (moving the body down in between the beats and up again on the beats by springs the legs a little).
It's a very social dance style created by the Dominican Social Dancers over many decades from around the sixties until today and are actually still evolving.
Notice that most of what is danced in the Western World called Bachata is not Bachata but westerns dance school invented dances added elements from Salsa, LambaZouk, Tango, Sport Dance etc. and therefore are far from the authentic Bachata as we teach here on this Festival of authentic social dances.
The trend in the Western World is that more and more dancers discover this more playful and much better connected authentic Bachata and want to learn it now.
Son: Is an old very beautiful and elegant couple dance from Cuba danced all over the Caribbean.
Son is the technical base for both Casino (Cuban 'Salsa') and NY-Mambo (American 'Salsa') and other dances based on NY-Mambo e.g. LA-Style.
Son is danced mostly in a close position adding short sequences of footwork and different Turns/Figures.
Son is danced "Contra Tiempo" which means that you dance on the beat 2, 3 and 4 instead of 1, 2 and 3 like Casino, LA-Style, Bolero etc.
Son should be danced very controlled and elegant with subtle soft hips and torso-movements.
Son is a social dance created by the Cuban Social Dancers over many decades from around 1900 with Danzon as predecessor and have a Renaissance today both in Cuba and around the World.
Skillful Son Dancers makes this dance look easy to learn but it's not, it requires strong body control, but when you have learned to control your body, the steps and the footwork you will love Cuban Son for the rest of your life, furthermore this dance will make you a better 'Salsa' dancer because of your improved control.
ChaChaChá: A Cuban dance from the beginning of the fifties. ChaChaChá is danced "Contra Tiempo" like Cuban Son with the ChaChaChá-steps starting on the 4th beat to the 1st beat in the following bar with a syncopation in between those 2 beats, then followed by 2 steps on the 2nd and 3th beat and then starting all over again: ChaChaChá, step, step, ChaChaChá, step, step, etc.
The ChaChaChá steps are originally coming from the cuban dance Mambo. The ChaChaChá is danced almost like Son but is more energitic because of the trible-steps ChaChaChá.
ChaChaChá is also a social dance original created for american turists because it was to difficult for them to learn the Cuban Son steps danced Contra Tiempo with a break on the 1st beat in every bar which is pretty difficult for inexperienced dancers because they mostly start dancing on the 1st beat in the music.
Bolero: Original a Cuban dance closely connected to Danzón, it's very romantic because of the very slow pace and the dancing in a close position only.
Bolero is also danced all over the Caribbean like the Cuban Son but the Dominicans have their own a little different variation of the basic steps inspired by the old Cuban Danzón steps.
We will teach you both the Cuban and the Dominican Bolero at the same time because together they give you more variety, both are relatively simple to learn and as mentioned very nice, very romantic and very cosy.
The Caribbean Bolero music is slow, very romantic and beautiful, actually is the term Bolero the Caribbean word for a Balade.