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.
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