August 30th, 2021
MY DEFINITION & DESCRIPTIONS OF DANCE WORKSHOP (BACHATA)
First off…There is Intro, Beginners, Progressive, Intermediate, Advance, Masters, and Teachers
Each one has a purpose and meaning to all learners, unless the teacher is just throwing out titles for the sake of marketing.
Intro is a percursor to the Beginners Workshop. It’s pretty much the same except, it’s really a short introduction to what bachata is, and 1 or 2 basic movements
Beginners Workshop. A workshop focused on the structure and basic fundamentals of the dance. Most teachers teach patterns on this, which is a big mistake
Progressive Workshop. A continuation where the basic workshops (where beginners workshop left-off). Yes, you can introduce some basic pattern and principles of partnering; lead & Follow, the concept of footwork, turning&spinning concept
Intermediate Workshop. It is a workshop where you combine fundamentals, lead&follow principles footwork, turns, styling principle, etc. This is also a workshop where a teacher can share “creating movements on your own” concept
Advance Workshop. It’s really a workshop where the teacher can teach his/her signature moves. He can also focus on flow/functional/transitional movements during social dancing. In other words, it’s pretty much making up shit and inventing movements within the basic structure he taught from his previous lower level workshops.
Masters Workshop. I have no idea, but it looks great for marketing title, I suppose?
Teachers Workshops. The psychology of teaching. The concept of breaking down movements. The philosophy of proper technique execution. The concept of musicality and innovation.The history behind certain movements. How to handle hecklers. The flow of teaching a group lesson, private lesson and more.
ALL LEVELS Workshop. It’s a workshop where everyone is welcomed to take. It’s a workshop where concepts, philosophy, history, social dancing etiquette, musicality, psychology and even the principle of repetitions and muscle memory are taught.
Private Lesson. It can either be beginners, Intermediate, adv, teachers, etc. To me, my definition of private lesson is the same principle as bodybuilders and weightlifters adhere to: the priority principle. The priority principle is used by bodybuilders when certain body parts are lagging in growth compared to other body parts. So in the dance sense, If my cross-body-lead is weak, I will tell the teacher to train me in all aspect of CBL, etc.
I hate teaching ADV workshops unless it’s my signature moves, particularly, complicated footwork. All advance students at this level should be comfortable enough with their knowledge that they are able to create and invent moves on their own, not to mention, they can self-assess their own weakness thereby able to create a training program for their own growth. If they are not able to, then they are still in the intermediate level.
The most dangerous level of dancing is intermediate...because they alteady think they’re on advance level.
In conclusion, ALL LEVELS WORKSHOP is perhaps the best of all workshops to take.
There’s only few teachers that I know of, aside from myself (Rodchata) that does this; Carlos Cinta, Edwin & Dakota, Rudy Tiguere, Juan and Melanie, Jorge Elizondo, Juan Ruiz, Pierre Henry, Teddy Olaso (Sasla), Anya Katsevman (Salsa), Luis Aguilar (Salsa), John and Liz (Salsa), Rodolfo & Ava (Salsa), Jose Torres (Kizomba), Frankie Martinez (Salsa), Luiz & Ignacia (Kizomba), Tirso Chauca (Zouk) just to name a few.
My Complaint about Fake Dance Teachers
20 yrs ago, I started in dancing, not knowing that in the future I will be teaching. During my studies in teaching, I started assisting to teach, then subbing, and finally teaching on my own. This was both from martial arts & dancing.
Real teachers can spot very bad techniques. Why is this? Because there are studies of movements; kinesiology, foot placement, weight distribution, et al, which are included in a teaching program...
MY PET PEEVE IS WHEN SO-CALLED TEACHERS PERFORM ON THE FLOOR WITH VERY BAD TECHNIQUES. Believe me when I tell you that I don't give the applause, and I cringed every time a bad technique is executed.
I am not speaking of one’s “style” of teaching here, but I am touching on a subject that a lot of powers-that-be in the dance community ignored for years. I am talking about proper techniques, safety and skills.
YOU CANNOT FAKE BAD TECHNIQUES!
It is one thing for "students" or "training group" performing on stage with bad techniques, but it's another when so-called Teachers (professionals) are on stage making a fool of themselves.
Techniques are so bad that even Amateurs in the competition arenas I’ve judged were far better. So the question is, how did they get to be teachers? Did they wake up one morning and said, "I declared that today, I will be a dance teacher'?
The problem with self-proclaimed teachers nowadays, particularly in bachata, salsa, and even in the kizomba scene, is that they don't belong to an organization that kept them accountable with their skills or false-skills. Or they didn’t have enough years of training that their intructor didn’t have enough time to constantly correct them.
They have students, yes they do, because people nowadays do not do their own research. They are just desperate to learn how to dance. Pseudo teachers will be teaching some styles of dance that not saturated yet, or, better yet, they will move into a small town (falsifying their credentials) where there is practically no dance programs offered.
You can be the best car salesman in the world, but when the rubber meets the road, your customer will sue you for selling them lemon.
Any questions? Like my Page @ www.facebook.com/rodchatafriends
Rodney Rodchata Aquino, an international instructor, has 19 yrs of dance experience, including world competition judge and promoter. He has taught Bachata Dancing in 43 countries totalling 260 cities in the world including the Dominican Republic. He is ranked the 2nd most influential bachatero in the world by Dance Planet Daily (http://bit.ly/2c7eOM6). You can read his intimate interview here @ http://bit.ly/2c7ekWi
WHICH BACHATA STEP WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THESE MESS?
Side to Side Steps.
We sometimes call them Electric Slide (at Filipino Potluck Parties).
Yes, it is the side-to-side steps that’s responsible for moderna, urbana and other forms of so-called bachata “evolution.”
You might be saying, “So, cool. What’s the big deal?” “What is this mess you’re talking about, Rodchata?”
WATCH THE REAL STRUCTURE OF BACHATA DANCING - https://youtu.be/Bz9A7XsPBDY
Well, let me answer that very important (daring) question, indeed...
The side-to-side steps were never part of the original structure of bachata. It wasn’t part of the classical bachata, and to even go further, it was never part of bolero, which is the main root of bachata. So what does this mean?
It means that these so-called “new styles” that evolved from the original bachata is erroneously stated or emphasized. It’s an invented lie.
There are many dance teachers in the world innovating their so-called bachata “styles” from a false base; side-to-side “traveling” steps. THERE NEVER WAS SIDE-TO-SIDE BASICS. Therefore they cannot label it as “bachata” alone.
Even if we justify there so-called evolved style to the term to “fusion”. You would still source back to the original, which means you are suppose to fuse it from the root.
We all know that in order for something to evolve, it must have an origin and a transition from something, a root, if you will. SIDE TO SIDE STEPS were not part of classical, original and even traditional bachata dancing. It might have been invented or misinterpreted by one of the tourist, who knows...
What is the original Structure?
Stationary. Box Steps, Front Steps, Back Steps, Side Steps, Forward Backward Steps. 180 Degree Turn.
Structure Analogy: It is like building a skyscraper; you’d have to lay the foundation first and then build the structure. An architect takes over when Structure is built. He can then design the building to his own liking based on the structure. Can the engineer change the structure of the building once it’s built? NO. He would have to demolish the building and start from scratch.
P.S. I am not against “moderna, Fusion, Sensual, Urbana or whatever tickle your fancy. I love all of them and beautiful to watch. But it is always good to set the record straight. It’s the right thing to do. Let’s lable them correctly so that we don't get accused of misrepresentation.
Check Rodchata’s Dance Classes @ www.rodchataclasses.com
STRUCTURE OF BACHATA DANCING - https://youtu.be/Bz9A7XsPBDY
P.S. We will see you all the Las Vegas International BACHATA festival - January 26-29, 2017 - Buy Tickets @ www.mybachatafestival.com
CARLOS RUFINO, THE FOUNDER OF BACHATA SIMPLIFICADA
This may surprise the entire bachata dance community, but Rufino and I had been planning to meet for over a year now. How the idea started was pretty much a mutual respect between two individuals that truly are passionate about bachata. Carlos is pretty dogmatic about the way Dominicans dance bachata, and I am a proponent in preserving what's original, authentic and traditional yet very much open to fusion, innovation and creativity.
Carlos and I go way back. I mean we have been debating bachata dancing since 2010! Most of those debates were pretty heated and some times calling each other names (when you are passionate on something you believe in, certain uncontrolled comments becomes the norm during a heated debate.) And it wasn't just my youtube videos he criticized, he probably called out almost all "bachata teachers" in the world dancing "the wrong bachata."
After a year of going back and forth with Rufino, I decided to invite him at one of my festivals so we can meet in person and that I could actually see him in action with his style of bachata. He declined. A year later, I offered another special invitation to visit my festival. Again, he declined.
In 2010, before Carlos, I've already embarked myself, out of curiosity, about authentic bachata and how they actually dance it in DR, or how Dominicans actually dance it. I began to study the culture, even going further to study merengue, it's music, its musicians, its culture. I've co-organized the 1st bachata festival in DR, which gave me a lot of time and opportunity to interview and exchange training philosophy about bachata with the "powers-that-be" in Santo Domingo, La Vega, San Cristobal, just to name a few. As a result, I posted a video of the "stationary steps" in bachata. Of all my dance videos, Rufino finally commented something positive. It was then that I knew, that Carlos isn't a "troll" that just loves to blast people for fun but actually would call it like it is with no sugar coating.
On 2014, Carlos offered to meet with me in NYC in December. It was supposed to be a time of hanging out, bootcamp and even club hopping. I bought my flight, but was unable to go in the end due to a conflict of a local event. But on September 2015, it finally happened...
Last Labor Day weekend, Carlos picked me up in my hotel and took me to a dance studio. He wanted to show me his philosophy and approach to dancing and teaching bachata. There are several out there that are actually very critical of "bachata teachers", but in my experience, they are all talk and this action doesn't match their so-called expertise. Carlos Rufino doesn't belong in that category in my book as I later found out after the studio session.
Carlos was prepared. His materials and props were all ready. I sat down to watch him explain and demonstrate his bachata doctrine. He laid out a chart of steps; a flow chart with point by point break down of bachata steps, musicality, creativity and structure. I was thinking to myself, "Ok, this isn't new. I already know this and teach it on my classes. But wait a minute, he is showing me what how he would be teaching it."
I paid more attention to him. After 10 minutes, I joined him dancing and learning how footwork. It got interesting that I actually ask him how he does it and ended up learning from him. You can call it an unplanned unofficial private lesson from Rufino. But of course, I know now that he knew that was gonna happen. I particularly like his approach on timing with the lyrics of the music - this approach is something new to me that there was no way I was going out of that studio without learning it! He also showed me different ways of slide steps, different stances to set up for fancy footwork. I liked it! I know that he wanted my opinion on how he teaches and his presentation. With the materials presented and the way he presented it, if a student is a beginner or intermediate, it would take them at least 5 or 6 sessions going through from the beginning of the course and the end of the course series. I'm not actually sure if they have the patience to finish it because there's lots of small details and only advance and pros can pick it up. If the student is advance or pro dancer, it would only take them 3 sessions with lots of practica later on. I actually highly recommend this to adv and pro dancers that wants to learn structure and materials for their own classes.
Although Carlos is a new teacher, I can frankly say that he isn't one of them typical new teachers "watch what I do, and do what I do" types. He has good content in his teaching materials and very well organized - a sign of a successful and effective teacher. I told him that the more he teaches, the more he will discover new and different ways to teach an individual or a group because every individual is different. I also told him that with the kind of material he'll be teaching, he would be unable to teach it with a big crowd because it is hard to teach the finer points of dancing with a big crowd.
After the session with Carlos, we went to El Cantinero, and there, I met his beautiful wife, Edwin Ferreras and his beautiful girlfriend. I had so much fun dancing bachata, salsa and merengue and of course, hanging out with people that has the same passion and interest.
This article isn't about defending Carlos on who he is and how goes about on social media, that is something no one can control. He is his own man, opinionated, and he will change because he want to change and not because others want him to change. But I have to say, that for the past 2 yrs, he has slowly changed.
Tidbits about Carlos Rufino.
- He is totally opposite of FB persona. He is a nice guy.
- He loves his wife
- He is a good social dancer ( I have the video to prove it)
- He isn't totally against dance evolution
- He actually knows his shit
- He will still criticize when he sees something that he disagrees about whether, it's me, Edwin or others - no one is safe.
- He and I are actually much in some agreements with it comes to American politics
Can Carlos Rufino and I actually become good friends? Friendship takes time. But I can tell you this, all my dear and close friends that I have now in the industry, we all started arguing and even attacked each other in the social media, but when I actually met them in person, we became really good friends and started working together. (Eddy Vents is a good example on this).
Next time I go to New York, my wife and I are invited to Carlos and Wife's house for some home cooked meal - now that is something to look forward to.
FAKE BACHATA TEACHERS AND HOW TO SPOT THEM
In an industry where most dance disciplines aren't standardized, regulated and no formal governing body, it's very easy to fake your way out of being a "dance instructor' using modern technology e.g, social media, Craigslist, et al.
Because there are no governing bodies in bachata, it's no surprise that there are legions of pseudo-teachers in the world claiming that they can transfrom you into a social dance machine with "their own" bachata style.
HERE ARE 15 WAYS TO SPOT THEM...
1. He came out of nowhere ( no one has ever seen him before)
2. He pronounce ba-cha-ta, ba-cha-RA
3. He says merengue is from Mexico
4. When he execute basic side-to-side or forward-backward, he walks like there's a big stick in his butthole (There is no side-to-side basics in real bachata).
5. He claims he's been dancing bachata for 100 yrs, yet his basic fundamentals are all messed-up, i.e., broken hip movements, stationary steps, posture, etc.
6. He claims his style is fusion, or moderna, or freestyle, but when you see him execute a basic dip, not only it's not performed properly, but it is outright dangerous ,and is a countdown to injury.
7. He doesn't know what's a "box step"
8. He dances like he is stepping on hot coals.
9. He doesn't know the difference between an urban bachata and techno bachata
10. He doesn't know what bolero is. (The reason he doesn't is because he never had a formal training with someone who knows)
11. One of his excuse is, "Um, I don't like that style. I have my own style" (He only says that because he couldn't handle real bachata and could not execute the techniques properly)
12. I took private lessons from lots of legendary teachers (when you ask the legendary ones, they have never heard of him)
13. He doesn't know how to explain and break down techniques.
14. He doesn't know what's contra tiempo, contra body movement or any other contrarian moves
15. He has no videos demonstrating what he's suppose to do best.
It is one thing when Fake Teachers talk or write about their credentials beautifully in a paper, or website or pages, but it's another thing when they actually demonstrate techniques, teach techniques, and most importantly, social dance. STUDENTS AS THEY GRADUATE FOR BEING NAIVE, EVENTUALLY FIND OUT THAT THEY HAVE BEEN DUPED AND SCAMMED.
Do these teachers even know what a "line" is? Do they even know the concept of "tension" "connection" "frame" "partnering", and even "dance theory" etc?
Next time you see you so-called teacher, ask him or her how they became teachers. It is always good to ask, after, all, you are the customer, you cannot be scammed.
Note: I posted a video below about a fake "black belt" in the Martial Arts. Anyone dancers and teacher can also relate this to dancing.
Rodney Rodchata Aquino teaches bachata every Wednesday at Allegro Ballroom, 5855 Christie Ave, Emeryville, CA (SF East Bay). Aside from organizing several dance festival, he is the founder of the first bachata festivals in the USA; Reno Bachata Festival San Francisco Bachata Festival and the first Dominican Republic Bachata Festival. He travels frequently all over the world teaching bachata workshops. He is a certified dance teacher and personal trainer. He has been dancing for 19 yrs. www.RodchataClasses.com. Buy his Dance DVDs @ www.rodchatatickets.com
I have witnessed people in this industry dismantle a promoter's work and reputation just by talking sh*t during a "drinking session" or a "room party" at the given event or gathering. Most of these sh*t talkers has never organized a big event before by themselves.
The people you have helped in the past are countless. Sometimes certain people (artists) take the time to remind a few promoters out there, and thank them for being partly responsible where they are now in their career. Sadly, some artist wouldn't want to do anything with you.
Personally, the people that have helped me in the past, well, I can count them easily since they're very few. In today's world, don't ignore the very people that have been by your side supporting you whether it is convenient for them or not. Their love for you is unconditional, and they have been with you since the beginning, mistakes, bad decisions or not. Surprisingly, there are certain good people out there that started helping you out and you don't even remember what you have done for them. Yet they remind you that you have done something for the community as a whole.
It's very easy to forget, or at worse, ignore a person who have helped you in the past, because he is at the bottom, it's very convenient to disregard him, not support him and side with others that has never done anything for you in the first place. I've seen things. I heard stuff. I've seen certain people being put down, being blasted, and being slammed in social media.
***Giving an upcoming artist (dj, performers, teacher) a teaching gig; Recommending them to other promoters; putting them on guestlists; giving them huge discounts when they request one; giving them honest constructive advice after judging them in a dance competition; supporting them and promoting them when they were rookies, or getting played out; Defending them and their reputation when need be...In this industry, these deeds are not little, they make a lot of difference, and most of them are priceless. Imagine if you are actually getting charge for each good deed a promoter has done for you, or the community as a whole.***
What I have noticed in the last 2 years, at least for me, is that promoters, that were once competitors have become friendly and gained respect for one another, and at times, actually look out for each other. Of course, this is not the norm, I hear bad breakups in the "promotion" with business partners suing each other. I went through that in my 2 year of promoting, and it was very ugly.
To those of you that just "don't get it", try going into the dance congress promotion business, don't get partners, just you and see what happens....or how about this, what if there are no promoters running an event for a year? What if promoters actually unite and protest for not running any festival, clubs, bootcamps for a while?
Over the years, since i started in this business, it has been a challenge emotionally and financially...
Imagine leaving a good office job with unmatched health insurance and retirement, and leaving a once-in-a-lifetime school program opportunity just cuz you were so passionate about "what can be" in the dance world ( a vision with passion).
It's a hit or miss, this promotion business, ya know...breaking even (after an event) is a success thinking about the bigger picture - call it stupidity, naivete or whatevz - the relentlessness of it all...profit is very little, you all know this as a promoter. But, really, what make us happy as an organizer, and what makes it rewarding...
- you get to revive someone else dying career
- you get to help promote a rookie
- you get to discern a hidden talent and watch it grow
- you get to increase some sort of friendships.
- you get to hire your old friends that always believed in your vision since the beginning
- you get to mentor and coach dancers, dis and young promoters that really has a heart for it
- you get to help dancers that are in financial trouble in many ways...
a) you give them money indirectly via their friends
b) you get to send them money when there is a serious fundraiser, sometimes you tell them you sent money, and most of the time, you just send the money without even telling them. (I've sent money many times even when my financial situation is not doing well).
c) sometimes when you make a little bit of money, you give them a bonus (in addition to their agreed salary) without telling them about it
d) even when money isn't involved, you get to still promote them.( I happen to be one of the promoters that has a wide range of targets and following in social media.)
e) you get to put them on VIP Lists, or even charge them free - some of the loyal customers over the years down have enough money sometimes, and it's your turn to help them out
f) when your friends in the industry says they are unemployed, you are compelled to help them out by giving them small or big gigs the best way you can
g) you are compelled to give certain responsibilities (djing, teaching, performing, volunteering, etc) to people you like or respect in the industry so that they can attend your festival for free instead of charging them for tickets
Small deeds and big deeds go a long way. It not about how they appreciate your good deeds, it's how it made a difference in their lives. It's not even about publicizing.
As an spectator, or just a teacher, you will have no clue with the pain and suffering festival or congress organizers go through. You think you may have an idea from the all the rumors and gossips you hear, but if and when you actually organize a festival yourself, you begin to understand the belly of the beast.
The bad side of being a promoter...
- all the buck stops with you
- everything that happens in your event is your responsibility
- your hotel venue has a lot of car salesmen, and their goal is to charge you with everything you got
- it's a psychological battle between you and the hotel and the venue owner before, during and after the event
- money is everything...MONEY now, not many later
- you won't please everyone
- you will lose money
- you will borrow money
- certain people will owe you money
- you won't be able to pay everyone at a given time (they will be all over you, but you need to understand where they are coming from and be patient)
- IRS is your big nosy stepmother
- you will destroy friendships
- you'll be in the middle of disputes
- due to mental battles, stress and other things that'd make you look older than you should, you have volunteers and staff that would feel unappreciated along the way, and would eventually quit. (try your best to express and show appreciation)
- lots of people will talk shit about you
- there is always backstabbing and conniving people around you
- your competitors are always plotting to outdo you
- you will be disappointed when your loyal staff depicts by working for the other side
It ain't all that glorious, isn't it? It is what it is. I haven't even touch the ssurface of what it means to be a promoter, but I hope you are getting the idea that there's a good side and very bad side to it.
So, are you ready? If you are, as we say in Texas Holdem Poker, you better say, "all in."
About the Author
Rodney Aquino is the first person to co-organized or organized Bachata Festivals in the USA and Dominican Republic. Reno Bachata Festival (2009-2013), Lithuania Bachata Festival (2010), DR1 (2010), Hawaii Bachata Festival (2011-2012), San Francisco Bachata Festival (2009-2015), Afro-Latin Vegas (2014-2016), iSemba (2011-2015), LABKS (2014), Afro-Latin Hawaii (2016) + 10 Other festivals as silent partner.
Bachata: Why feel?
El Torito, Hector Acosta, often call bachata, sentimiento, in all of his songs. Most of us doesn't really pay much attention to it - maybe it's time we should.
As I often mention in all of my bachata dance workshops, Bachata is a feeling. You feel the music. You feel your dance partner. The moves you execute during a dance are based on what you feel at that moment.
TEACHING BACHATA TO BEGINNERS EMPHASIZING "FEELING"
Most of the time, when I teach bachata to beginners, I often see most of the followers and leaders looking down at their feet to enure that they are doing the basic steps correctly. Of course, I tell them every time to not look down, but rather, look straight, look at the partner...I even go as far as telling them to close their eyes and feel...
Funambulism is the art of walking a tensioned rope between two points at a great height. It can be done either using a balancing tool (umbrella, fan, balance pole, etc.) or "freehand", using only one's body to maintain balance.Typically, a Funambulist performer falls into one of two distinct types of acts: dance/movement or object manipulation. It is common for an artist to include a variety of props in his acts, such as a club or a ring, hat or a cane in order to help them maintain their balance.
BUT, CAN YOU IMAGINE if a funambulist artist actually looks down while maintaining balance during his tightrope walk? He will fall to his death.
You see, all tightrope walkers are trained to feel their every step on that rope. They are trained to look straight ahead and not look down, it's the only way they can survive and make it to the other end of the rope.
It is the same way why beginner dancers should never look down at their steps because it will only confuse them and would also confuse the partner they're dancing with. The idea here is not the look but to feel.
Beginners biggest enemies are thinking and looking when learning a dance. Psychologically, when you look and think at the same time, your reflex get affected. As a result, in a dance, confusion happens because not only you are dealing with whether you are performing the right technique or not, you are also dealing with the speed of the music, not to mention, there's a person in front of you, your dance partner!
In the video clip below, I want you to watch and listen every words. Although, Bruce Lee was talking about the dynamics between two fighters here, the philosophies, he was sharing with his student can also be applied to partner dancing.
It's all about controlling emotions and learning the art to feel. When a dancer connects and feel, the ability to sense is dramatically improved.
BACHATA DANCING IN GENERAL APPLYING THE ART "TO FEEL..."
I saw question the other day in one of social media group,
"So we're all aware that traditional or old fashion bachata is great, however it's full of repetitive steps. Do you find (sometimes) Dominican style Bachata boring or should we be confined to just accept it the way it is and not offend or tarnish the authenticity?"
It's actually a very good question because this is what most people ask when they're learning authentic bachata coming from a salsa or ballroom background. My response is below...
"I dont. cuz it's all about "feeling it". However, within the structure of the dance you can be innovative and inventive. I know that the other "schools" preaches a "This is the only moves you should do etc". I disagree with that because dancing in general is progressive."
To further comment...When a person begin to get bored, in general, the feeling ends, or there is no "emotional content."
In 2010, All of my dance, at several clubs in Santo Domingo were all based on the art to feel. In fact one dance moment, in particular, was so good that when we were dancing to the song of El Hombre de tu Vida (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4UZrc98LfQ), we didn't even know that the song was over. I don't even remember what or which moves I was doing during the dance because all I did was "to feel."
When you dance "to feel" on bachata, you are in the moment of tranquil.
So, if you are just beginning to learn to dance bachata, or you are in the advance level, know this - bachata is a a feeling, nothing more.
Of course, there are other moments when you dance bachata that you'd feel energetic, excited and compelled to do multiple moves due to the speed and tempo of the music, hey, that is awesome, after all, it's what you felt...and "feeling" is a dance good thing...
Just like when Bruce Lee said, ...don't concentrate on the finger or you'll miss all the heavenly glory." I SAY, DON'T LOOK AT YOUR STEPS OF YOU'LL MISS ALL THE HEAVENLY GLORY ;-)
Visit Bachata Classes (Basic & Intermediate) by Rodney Rodchata Every Wednesday at Allegro Ballroom from 7:30 PM to 10:00 PM in Emeryville, California - http://www.rodchataclasses.com/group-classes
I have been hearing talks that tradicional bachata dance and music is boring. Some people say that it is very limited and that there isn't much you can do...
Whoever says this is obviously not very experienced when it comes to the art of dancing in general.
First of all, bachata is a feeling. Everything you think, and do during the dance is very much influenced by emotion, otherwise, you movements would just look mechanical or rehearsed movements. Even if you don't understand spanish, you'd still feel the emotion of the music.
Second of all, to say that Bachata Tradicional is limited is such a blasphemous statement. Lets look at some of some of the basic elements for example...
This is a form where you stay in one spot. Just because you are staying in one spot doesn't mean you can't do anything else. What happen to hand and arm movements? What happen to the closed position? What happen to sliding your foot out or in? What happen to Turns, Patterns, even Spins? Yes, you can do it in a Stationary Steps!
You can do slides. You can incorporate triple steps, double steps and even mambo beats movements. Yes, you can do turns without breaking the box. You can pause whole caressing her hair, etc etc...
- Lots of possible movements here. You have 4 steps going forward and 4 steps going backward, a total of 8 beats! You see I likened these steps from a whole apple pie; you can slice it in two, 4, 6 or 16! Just like in musical note, it can actually be broken down from 2 to 16!
- You can use your hand and arm movements. Lift your legs. You can do triple, double, steps, and on and on.
180 Turn and 360 Turns, Cross Body Leads
- Each of these movements has four beats. Each moves are like a whole pie, you can slice them in many different ways!
For More Read. Click BACHATA STRUCTURE Here
Third of All, the musical composition of bachata gives you many opportunities to come up with awesome movements during a dance. The music in itself has several instruments you can match your musicality with as a dancer - I cannot teach you such thing because it will be coming from you as a dancer based on your emotions and the ability to be one with the music. Bachata Music, on a given song, also have pauses whereby you can act accordingly. There's just so many possibilities!
In conclusion, in any dance form, in any physical discipline, be it martial arts, ballet, sports, one fundamental technique isn't limited. Our left side of the brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. It also performs task that have to do with creativity and the arts. On the other hand, the right hemisphere coordinates the left side of the body, and performs tasks that have do with logic such as with science and mathematics.
I am aware of the rules of Tradicional Bachata Dance. The impression of some dancers is that there are a lot of "No, you can't do that move..." in the dance. Nothing could be further from the truth! If you are trained and well-versed in the original structure of the dance, you can do so many things. Why is this? Because the structure you built, catapults you to execute many movements as an architect of the dance, it's automatic.
Just like in Martial Arts, once you studied the whole system, meaning, you have built a good foundation, every angle - linear, circular, horizontal, vertical, has enormous amount of movements you can do because your structure is set up for it. It's the same way in a dance, there are so many angles you can cover and the structure would still be very evident.
"But, but, but, Rodchata, I just don't like Tradicional cuz I don't feel it..."
Actually, this is a common excuse, and it's actually a cop-out. Most of the people that says this, gave up on their first lesson. They got so frustrated because they are so used to the non-bachata structure that they won't get it overnight. If you think about it, building a structure of a building doesn't happen overnight! Yes, the foundation of the original bachata is hard to learn on the first day. Don't give up. You have to put effort, sacrifice and patience, because in the end, your dancing will be unlimited.
It's very easy to take the easiest route by learning a completely different structure that you can actually learn overnight. The difference, however, is like night and day.
Everyone nowadays, like everything INSTANT; instant coffee this, 1-hour photo that...
Patience and hardwork, applied in building a good foundation goes a long long way because once you built it, it's strong.
Rodchatero at large